ADHD and Ritalin Abuse

ADHD and Ritalin Abuse

Ritalin is a medication that doctors often prescribe to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); however, despite its medical use, it is highly addictive. This central nervous system stimulant is pharmacologically similar to cocaine, as it provides a euphoric high by increasing dopamine levels in the brain. Reasons for illicit use include weight lose, getting high or seeking an athletic or academic advantage. Still, many users start taking the drug under a doctor’s care and become unintentionally addicted. This can lead to the following problems:

  • Taking higher doses than prescribed
  • Continuing use beyond the doctor’s recommendation
  • Cravings for more as the body develops a tolerance
  • Turning to illicit providers for more pills

Once tolerance and addiction develop, a user’s brain chemistry changes to usurp the flow of dopamine. Soon, addicts experience limited pleasure from anything other than the drug itself.

ADHD and Addiction Treatment

An addiction that occurs in a legitimate ADHD patient requires integrated treatment to address both conditions at once. When a person treats just one of these issues, the remaining condition makes a relapse or setback much more likely. For example, if a person only treats the addiction, ADHD can cause the following problems:

  • Losing focus on how to apply recovery tools
  • ADHD symptoms like impatience and impulsivity can trigger drug use
  • Ongoing ADHD side effects might motivate Ritalin relapse

Likewise, continued Ritalin abuse can derail ADHD treatment in the following ways:

  • Physical tolerance limits the drug’s efficacy on ADHD
  • Addiction causes neurobiological changes that can accelerate other disorders
  • Drug abuse limits the ability to evaluate and treat ADHD and other conditions

It is also important to recognize that co-occurring conditions like ADHD and Ritalin addiction can be especially dangerous. A Ritalin overdose can be life threatening, but ADHD individuals might struggle to recall usage rates or fear the risks of drug abuse. Overdose warning signs include stomach cramps, disorientation, hallucinations, rapid breathing, tremors, convulsions and an irregular heartbeat.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual Diagnosis treatment is addiction care that treats multiple conditions at once, like addiction and ADHD. This type of treatment includes the following methods:

  • Detox in a comfortable, medically supervised facility
  • Mental health screenings to identify any additional disorders
  • Holistic and natural options to treat ADHD and its symptoms
  • Techniques to improve energy, focus and concentration
  • Behavioral therapies that improve outlook and attitude
  • Recognize personal drug-use triggers and how to avoid them
  • Intensive group therapy and counseling

The goal of rehab is to break the cycle of Ritalin abuse and utilize non-pharmaceutical treatment. By tackling both conditions simultaneously, Dual Diagnosis treatment strengthens the patient’s ability to overcome each issue.

Addiction and ADHD Help

If you are ready to treat ADHD and Ritalin addiction, call our counselors right now, as they are available 24 hours a day on our toll-free helpline. They can answer questions about treatment and ADHD care. They can also discuss warning signs and check your health insurance policy for treatment coverage. We want to help, so if you want to end your addiction and ADHD struggle, call today.