How Each Person’s Recovery from Ritalin Is Unique

How Each Person’s Recovery from Ritalin Is Unique

Ritalin, a brand name formulation of methylphenidate, is a central nervous system stimulant that doctors often prescribe to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes that Ritalin increases dopamine, a chemical associated with brain reward and memory. Extended or excessive Ritalin use can produce an addiction even when prescribed for medical reasons, but some people take the drug for non-medical reasons such as the pursuit of a euphoric high. The path to Ritalin addiction involves countless potential factors, and for this reason, each person’s path to recovery is unique with distinct challenges, goals and stages.

Reasons for Ritalin Abuse

One factor that makes recovery unique for each person is the initial reason for use. While people can become addicted with prescribed use, many people acquire Ritalin illegally and take it without medical supervision. Some illicit users even crush the pills and consume the drug through the nasal passage or intravenous injection. There are several possible motivations for illicit use, including the following:

  • Increase mental sharpness for an athletic or academic advantage
  • Experience a stimulating euphoric high from the dopamine increase
  • Assist with attempts to lose weight at a dangerously rapid pace
  • Use as a cocaine alternative with intranasal use of crushed pill powder
  • Stay awake or provide a jolt of energy and alertness
  • Mask the symptoms of an undiagnosed mental health disorder

A study published in the Pharmacotherapy journal in 2006 tracked illicit prescription stimulant use among college students, a demographic that has one of the highest rates of Ritalin abuse. Students reported on their primary reasons for illicit use, which included improved concentration (65%), study help (60%), mental alertness (48%) and getting high (31%). Moreover, 38% reported snorting crushed pills, and the most commonly abused stimulant was methylphenidate formulations like Ritalin.

Comprehensive Ritalin Addiction Treatment

As seen by the Pharmacotherapy study, Ritalin is different from many other addictive drugs in that illicit use often involves more than just getting high, and deeper issues like depression, poor self-image, competitive pressure and anxiety often drive these motivations. When it comes to treating addiction, it is essential to treat the entire person, which includes underlying issues and motivations. Addicts typically have a combination of recovery needs, and rehab centers design comprehensive, yet flexible and adaptable plans to address them. With so many variables, each recovery is truly unique, but treatment and recovery support are designed to adapt to changing needs.

There are several examples of how treatment might address particular issues, including the following:

  • The development of life skills like stress management, conflict resolution and relaxation exercises to minimize relapse triggers
  • Integrated treatment for co-occurring mental health and personality disorders like bipolar, depression, anxiety and narcissism
  • The use of behavioral therapies that target maladaptive thought patterns, irrational beliefs and negative thinking
  • The use of motivational therapies that guide patients to find and embrace personal reasons to want to recover
  • Holistic therapies and techniques to assist with ongoing ADHD issues

These programmed therapies represent only a handful of options that are available to meet the unique recovery needs to each individual patient. If you want to know how rehab could benefit you or a loved one, our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to help. We can discuss the various treatment options, recommend facilities and even check health insurance plans for benefits. While each recovery is unique, most begin when a person asks for help. Please call our toll-free helpline now.