Ritalin Addiction, Abuse and Treatment
In the early 1990s, Ritalin production dramatically increased in the U.S., which corresponded to an increase in Ritalin abuse and dependence.
Ritalin is a methylphenidate. Methylphenidates have similar effects and pharmacological uses similar to amphetamines.
Ritalin comes in tablets and capsules and is mostly prescribed to children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It comes in both sustained-release and extended-release compounds.
Although it has demonstrated significant success in treating ADHD, it also comes with high abuse potential. In the surge of Ritalin prescriptions throughout the 1990s, there was a consequent rise in abuse. If you or a family member is struggling with a Ritalin addiction, learn how to get help.
Ritalin Abuse and Effects
Like amphetamines, Ritalin increases alertness and concentration. It is often abused by professionals, students and athletes to increase productivity. It is listed as a Schedule II federally controlled substance because of its high potential for abuse.
Consumption of Methylphenidates like Ritalin is markedly higher in the United States than in other countries. This is likely due to how accessible it is. Many students who are prescribed Ritalin have given or sold their medication to other students to help them study.
Ritalin is often the first drug prescribed upon the initial diagnosis of ADHD. Its effects are relatively short at about one to four hours. Of course, those who abuse Ritalin are likely to take larger doses to lengthen the time of its effects.
Those with mood disorders that abuse Ritalin may experience even worse symptoms and behavior. This is because the synergistic effect of their disorder combined with the drug’s interaction can heighten side effects.
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Signs of a Ritalin Addiction
A telltale sign of a problem is continuing to use Ritalin despite wanting to quit. If someone recognizes that there are severe negative consequences from using Ritalin but still can’t quit on their own, an addiction is likely present. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders outlines criteria of addiction. Learn how professionals diagnose Ritalin addiction today.
Treatment for a Ritalin Addiction
The course for treatment may be different depending on when the person started using Ritalin. Those prescribed it at a young age often have a harder time overcoming a physical and mental dependence on it, because most of their young life has been spent on it. Treatment programs for Ritalin addiction should target the underlying behaviors and thought processes that cause Ritalin use.
Getting over any addiction isn’t easy, and an addiction to Ritalin is no exception. Repeated use of the drug will lead to a physical dependence on it, spurring withdrawal symptoms when stopping. Withdrawal symptoms can be serious and necessitate a reputable detox program.
However, battling the physical side of an addiction to Ritalin is only part of recovery. To continue a successful recovery you will need the support of others. Call us now to get help taking control of your life.