Thursday February 21st 2019

You're leaving and will be automatically redirected to

Go back to

Ritalin Abuse

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.


Is Ritalin abuse turning into a problem?
We can help!
CALL US … and start living a drug-free life TODAY.


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.

Behavioral signs

  • Impulsiveness
  • Reduced appetite
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Social withdrawal
  • Violent behavior
  • Weight loss

Physical signs

  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Impaired vision
  • Pupil dilation
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Stomach pain
  • Sweating

Psychological signs

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia

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
  • Heartburn
  • Muscle tightness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • OCD-like behavior
  • Paranoia
  • Restlessness
  • 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.
  • Hospitalization.
  • 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
  • Confusion
  • 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!
Call us.
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.

Reference Sources: NIH: Medicine Plus: Methylphenidate
NIH: Methylphenidate Abuse and Psychiatric Side Effects
FDA Medication Guide: Ritalin

Ritalin Abuse

7 Ritalin overdose: How much amount of Ritalin to OD?

Ritalin overdose: How much amount of Ritalin to OD?

April 10th, 2017

How much Ritalin can lead to an OD depends on the individual, the condition, physical health, age, body mass, tolerance to methylphenidate, and other factors. More on Ritalin overdose risk, symptoms, and what to do in case of an OD, here.

12 How much Ritalin is too much?

How much Ritalin is too much?

January 19th, 2017

Can you take too much Ritalin to accidentally overdose? It is recommended that the daily Ritalin dose should not exceed 60 mg. More on Ritalin dosage and safety, here.

2 Ritalin effects

Ritalin effects

April 28th, 2016

What are the main effects of Ritalin (on the body and brain)? We review the postitive and negative effects of Ritalin here.

2 The promises and dangers of smart drugs: Understanding the implications of using "smart drugs" to improve performance

The promises and dangers of smart drugs: Understanding the implications of using “smart drugs” to improve performance

February 3rd, 2016

We explore the abuse of so called “smart drugs” taken to enhance learning abilities by people who are not prescribed. What are the risks for addiction and unwanted side-effects? See more, here.

3 Can you die from taking Ritalin?

Can you die from taking Ritalin?

September 2nd, 2015

Ritalin (methylphenidate) may cause sudden death, heart attack or stroke in people with heart defects or serious heart problems. More here on risks and adverse effects of Ritalin here.

3 How is Ritalin abused?

How is Ritalin abused?

March 14th, 2015

Ritaline abuse = any time you take Ritalin OTHER THAN PRESCRIBED, especially for euphoric effect. Specific descriptions of Ritalin abuse here.

5 Can you overdose on Ritalin?

Can you overdose on Ritalin?

December 29th, 2014

Yes, you can OD on Ritalin. Stimulant intoxication produces a wide array of symptoms including schizophrenic symptoms, manic-like states, psychoses, and various types of anxiety conditions. More details here.

2 What is Ritalin used for?

What is Ritalin used for?

December 2nd, 2014

Ritalin is used in the treatment of ADHD and is misused as a study aid or as a stimulant drug.

Signs and symptoms of Ritalin addiction

Signs and symptoms of Ritalin addiction

March 31st, 2013

Signs and symptoms of Ritalin addiction include problems at school or work, physical health issues or changes in behavior. More signs of Ritalin problems and how to get help here.

153 Snorting Ritalin

Snorting Ritalin

April 2nd, 2012

Is snorting Ritalin safe. Can you snort Ritalin effectively or should you only take Ritalin orally? Does snorting Ritalin get you high? More on the dangers of snorting Ritaline and its effects here.

Page 1 of 212

Leave a Reply