Ritalin is a commonly prescribed drug that is used in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, narcolepsy and tachycardia. Generically, it is known as methylphenidate. Although it became well-known for the treatment of ADHD during the 1990s, it has been in use for more than 50 years. When used precisely as directed — and under the care of a qualified physician — Ritalin is an effective treatment. It is also sometimes used on an off-label basis to successfully treat obesity, depression and bipolar disorder.
Abusing Ritalin, however, is extremely dangerous. Not only can it lead to dependence and addiction, it can end in overdose and death. The good news is that quitting drugs and leading a healthy, satisfying life is possible when you make the choice to get professional substance abuse help.
Information About Ritalin
Ritalin, in addition to similar ADHD drugs Concerta, Methylin and Equasym, are legal drugs that affect the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. When taken precisely as prescribed, Ritalin helps people with focus issues gain greater executive function, which includes skills such as organization, problem-solving, reasoning and planning. It also improves memory, controls behavior and boosts motivation.
It’s important to note only those with genuine ADHD problems will see improvement in condition symptoms after taking Ritalin. In fact, the latest research indicates those who take the drug as a study aid or recreationally likely won’t see improvement. Moreover, many of the symptoms Ritalin treats — such as executive function and behavior control — become worse following prolonged abuse.
Although it is prescribed in full and extended-release tablets or capsules, people who abuse Ritalin often snort or inject it, which increases the drug’s potential for addiction. It also comes in patch or liquid form.
People who become addicted to Ritalin do so after taking the drug as a study aid or using it recreationally. The drug is one of the most commonly stolen prescription drugs in the United States.
Addiction Symptoms and Side Effects
Abusing Ritalin usually results in a range of noticeable symptoms that can indicate addiction. These symptoms and side effects include:
- Nervousness and excitability followed by exhaustion
- Lack of appetite and weight loss, resulting in anorexia
- Anxiety and irritability
- Stomach pain, nausea
- Tolerance, resulting in the need to take more Ritalin to get the same effects
- Rapid and irregular heartbeat
- Changes in blood pressure
- Intense paranoia
- Delirium and confusion
- Angry, aggressive and sometimes violent behavior
- Restlessness and agitation
- Delirium and confusion
- Impaired cognitive functions
- Compulsive and repetitive behaviors
Despite Ritalin’s reputation as a “safe” drug, taking too much can result in overdose and death. The symptoms of overdose include rapid breathing, extreme agitation, heartbeat problems, convulsions, hallucinations, confusion and fever.
You Can Quit Using Ritalin Safely
Because taking Ritalin produces tolerance and physical dependence, quitting abruptly results in a variety of physical and psychological side effects. Symptoms such as extreme exhaustion, problems with sleep, intense cravings to use Ritalin, anxiety and depression are all common. Since people who abuse Ritalin usually take more than the recommended dose, these symptoms worsen with the intensity of the addiction. Although quitting Ritalin is difficult, it is safer and easier when you decide to enroll in a comprehensive drug treatment program.
At 12 Keys Rehab, we offer progressive holistic care combined with the 12 Steps design for living, all in the comfort of our small recovery center. You’ll begin treatment with medically assisted detox and progress through behavioral and psychiatric care, if necessary. We will teach you how to manage cravings, avoid the triggers of abuse and get you back to enjoying life without drugs. We see miracles every day at 12 Keys Rehab — now we want to see yours.
Why spend another minute letting an addiction to Ritalin make your choices for you? Call us now for a confidential, no-obligation consultation and find out more about our recovery center. At 12 Keys Rehab, we can help you find your path to freedom, starting right now.