Ritalin is the trade name for methylphenidate, which is used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD) and can be very addictive if misused or if injected or snorted. Ritalin is classified as a Schedule II drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which means it has a high potential for abuse. Ritalin addiction normally occurs when it is taken for non-medical purposes or in excess. Ritalin is often used to help the user lose weight, improve alertness or to get high by people with Ritalin addiction. This drug is also known as a “smart drug” for its reputation of improving academic performance, although that is still a highly debated topic.
When individuals take Ritalin in ways other than what is intended, they can experience a high. When it’s snorted, the effects of Ritalin can be comparable to those of cocaine and can produce a feeling of euphoria. When taken intravenously, the effects are much stronger and can lead to addiction.
Signs and Symptoms of Ritalin Addiction or Abuse
It can be hard to tell if you or a loved one is abusing or is addicted to Ritalin, therefor it is important to know and be able to spot the signs and symptoms of Ritalin abuse, whether it be in yourself or a loved one. The signs and symptoms you may see in someone who is abusing or has a Ritalin addiction include:
Rapid hear rate
Dizziness or feeling faint
Abuse and addiction to this drug is occurring earlier and earlier in people’s lives, making it more important than ever to know the above signs and symptoms so addiction can be stopped as early as possible.
Ritalin Abuse Effects
Long term use can result in severe and unwanted side effects. Regular use can lead to the following effects:
Tending to be violent
If you notice that you or a loved one are experiencing any of the above effects, signs or symptoms, they may have an abuse problem. It is important to seek help immediately to prevent overdose and even death.
Treatment for Ritalin Abuse
Finding the correct treatment option is the one of the most important steps in recovering from Ritalin abuse. The important thing to know is that no two Ritalin addicts are the same. Severity of the addiction, family situations and other conditions will help you decide the best option for you. Treatment options include 12-step programs, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, SMART recovery, faith-based treatment programs and more.
The rate of Ritalin addiction is increasing, mostly because there are more and more ADHD and ADD diagnoses each year, which in turn makes the availability increase. Understanding and helping others know the following statistics can help decrease the rate of addiction:
The number of visits to the emergency room due to complications went from 13,379 in 2005 to 31,244 in 2010, according to SAMHSA’s Dawn Report.
Eleven percent of children in the US were diagnosed with ADHD in 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
1.3 million teens reported to the Partnership Attitude Tracking Study that they misused Ritalin or Adderall in the past 30 days.
Additionally, teens and college students are at a high risk of developing Ritalin addiction. They obtain the drug from friends who have prescriptions or from relatives who leave their prescription unattended. In 2016, a survey done by Recovery Brands revealed that 63 percent of young individuals between 18 and 28 years old got their prescription stimulants from friends. More than 20 percent obtained them through a family member and almost 20 percent were able to get them from other students. Most students start taking Ritalin because it is thought to improve their academic performance and boost their competitive edge.
To help prevent teens and college students from abusing Ritalin, those who are prescribed it for medical purposes can make sure to keep track of their medication and keep it in a secure place that cannot be easily accessed by roommates, friends or family members. Parents can help by having a conversation with their teens about the true effects Ritalin can have on them.
Finding Treatment for Abuse
At Behavioral Rehabilitation Services, we have created a drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation program that is specifically designed in such a way as to adapt to each client’s needs and wants. We not only deliver what our clients need, but we also provide them with what they want in order for their stay to be as pleasant as possible. Our facility is located in an ideal area that provides a very comfortable and secure place, which is far away from the stress of every day life. If you or a loved on are struggling with addiction, we encourage you to contact us today to speak confidentially with one of our treatment advisors to see how we can help you.