Effects of Ritalin Abuse on the Immune System

Effects of Ritalin Abuse on the Immune System

The immune system is the body’s defense against millions of bacteria, parasites, viruses, and other microbes that it encounters every day. If the immune system is jeopardized, there is little else the body can do to fight off illness or infection.

Ritalin abuse causes wear and tear on the body, weakening its defenses and even putting users at risk of cardiovascular problems and serious central nervous system reactions.

How Can Ritalin Affect Physical Health?

Ritalin (methylphenidate) is in a class of drugs called central nervous system stimulants. It is used for the treatment of ADD and ADHD, as well as certain sleeping disorders like narcolepsy. If taken according to a prescription, it does not pose many dangers. But Ritalin abuse can take a swift and devastating toll when abused.

Because it is a central nervous system stimulant, Ritalin poses a danger to the nerves, muscles, and brain, especially with long-term use. Possible side effects of abuse include the following:

  • Loss of appetite (leading to malnutrition with long-term abuse)
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Nausea seizures
  • Damage to blood vessels
  • Infectious diseases (if injected)
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

Along with all of these dangers, Ritalin abuse puts users at risk of a weakened immune system. This results from exposure to chemical substances. Over time, the body becomes more susceptible to infectious disease and cancer. This could happen with drug abuse of any kind, which is why it is imperative that patients receiving treatment with Ritalin adhere to their prescriptions. Ritalin’s pharmacological effects are similar to those of cocaine and amphetamines, and when abused, especially by snorting or injecting, this prescription drug can be just as dangerous as its more illicit counterparts.

Other Dangers of Ritalin Abuse

Ritalin abuse can lead to addiction, which increases the likelihood that these side effects will occur. The body builds a tolerance to the drug, needing more to produce the same sensation of euphoria.

While the effects Ritalin can have on the body may seem to be the most dangerous and pressing side effects, it can also have harmful psychological effects. As with any drug, addiction to Ritalin changes the chemistry of the brain. It can cause such things as the following:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Confusion
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Changes in social behavior
  • Restlessness
  • Compulsions
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions

Help for Ritalin Addiction

If you are struggling with a Ritalin addiction and are ready to stop putting your mind and body at risk, call our toll-free helpline today to speak with trained counselors about your professional treatment options. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to put you in touch with the resources you need to make a full recovery. Call us today.