Use of Ritalin has increased dramatically in recent years. Despite a lack of hard data regarding the long-term effects of administering stimulants to children Ritalin is widely prescribed to school age children in an effort to get them to sit still, pay attention and do well in school. There is enormous controversy surrounding this practice. The manufacturer is enjoying huge profits as a result of this trend, and many opponents of the practice contend that the profit motive is a major factor in the widespread use of Ritalin.
The Effects of Ritalin
The effects of Ritalin are similar to those of cocaine, and Ritalin is known in street slang as “kiddie coke.” However due to its legal status and the fact that it is so commonly prescribed to children its use does not possess the stigma attached to cocaine, and many young people use Ritalin recreationally. Ritalin does not produce a euphoric effect comparable to that of cocaine when taken orally at normal prescription doses, but the euphoric effect is increased to levels comparable to that of cocaine when Ritalin is crushed and snorted, injected or taken orally in large doses.
As a result of the increasing availability of the drug Ritalin is finding its way onto the black market. The supply of contraband Ritalin originates from diversion of legal prescriptions rather than illegal manufacture. It has become common for Ritalin users to sell their prescription Ritalin to others. Individuals who engage in this practice can thereby possess a drug legally, yet sell it at black market prices and make a significant profit.
Reasons People Use Ritalin
The primary legal use of Ritalin is to enable children who have been labeled as hyperactive to focus and sit still in school. Illicit use of Ritalin has become quite common by the following:
- Ritalin is taken by recreational drug users for its cocaine like high
- It is used by college students to stay awake and alert during long study sessions
- Ritalin is taken by workers such as truck drivers to stay awake for long shifts
- It is used by people who want to lose weight
The reason behind Ritalin abuse does not matter, as all non-prescribed use is equally dangerous.
The Costs of Ritalin Addiction
More research is needed on the long-term effects of Ritalin use, but existing data suggest that the negative effects of long-term Ritalin use, especially at high doses, are similar to those of cocaine and amphetamines and may include damage to the heart and psychiatric problems such as paranoia, hallucinations and psychosis. Large doses of any stimulant has the potential to cause fatal cardiac arrest. People who become addicted to Ritalin will have a hard time quitting on their own and are likely to require extensive inpatient treatment.
Questions about Ritalin Use, Abuse, Addiction or Treatment?
If you have questions about Ritalin or would like help finding treatment for Ritalin addiction call our 24 hour helpline today. All calls and phone services are toll free, and we are here to provide information and help for anyone who asks. Please call now.