Can you get high on Ritalin?

Yes. You can get high on Ritalin if you’re not taking it to treat ADHD. More on the effects of Ritalin and the dangers of Ritalin abuse here.

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Yes. Ritalin can get you high if it’s not used for its intended purpose.

In fact, Ritalin is abused both for the euphoric feelings it creates and for its stimulant effects. Abusing Ritalin is often extremely unsafe due to the methods used to get high off of it, which can put abusers at risk for serious health complications. For example, snorting Ritalin effects can include irregular heartbeat, hallucinations and seizures. Plus, Ritalin use is also detectable.  Ritalin shows up on drug tests for amphetamines and can be detected in blood, urine and hair samples.  More here on how Ritalin affects the brain and body. And a section at the end for your questions about Ritalin.

Ritalin chemistry and use

Ritalin contains the stimulant medication methylphenidate, which is similar to (but not as potent as) amphetamine drugs. Ritalin helps people with ADHD focus and concentrate. Ritalin causes agitation and restlessness in most people, but in people diagnosed with ADHD Ritalin actually has a soothing effect. And people using Ritalin to treat ADHD don’t usually get high on Ritalin and don’t become addicted to it.

Ritalin and euphoria

Ritalin works by increasing dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is the same chemical that’s used to “reward” the brain in various day-to-day situations. Because of its effects on dopamine levels in the brain, stimulants like Ritalin can cause feelings of euphoria, happiness, and extreme well-being.

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Ritalin and central nervous system effects

Ritalin also affects the central nervous system. Some of the most common effects of taking Ritalin include:

  • dizziness
  • muscle tightness
  • nervousness
  • restlessness
  • uncontrollable movements

However, Ritalin can also cause more serious side effects. Even when taken under a doctor’s supervision, Ritalin can cause heartbeat and breathing irregularities which can be fatal in people with certain conditions. Some more serious adverse effects of Ritalin’s action on the central nervous system are:

  • agitation
  • chest pain
  • fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat
  • hallucinations
  • mood changes, both depression and abnormal excitement
  • paranoia and delusions
  • seizures
  • shortness of breath

Getting high on Ritalin

Sometimes Ritalin is taken orally to get high. But it’s also crushed into a powder and snorted, or mixed with water and injected intravenously. Both of these routes of delivery can be dangerous, particularly injection. Ritalin contains non-soluble fiber as an inactive ingredient and these fibers can become lodged in small blood vessels. Plus, injecting Ritalin can increase the risk of catching HIV and hepatitis B and C from a tainted needle. Finally, injecting or snorting Ritalin increase your potential to become addicted to methylphenidate.  But Ritalin can be detected in drug screens for amphetamines.  How long amphetamines in system about 2 days in urine drug screens.  But if you’re asking about Ritalin detection, this might be a sign that you have a problem.

Risks of Ritalin abuse

Ritalin is a dangerous drug to abuse. Even when taken under a doctor’s supervision, Ritalin can trigger potentially serious side effects, causing heartbeat and breathing irregularities which can be fatal in people with certain conditions. Abusers of the Ritalin are probably taking much larger doses than would be used medically, opening themselves up to the risk of severe side effects, including psychotic episodes and heart problems.

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Am I addicted to Ritalin?

If you’re taking Ritalin to cope with an ADHD diagnosis, even if you feel like you “need” to take it, you’re probably not addicted to Ritalin. Addiction is characterized by mental obsessive or compulsive drug use, even in the face of negative life consequences. If you are taking Ritalin as prescribed and think that you are dependent on Ritalin, speak with your doctor about dosage or medication changes.

Instead, Ritalin addicts develop specific clinical characteristics of addiction that prescription users do not. Ritalin addicts develop a tolerance and a need to take higher than normal doses to get their desired effects. Addicts also exhibit drug-seeking behaviors which might include buying or stealing pills from someone else who has a legitimate prescription. Simply put, Ritalin addicts cannot live life without Ritalin. Drug addicts need their drug of choice in order to cope with difficult emotional and psychological issues in life.

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Help for Ritalin abuse

Doctor recommend that Ritalin addicts withdrawal from Ritalin under medical supervision. If you’re addicted to Ritalin and have completed drug detox, you can start to look for support groups for people dealing with addictions to prescription and stimulant drugs near you. It can be hard to quit, so therapeutic or medical intervention might be helpful. Sometimes, just being able to maintain a support network can help make quitting easier. Look around your local area, and you’ll be surprised at the number of resources that are out there for people addicted to Ritalin and other drugs.

Do you or a loved one use Ritalin (methylphenidate) to get high? Learn more about the addiction potential, available treatment options, the course of rehab and recovery for Ritalin. We explain more about what you can expect from your recovery in this comprehensive guide on methylphenidate addiction treatment programs.

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Getting high on Ritalin questions

Do you still have questions about getting high on Ritalin, or using Ritalin? Please leave your questions below. We try to respond to all legitimate questions with a personal and prompt response. You are not alone! We’ll get back with you ASAP

References: National Drug Intelligence Center: Ritalin Fast Facts
PubMed Health: Methylphenidate
Brookhaven National Laboratory: New Brookhaven Lab Study Shows How Ritalin Works 
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. everyone, do what you can to distribute knowledge of the unquestionable divinity of psychoactive bliss, as well as that bliss itself, the destined decriminalization of these treasured substances does approach alongside your responsibility.

  2. I have been using Ritalin daily , up to 90 mg twice daily. My only bad side effect is that I don’t get energy anymore just sever depression. Why don’t I get motivated and energetic anymore.

    1. Hi Jojo. Maybe, you have built up a tolerance to Ritalin. I suggest that you consult with your doctor about dosage adjustment.

  3. I made a mistake and took like 3 and a half pills of methylphenidate and I’m really freaking out mad my heart rate is at 126 when its normally around 60. No help I can get rn so I found this. Whsy should I do?

    1. Hi Zach. Call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for an assessment of overdose risk or with help on what to do next.

  4. andrew, terrance, and angelica: i understand that the feeling of stimulation is pleasurable and do encourage it. however, i am aiming for a world where it will be easier to obtain currently illegal substances as we will be aware of our unity and consequent eternity. cocaine i do know to lead to pleasurable interactions, and methamphetamine as well, which, when intravenously injected results in the feeling of an eternal paradise, which i am aiming to create. we are evolving beyond capital, carnivorism, government, and any other reason for antagonistic forces to a heavenly concurrence. ritalin and adderal are effective stimulants, but by no means the most pleasurable or pure.

  5. i like coffee. i like cocaine. i like methamphetamine. can you see a similarity between these three? yes, the answer is that i am fond of stimulants, and realize their supreme purpose as encouragement of progress, thanks to the use of dissociative hallucinogens. all psychoactive substances++.

  6. after submitting my previous comment, i read all those made before, and was shocked at how no one has realized that an eternal paradise is destined. existence is immaterial, as i discovered shortly before college, as space is dependent on time, and there was never any force to create a big bang. rather, existence is vibratory, as all of our sensory experience relies on frequencies, and energy is eternal, as we are as well. this energy is an infinite intelligence which vibrates and gives birth to us all as our father, hence all of our similarities as life. i am eager to receive a response and to develop this eternal paradise, but am having a tremendously difficult time doing so as capital is an undeniable hindrance. psychoactive substances are the wave of the future, as addiction need not occur. life is instantaneous, as evidenced through every interaction, and eternal as defined by jesus christ. the foolishness of religion was never intended, and that of government is only a result of improper hubris. we should be proud of ourselves, as we are all life, but our consciousness is poisoned by our disrespect for our family, obvious and easily seen in factory farms (a real hell) + carnivorism in general. help me to abolish displeasure and welcome in the eternal paradise with me.

  7. i am curious as to how i may obtain ritalin. i am a 29 year old adult and wish to avoid the legality issues of methamphetamine, but in the future, will try to figure out how to obtain it, as i injected it intravenously in college and was struck with the feeling of an eternal paradise which i am certain will evolve alongside our love and respect for all life. please be conscious of the effects of pollution and waste and practice environmental awareness. we are going to exist in this eternal paradise, as we are eternal, and that feeling of paradise i had i have deduced was due to an optimum circulation of neurotransmitters. psychoactive substances have been disappointingly + foolishly illegalized in the usa, and i am on a mission to have that decision reversed.

  8. Well thank you.
    Life is shit. I am debating on taking this drug to do some bad stuff to my self.
    I think I will. I’m ready for the consequences.
    Good day~

  9. i have been prescribed Ritalin. I actually can’t believe how strong it is. I don’t know if that’s the right word to use but anyway. I used to smoke a ice, only a pt or 2 per week. I didn’t really need much and it would affect me a lot more than it did others. The high smoking that would really hit me quick and not wear off even quicker. It would keep me awake and I wouldn’t sleep at all until the next night. I’m not sure if it was the not sleeping that made me feel like shit or the fact that what it was made with, being dirty and made with cleaning products from underneath the kitchen sink. I ended up stopping because I hated the person I would become when I was coming down. It was all good when I was high but then the come down would make me feel extremely depressed and I’d start picking things on my skin that weren’t even there. The lack of self care you have when you’ve used that drug is fukd up/ the even worse thing is how available it is for anyone and everyone to get high on. That drug doesn’t discriminate. Rich, poor, young, old, successful, unemployed, it’s just fukd up. Anyway what I’m getting at is we aren’t gonna be able to do anything about this epidemic!! There is no stopping it now.
    In regards to Ritalin, I was prescribed that 2 weeks ago. My doctor said to try different dosages and see what feels right. I find that it comes on quick and wears off quick so the dose that feels right is one 10mg tablet 3 times a day, 3 hours apart. And then half a tablet in the arvo. Tonight I’ve been having halves every hour. I feel pretty good. Even when it wears off I’m not scattered. It’s so much cleaner than any other drug I’ve had

    1. Hello Donna. You should take medications only prescribed and directed by a doctor. If you don’t feel well, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for an assessment of overdose risk, or check into the ER.

  10. I have been prescribed Adderall for Add in March of this year and unfortunately I have become (somewhat) hooked since May. Occasionally though, I’ll go a few days w/o taking any so my tolerance doesn’t build. I got to a point where my days seem to get wasted thinking about getting high and I hate it. I’m prescribed 30 30mg XR per month and 30 20mg instant per month. I’ve come to the point where I absolutely never abuse the extended release anymore (I used to crush up the beads w/ a mortar and pestle and put it back in the capsule), but I’m still abusing the instant release orally from about 60-80 mg day getting up to 80-120 a day. When I run out, I’ll just deal w/ it till I get my refill. The thing is, is that the XR’s really help me the way that there supposed to. I know I’m winning the fight though. I was never into coke, never had the $ and it goes away too fast, and my family has always set good examples and for them I’m blessed. I do it for that Dopamine high, but could care less for the stimulating effects. So my question is that I’ve read on medical websites that Adderall pumps more dopamine into the brain, whereas Ritalin just works w/ what you already have, so since I don’t like the “stimulant” effect, does it make sense just to switch over to the XR Ritalin instead? I don’t necessarily want to tell my Dr. because I’m afraid she won’t prescribe me either of the two. I’m 32 yrs old btw.

  11. About 7 of my friends are on CAT and like snort 24 lines a day and when they run out they use ritilan im very chilled and do drugs myself they say they happy but appear very agressive they completely hooked i dont really know what to do help???

  12. Okay I know that Ritalin can get you high. I have never been diagnosed or have had ADHD. My friend with her medical very high dosage gave me two pills. 54mg each. I tried one pill before 54mg but it didn’t do anything. My question is, would it be unsafe to take the both of them (108mg) at once?

  13. I’d recommend both users and parents to be very very carefull with ritalin/concerta.. my shrink, an total asshole when i was age 10-11 told my parents, we’ll try some ritalin and see what his reaction is on the medication and ofcourse i get high and get a positive effect.
    Since my 11th there’s hasnt been a day without strugle, im 21 now. 6 months of rehab at the age of 17 due alcoholism, marijuana addiction.
    21 now, had an setback in booze and drank half a bottle of vodka and 4-5 marijuana joints, didnt get into come nor didnt go out. tolerance is just too high.
    Ritalin gave me the feeling of addiction, Ritalin gave me the feeling of being high. and now in present day i cannot be sober anymore, i have to be high even tho i’ve been in an closed clinic when i was 17 for 6 months. still i need some joints on a day to continue in life.
    Ritalin caused this, Ritalin fucked my life up. Yes, i blame it on the damn ritalin because that was my first touch with highness. without that highness the need for marijuana nor alcohol wouldn’t been there or waay later.

    Users and Parents, be very very carefull if you or your child reacts too positive and gets depressed after the effect fades you have to take action or suffer the faith of an drug/alcohol addict.

    it’s and perfect good medication forpeople who need it, but do you REALLY need it? most of us smply DONT.

    Do you or do you want your child to have a short-therm memory? movement issues, braincells killed? from a perfectly intelligent human being to a low IQ?
    You will die young, IF you are capable of getting any older without disturbing mentall ilness?

    Overdose of ritalin/concerta (tho mixed with marijuana) had woken a psychose on me, i decided to stop abuse ritalin for the sake of my mind and thank GOD psychose couldnt develop any further.

    There’s one simple anwser to your “overdose whining” you’ll become mentally unstable if not disturbed mentally ill.
    You’d better be dead if you developt an very disturbing mental ilness, No provoking just warning how horribly horribly wrong it can be.

    Be warned, ritalin overdose IS deadly and it can cause mental ilness.
    Don’t be stupid to think that “high” feeling will last forever, it wont. you’ll need to use it over and over again and so you WILL face psychoses and horrofic mental ilness.

    I hope you people will come around and stop abusing this Hard-Drug. it is an western propogandanized “medication” to help, in fact its speed. Hard-Drugs.

  14. I have been off methanphetamin for about a year and yet i feel depressed , mood , without focus , so i heard that ritalin and aderall could help me. To get out of bed , do general chorus and mostly important read , my job retires reading … Well it did well for like a day ,now i do lines instead of swalling them and can t focus on a book for long , I feel active but empty …bad choice right?

    1. Hello Hela. If it doesn’t do anything for you, then you don’t need the pills. At first it takes time to really get things done and you have to personally persuade yourself to do tasks. But, by using other substances and medicines to help you, you are putting yourself at the risk of developing dependence to these meds. Especially if you are not taking them as prescribed and as directed by a doctor.

  15. Hi Shellbell. You are abusing a medication when you are taking it in ways other than suggested and in doses other than prescribed. Injecting Ritalin fits into this definition.

  16. I have a nephew in the hospital that has an infection in his leg, they had to cut out dead tissue and are going back in to cut out more tomorrow. We think he has been shooting up Ritalin behind his knee, his parents found a bag with many needles and toothpaste, does the toothpaste have anything to do with shooting up?

  17. I took about 15 or 16 pills at ones. 27mg and now I cant stop shaking and feel like if my heart rate if faster. Did I over dose? So yea… I took about 405 MG or 432MG. With in 2hours. And its been about 7 hours sinces I took it. And when I got up for a glass of water it felt like if my head was spining. So what worng with me?

  18. I took about 15 or 16 pills at ones. 27mg and now I cant stop shaking and feel like if my heart rate if faster. Did I over dose?

  19. Hello John. Call 1-800-222-1222 to get in touch with the Poison Control Center. You’ll need medical advice on what to do next.

  20. hi……….. im a newbie to everything. im still in middle school. I take a 5mg tablet of methylphenidate normally around 12 pm for ADHD. but today I was reading that it can be used to get high. ive never smoked weed before, but always have been interested. I took 55 mg and its been about an hour and nothing happened besides some stomach pains, head aches, my right eye keeps twitching and the lights seem dimmer and my eyes ant focus on the computer screen. its about 6:30 on a school night. basically im asking if u can get high from adhd meds if u have adhd. another question…………… AM I GONNA DIE?!

  21. Hey guys! I’ve been diagnosed with ADHD… I take a 36mg of aderal… I popped 7pills around 5 o’clock this after noon…. It’s a completely different high, I smoke weed… And aderal makes me feel very sharp(unlike pot which doles my senses) you feel extremely extremely happy… And have a “can do attitude” however, the come down… Sucks. It’s 1230 on a school night, and I’m still awake… I’m on edge right now(though I have no reason to be) I feel nervous and ready to strike at anything, but there is nothing that is gonna attack me… I have a nervous twitch with my jaw when I’m high on aderal… And my feet I can’t sit still… It’s been 7 1/2 hours and I’m still feeling a bit happy but, I’m very edgy… Is super weird! Anyway, be careful… Because you’ll get messed up by taking more than 5… However you might be extremely happy, but no one can tell your high, you talk fine… And it just looks like your having a good day:) it feels like you are trust me… I don’t even know why I’m typing this, but life is good… So be careful and have fun… Know your limits!!!!!

  22. Hello Andrew. Ritalin is generally thought to be safe in therapeutic doses. While therapeutic ranges will vary based on your exposure to methylphenidate (the more tolerant you are, the higher the dosage your body can tolerate), lower doses are more safe. While we do not condone snorting Ritalin at all, it is safer to start with lower doses. And keep in mind that: yes, cases of sudden death have been documented within therapeutic ranges of Ritalin.

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