How Education Can Prevent Ritalin Addiction

How Education Can Prevent Ritalin Addiction

Ritalin abuse and addiction continues to increase among young people and adults. Millions of people mistakenly believe the drug is a relatively safe performance enhancer or stimulant. College students, young professionals, artists, teens, athletes and others turn to this easily accessible and relatively inexpensive drug, not realizing how dangerous it actually is. Improved education about the nature of this medication, its risks and how to safely discontinue use is needed in order to combat Ritalin misinformation.

What Is Ritalin?

Ritalin is an amphetamine salt. It produces a counter-intuitive effect when taken by people who suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It calms them and allows them to focus and concentrate better. For people who do not have ADHD, however, the drug acts as a slightly milder stimulant than its cousin methamphetamine. It gives users a rush of euphoria along with the ability to concentrate and work for extremely long hours with little to no sleep. This gives many people a competitive edge in their studies or in high-pressure workplaces, such as hospitals or law firms. Ritalin and similar ADHD medications are commonly used as “study drugs” by millions of students, who become physically and psychologically addicted very quickly.

Symptoms of Ritalin Addiction

When taken for an extended period of time, Ritalin causes the body to stop producing naturally occurring brain chemicals that affect sleeping and waking, concentration, memory and anxiety management. It also creates a powerful emotional compulsion within the minds of users. The following are just a handful of symptoms that may indicate that a person has become addicted to Ritalin:

  • Feelings of anxiety if the drug is not available
  • A need to be on the drug constantly
  • Fear of a drop in performance without the drug
  • Tremors, shakes or nervousness
  • Sleeplessness
  • Memory problems
  • A need for larger or more frequent doses in order to feel the desired effects
  • The act of combining Ritalin with alcohol or other drugs in order to enhance its effects
  • Confusion
  • Heart palpitations
  • Flushed skin
  • Dilated pupils
  • Irritability

If a Ritalin user is experiencing these symptoms of addiction, the user should seek treatment immediately.

Ritalin Addiction Recovery

Quitting Ritalin suddenly can be dangerous. Specialized Ritalin recovery programs offer carefully monitored, gradual detoxification and are often able to relieve many of the harshest withdrawal symptoms. Addicts are also unlikely to remain clean without comprehensive psychological rehabilitation. This often involves some or all of the following therapies:

  • Personal counseling
  • Education about Ritalin addiction and recovery
  • Support group meetings
  • Coping skill development

Ritalin recovery is difficult, but with the proper help, it is certainly possible. If left untreated, Ritalin abuse can lead to permanent brain damage, additional substance abuse, seizures, coma and death. Ritalin is definitely not the “safe” drug so many people believe it to be.

Improving Ritalin Education to Prevent Addiction

One of the most critical steps in the war on Ritalin addiction is correcting the vast amounts of bad information about the drug. It is essential that children, teens, college students, adults and medical professionals understand the truth about this drug. While there are several programs currently aiming to increase Ritalin understanding, much more should be done. If you would like more information about Ritalin abuse, addiction and recovery, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day and can equip you to make the best possible choices about Ritalin use in your own life, as well as the lives of your children. Call today.