How Ritalin Abuse Can Mask Antisocial Personality Disorder

How Ritalin Abuse Can Mask Antisocial Personality Disorder

Ritalin is a amphetamine prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). As a central nervous system stimulant, Ritalin has pharmacological properties similar to cocaine, and the drug is commonly abused for illicit purposes, including the following:

  • To gain an academic or athletic advantage
  • To achieve a euphoric rush or high
  • To increase energy while partying
  • To achieve rapid weight loss

While the medication can help with ADHD, it can actually mask the symptoms of other conditions, such as antisocial personality disorder (ASPD).

Signs of Antisocial Personality Disorder

Typically beginning during one’s adolescent or teen years, ASPD is a mental health condition characterized by long-term patterns of exploiting, manipulating and disregarding others. Early signs can include animal cruelty and starting fires, but more signs emerge during adulthood, including the following:

  • Callous and cynical opinions of other people’s rights
  • Indifference toward what other people suffer
  • An exaggerated sense of self-worth and importance
  • Disregard for social norms and legal boundaries
  • Willful deceit to achieve selfish ends
  • A history of emotional and physical assaults
  • Consistently irresponsible behavior without remorse

ASPD individuals, sometimes referred to as “sociopaths,” can also be surprisingly charming and witty. As stated above, the goal of an ASPD individual is to exploit and manipulate, and superficial charms help facilitate these acts.

Ritalin Abuse and ASPD

Antisocial personality disorders can be difficult to diagnosis and treat. A Ritalin addiction complicates the problem for a variety of reasons, including the following:

  • Ritalin abuse and antisocial behavior share similar symptoms, including a disregard for safety, increased aggression and an inflation of ego.
  • Addiction in general inspires deceptive acts, such as hiding drug stashes and signs of abuse, which can carry over to disguising sociopathic personality traits.
  • ASPD behaviors are often attributed entirely to the Ritalin addiction, or vice versa, masking the presence of the other problem.

Certain drugs temporarily suppress the effects of a personality disorder, but Ritalin actually intensifies the antisocial symptoms. To this end, Ritalin abuse masks an ASPD condition by acting as the scapegoat for all the behavioral problems. A trained professional is necessary to diagnosis co-occurring conditions like these, and integrated treatment is the best path to a full recovery.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Ritalin addiction and ASPD must be addressed concurrently since leaving one condition untreated will compromise the recovery of both. Dual Diagnosis treatment is a form of integrated care that treats multiple conditions at once, and it involves the following:

  • Medically supervised Ritalin detox in a comfortable facility
  • Screenings to identify other personality and mood disorders
  • Holistic approaches to minimize long-term withdrawal symptoms
  • Behavioral therapies that shape a positive attitude and healthier responses
  • Strategies to resist triggers that motivate drug use or antisocial behavior
  • Exploration of the underlying causes of the addiction and disorder
  • Counseling to address any past traumas or abuse
  • Intensive group therapy and individual counseling

ASPD requires long-term treatment, and rehab programs can set up a case manager or other system that assists with the ongoing treatment.

Addiction and Mental Health Helpline

Ritalin abuse and ASPD are serious conditions that require professional help. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to speak with a trained counselor who can discuss warning signs, treatment options, interventions and any related issues. We can also check health insurance policies for coverage. It is imperative to get help, so please call now.