Ritalin, Adderall* and Vyvanse are popular prescription medications used in the treatment of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). These amphetamine-like medications have central nervous system stimulant properties which help individuals diagnosed with ADHD to better focus their attention and control hyperactivity, so that they can learn more effectively and succeed in diverse environments such as work and school.
Ritalin is just one brand name for methylphenidate. Sustained- or extended-release formulas of methylphenidate are sold as Ritalin SR, Ritalin LA, Metadate ER, Metadate CD, Methylin ER and Concerta. ADHD affects an estimated 6 million children and teens in the United States, many of whom are helped considerably by the use of these ADHD medications.
How not to take Ritalin
Ritalin comes in 5, 10 and 20 mg water-soluble tablets intended for oral ingestion. Those who misuse Ritalin increase the amphetamine-like effects by crushing the tablets into a powder and snorting it or dissolving it in water for intravenous injection. Ritalin has a high potential for abuse. When injected it may produce feelings of euphoria.
About 15 years ago, it became news that college students across the country were beginning to use ADHD medications to pull all-nighters in order to cram for exams. This emerging trend has continued to gain momentum over the last decade with even high school students now using and abusing prescription stimulants for a variety of purposes. This has given rise to a secondary market in which students will sell Adderall, Ritalin, and Vyvanse to peers or strangers for monetary profit.
Ritalin is also diverted through “Attention Deficit Scams” in which a parent or other adult takes a child they claim has ADHD to a number of doctors to obtain prescriptions for Ritalin. The adult then keeps the drug for their own use or they sell or trade it for other drugs.
If you or someone you love has been abusing Ritalin or any other prescription medication, please call recoveryas.com at 1 (877) 968-6283. Trained addiction specialists will provide guidance and help you lay out an effective course of action to address all drug issues, including medicine abuse.
As powerful stimulants, these medications do have an addictive potential. When abused, they can cause dramatic weight loss as well as inducing paranoia, thought disturbance, impulsivity, aggression and even psychosis in some individuals.
A 2014 survey published by the Partnership for a Drug Free America highlights the growing prevalence of teens and young adults who are willing to try stimulants due to the perception that they are safe because they are prescribed. Prescription stimulants are still being misused to help keep students awake for studying, but they are now more commonly used as a life management tool to provide individuals with sustained energy so that they can party with friends, work, go to classes, study, get by on minimal sleep and then repeat the process all over again. These stimulant medications eventually become an essential catalyst for this unsustainable lifestyle, thus opening the door to increasing levels of stimulant abuse and addiction.
Effects of Ritalin abuse
The effects of long-term Ritalin abuse are similar to those experienced by amphetamine users, including anxiety and sleeplessness. Ritalin abusers who inject high doses on a daily basis may experience a toxic state resembling acute paranoid schizophrenia. Additionally, the talcum filler in the tablets abusers crush and dissolve in water may cause lesions at the injection site.
Children and adults prescribed Ritalin to treat ADHD or narcolepsy do not appear to develop tolerance to its therapeutic effects, but abusers develop tolerance to the effects they seek from the drug. Chronic heavy use can lead to physical dependence.
Withdrawal symptoms include exhaustion and severe emotional depression. Ritalin abusers who become psychologically dependent may experience cravings for the drug and feelings of panic if the drug becomes temporarily unavailable.
High doses of Ritalin lead to symptoms similar to those of other stimulant abuse, including tremors and muscle twitching, paranoia and a sensation of bugs or worms crawling under the skin. Ritalin can cause aggression, psychosis and an irregular heartbeat that can lead to death.
If you or a loved one are experiencing the effects of stimulant abuse, don’t wait another day to end your dependence on them. By calling recoveryas.com today at 1 (877) 968-6283, you can soon be on your way to a life of abstinence and self-control.
The call is toll free and you will never be charged for our services.
*To learn more about Adderall, please see Types of Addiction/Prescription Drugs/Adderall.