Do I Need a Psychiatrist for Ritalin Addiction Recovery?

Do I Need a Psychiatrist for Ritalin Addiction Recovery?

Ritalin is a central nervous system stimulant used to treat the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Ritalin works in the brain to calm brain chemicals that may become unbalanced, especially in the areas of hyperactivity and impulse control. Psychiatrists and pediatricians work together to evaluate school-age children and prescribe a dosage of medication that will be most beneficial to the child with ADHD. However, Ritalin is highly habit forming and can lead to addiction if taken in larger amounts or for longer periods of time than prescribed by a physician. Children who are diagnosed with ADHD and treated with Ritalin often take the drug for many years. College students in particular seem to be at greater risk for Ritalin addiction since they may be tempted to use their prescription as a study aid when preparing for tests or other high-pressure class projects. People who are addicted to Ritalin may need the help of a psychiatrist as part of their treatment program.

Ritalin Addiction

Ritalin addiction develops over time, as the person using the drug needs more of the substance to achieve the same level of impulse and hyperactivity control. When someone starts using his or her medication in ways other than prescribed or increasing the dose without a doctor’s supervision, addiction can develop. People who use Ritalin may demonstrate drug-seeking behaviors, such as becoming preoccupied with getting and using the drug and needing a supply of the drug on hand at all times. Other symptoms that may indicate there is a dependence on Ritalin include the following:

  • “Doctor shopping” to get new prescriptions for the drug
  • Going in to debt to get and use Ritalin
  • Buying Ritalin from fellow students to increase focus while studying
  • Engaging in dangerous or illegal activities while under the influence of the drug

When these types of behaviors are evident in you or your loved one, it is time to get help. Ritalin addiction, like other forms of substance abuse, requires detox and rehab for successful recovery.

Ritalin Addiction Treatment

Ritalin addiction treatment begins with a period of medically-supervised detox. Detox is an important part of the process, as those who are addicted to Ritalin may have been taking the drug for a very long time. Medically-supervised detox helps those in treatment deal with difficult and painful side effects in safe ways. After detox, doctors, therapists, and often psychiatrists will work with the patient to determine the reasons for the Ritalin abuse. Once the team reaches a proper diagnosis, group and individual therapy and Ritalin alternatives may be used to treat the addiction. The psychiatrist will work with the patient to balance the medication in order to appropriately deal with the addiction and control the symptoms of ADHD.

Finding Help for Ritalin Addiction

Ritalin can be an important part of an overall treatment plan for treating ADHD. However, using the drug in ways other than prescribed can lead to addiction. If you or a loved one struggles with Ritalin addiction, we are here to help you. Call our toll-free, 24 hour number to speak to an admissions coordinator. We are ready to answer your questions and help you find treatment.