How Much Ritalin Will Cause an Overdose?

How Much Ritalin Will Cause an Overdose?

The body can safely and sufficiently process only a certain amount of Ritalin. An overdose occurs when a Ritalin user has either intentionally or unintentionally ingested more than the amount that the body can process. Because overdosing on Ritalin would require taking a much larger dose than the therapeutic dose, a Ritalin overdose is, more often than not, intentional. Overdosing on Ritalin is dangerous and potentially fatal.

Ritalin is in a group of drugs called central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. It is used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and sleeping disorders, but because the drug is easily obtainable, it is a common drug of abuse. This is true particularly among students, who can obtain it from their peers and often view the drug as an academic performance enhancer.

How Does a Ritalin Overdose Occur?

An overdose is relative to the individual; there is no set amount of a substance that will cause an overdose. However, there are various factors that affect the possibility of overdose, including:

  • Tolerance – a first time user may be more susceptible to an overdose than a frequent or long-time user whose body has acclimated to having the drug in its system
  • Age and weight – e.g., a dose that might not affect an adult male could still pose a danger to a preteen girl
  • Mental and physical health conditions – an individual with a heart condition, high blood pressure, or a mental illness may find that it takes less of the drug to induce the symptoms of overdose than for a healthy person
  • Crushing and snorting or injecting the drug – this increases the potency of the drug and causes it to act faster
  • Combining it with alcohol or other drugs – a depressant such as alcohol will cause effects that conflict with Ritalin, confusing the brain. Combining Ritalin with another stimulant will increase Ritalin’s effects and put the heart at risk. Other drug combinations can be dangerous and even fatal.

Because there are many factors that contribute to a Ritalin overdose, users should only take the drug as prescribed by a doctor.

What Are the Dangers of Overdosing on Ritalin?

Symptoms of a Ritalin overdose include:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Psychosis (delusions, hallucinations)
  • Rapid breathing
  • Hyperactivity
  • Seizures
  • Muscle pains
  • Agitation
  • Confusion

The most serious risk of a Ritalin overdose is the possibility of cardiovascular effects such as irregular heart rate increased blood pressure. There is also a risk of stroke and of paranoia-like symptoms.

How Treatment Can Decrease the Risk of Overdose

The best way to avoid an overdose is to treat Ritalin addiction as soon as possible. Professional treatment will involve medically assisted detoxification followed by counseling and other forms of therapy that will help the user determine underlying factors in his choice to abuse Ritalin.

Treatment for acute overdose may be supportive intervention for the heart until the Ritalin has left the user’s system. Treatment for chronic overdose may include antipsychotics. Many of the immediate symptoms of Ritalin overdose resolve with time, unless the drug is combined with others – in which case the combination can cause irreparable damage to organs and even death.

Help for Ritalin Addiction

If you are struggling with a Ritalin addiction and no longer want to put yourself at risk, call our toll-free helpline to speak with a counselor about your professional treatment options. Our trained counselors are available 24 hours a day to help you find the addiction rehabilitation and treatment you need. Please call today.