How Can I Tell If My Child Is High on Ritalin?

Ritalin is a prescription stimulant that is commonly prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It works by increasing the dopamine levels in the brain to improve concentration. However, because dopamine is associated closely with reward and pleasure systems in the brain, when larger than recommended doses are taken it can result in a euphoric high. Because Ritalin is easily obtained, it is becoming an increasingly popular drug among students. It is often crushed and snorted or mixed with water and taken intravenously in order to achieve feelings of euphoria.

Should I Be Worried about My Child Getting High When Taking Ritalin for ADHD?

When someone is using Ritalin exactly as prescribed and under the care of a qualified physician, there is little risk of that person getting high. When a patient with ADHD requires Ritalin, that individual is given gradually increasing doses in a controlled manner to build up dopamine levels and not incite a high. The dose prescribed is low enough that it doesn’t cause any sort of intoxication, and there is little threat of addiction. As long as the drug is used correctly, there shouldn’t’ be a problem. However if your child begins to experiment with using larger doses of the drug, it could result in significant problems.

Is a Ritalin High Bad?

Ritalin is often abused for its ability to help you focus, stay awake and alert for longer hours than normal and help you lose weight. It can also make you feel more outgoing and boost your self-confidence. However these seemingly pleasant results are only temporary, and, if the abuse of the drug continues, it can have disastrous consequences. The effects of taking large amounts of Ritalin cannot be sustained. The human body cannot handle the demand the drug places on it for a long period of time. If Ritalin abuse is continued, it can cause the following:

  • Extended insomnia
  • Elevated heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • The potential for heart attacks
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Restlessness
  • Depressions

Ritalin abuse can lead to addiction which can cause a person to become consumed by the drug to the detriment of every other area of his or her life. How Can I Tell If My Child Is Using Ritalin? If you suspect your child might be using Ritalin without a prescription or not according to the prescription that was given, the following signs may indicate abuse:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extended periods of wakefulness followed by periods of depression
  • Dramatic mood wings
  • Lying and other suspicious behaviors
  • Aggression
  • Paranoia
  • Sudden changes in friends

If an addiction to Ritalin is present, professional treatment will need to occur. This might include a program of medical detox accompanied by addiction rehab. In order to fully recover from Ritalin addiction both the physical addiction and any underlying issues contributing to the addiction will need to be treated. Do You Need Ritalin Help? Do you suspect your child or someone you know might be using Ritalin for the wrong reasons? Please call and get help from one of our counselors. We are here 24 hours a day and the call is free, so call us today.