Does Experimentation = Abuse?
Ritalin is a strong stimulant used to treat ADHD, narcolepsy, chronic fatigue, and depression. By acting directly on the brain, Ritalin increases the levels of dopamine, which triggers euphoria and feelings of wellbeing. Because of these properties many people start to abuse Ritalin.
So, if you are taking the drug in order to:
- Feel euphoric and high.
- Heighten focus and alertness.
- Increase energy and stamina.
- Perform better in school or at work.
- Suppress appetite for weight loss purposes.
…you are, in fact, abusing it and may need to seek help before this behavior starts to hurt your health, relationships, and finances.
But, what are the signs of Ritalin abuse? What are the most common side effects associated with the abuse of Ritalin? We give our answers in the article below. Then, we invite your questions in the comments section at the end of the page.
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What If You Have A Prescription?
Ritalin contains methylphenidate as its main psychoactive ingredient. Methylphenidate is a strong stimulant that affects the central nervous system (CNS) and changes the function of the brain. In medicine, it is used for treating narcolepsy, chronic fatigue, and depression.
Also, Ritalin is a part of the program for treating attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) in children and adults. Ritalin helps increase attention and focus, improves daily performances, and keeps you awake.
Despite it’s medical usefulness, this is a drug with a strong addictive potential, classified as a Schedule II drug. This means that any Ritalin use without doctor’s prescription or non-adherence to general use suggestions is illegal and punishable by law.
Q: What does this mean?
A: It means that even if you do have a doctor’s prescription to use Ritalin, taking it in doses, ways, and frequencies other than prescribed is considered to be ‘drug abuse’.
How is Ritalin Abused?
You are abusing Ritalin if you are:
- Administering Ritalin by snorting, injecting, and/or chewing.
- Buying Ritalin off the street or via online pharmacies.
- Getting Ritalin from someone else that’s prescribed (drug diversion).
- Mixing Ritalin with illicit drugs, alcohol, or other prescription meds.
- Obtaining prescriptions from several doctors (doctor shopping).
- Taking Ritalin in larger doses than prescribed.
- Using Ritalin more frequently than recommended.
- Using Ritalin to get high.
Does any of this sound familiar? If you recognize yourself or a loved one in the behaviors described here, seek medical help for Ritalin abuse as soon as possible. Call our helpline to get information, recovery tools, and support.
Signs and Symptoms
If you suspect a loved one is abusing Ritalin there are some tell tale signs that can help you get to the truth. People who are not using Ritalin correclt usually exhibit some the following signs.
- Reduced appetite
- Repetitive behaviors
- Social withdrawal
- Violent behavior
- Weight loss
- Gastrointestinal distress
- Impaired vision
- Pupil dilation
- Rapid heart rate
- Stomach pain
Ritalin Abuse Side Effects
When Ritalin is taken other than prescribed, it releases a high concentrated amount of methylphenidate into the system. This kind of abuse can cause many side effects, that can lead to mental and physical damage. The most common side effects of taking Ritalin other than prescribed include:
- Auditory hallucinations
- Dry mouth
- Muscle tightness
- Nausea and vomiting
- OCD-like behavior
- Sleep disturbances
- Tendency toward violence
- Uncontrolled movements
Moreover, abusing a stimulant like Ritalin does not only harm your mental and physical health, but may lead to a number of unwanted consequences to life as you know it. Some of the risks associated with Ritalin abuse may include:
- Broken relationships with friends and family.
- Financial difficulties.
- Job loss.
- Legal problems.
Ritalin Overdose: When to Call 911?
An unintentional overdose (OD) can occur when Ritalin is taken in high doses, but without the intent to self-harm. A Ritalin overdose can result in symptoms that can signal you when too much methylphenidate has been ingested. Symptoms of a Ritalin OD include:
- Chest pain
- Excessive sweating
- Extremely dry mouth
- High anxiety or panic
- High body temperature
- Muscle cramps or twitching
- Racing heart
- Rapid, shallow breathing
- Rapid thoughts and speech
- Tingling or numb sensation in hands and feet
If you or someone close to you take too much Ritalin: Act fast! Call 911 to seek emergency medical attention, or call your local Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
Once you are connected with a 911 contact representative, give them information about:
- How much Ritalin was taken.
- How was the drug administered.
- What other drugs or alcohol were taken along with Ritalin (if any).
- How long has it been since the victim took the drug.
- Your exact location (e.g.. in the back yard, on the 2nd floor, in the bathroom).
Help for Ritalin abuse
Once you decide to break free from Ritalin abuse, the next step is to seek help!
You CAN quit Ritalin once and for all!
ANYTIME: Day or Night.
We can help!
To get yourself even better prepared for what you can expect from the process of treating a drug problem. we share more details here. The process involves three main stages of treatment: Evaluation, detox, and therapy.
1. Initial Evaluation. To effectively treat a drug use disorder, doctors need to find out more about you and the scope of your problem. As a part of your initial eval process, you’ll go through an interview, assessments, and drug testing so your doctor can establish a diagnosis. Using the results from the evaluation, doctors will design a personalized treatment plan fit your your individual needs.
2. Detoxification. Before you begin longer term treatment, all traces of the drug will need to be eliminated from your body. Dependence to Ritalin can form quickly, making you experience a cluster of adverse symptoms known as Ritalin withdrawal. This can be a harsh and uncomfortable process, which is why medical Ritalin detox options include short-term use of prescription medications to address and minimize symptoms as they occur. They also provide a safe and supportive environment in which to detox.
3. Therapy and Counseling. The most effective treatments for a drug problem are behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral and contingency-management interventions. For example, the following methods have been shown to be effective in reducing Ritalin abuse:
- Behavioral therapy
- Contingency management interventions
- Family education
- Individual counseling
- Motivational incentives
- 12-Step support
Got More Questions?
This text was only a general preview on some of the main signs of Ritalin drug abuse and its most common side effects. For more on Ritalin addiction treatment, feel free further explore our website. You can also contact us in the comments section below or via the contact us page. We will do our best to respond personally and promptly to all legitimate inquiries.