How to Stop Self-Medicating

How to Stop Self-Medicating

Self-medication is defined as using a substance or behavior to control the symptoms of an undiagnosed and unmanaged physical or psychological condition. Self-medication can come in many forms, and often the person who has been prescribed a medication to manage pain or other symptoms uses his or her medication in ways other than directed by a doctor. Self-medicating in this way can be dangerous and lead to drug dependence and addiction. Although it may seem like adjusting your dosage or using the drug when you need something to get you through a difficult time is a good way to manage your condition, it can only complicate your issues and make your overall situation worse.

Self-Medication and Ritalin

Ritalin is a stimulant drug used to control the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Ritalin works to calm brain chemicals that may become unbalanced, especially in the areas of hyperactivity and impulse control. People who use Ritalin for ADHD are able to remain calm and focused for longer periods of time. Ritalin is highly habit forming, and using the drug in larger amounts or for longer periods of time than prescribed by a physician can lead to addiction. As with any drug, a person using Ritalin may believe that more of the drug will lead to better and faster results, or that an additional dose may make him feel better if he is having a particularly bad day. But self-medicating in this way can be dangerous. If you or a loved one uses Ritalin, look for these signs of Ritalin dependence:

  • Needing more of the drug before the next dose is due
  • Becoming preoccupied with getting and using the drug
  • Needing a supply of the drug on hand at all times
  • Going into debt to get and use Ritalin
  • Engaging in illegal behaviors, like stealing to get and use the drug
  • Changes in physical appearance, especially in the area of personal hygiene

The Self-Medication Myth

Although self-medication may seem like a good idea, when it comes to habit-forming drugs, the dangers far outweigh anything that might appear to be a benefit. If you or a loved one’s symptoms are not well controlled on your current Ritalin dosage, it’s time to talk to your doctor about making a change. Adjusting Ritalin on your own or using the drug recreationally or in ways other than prescribed can lead to addiction.

Finding Help for Ritalin Addiction

If you or a loved one struggles with Ritalin addiction, we are here to help you. Call our toll-free helpline 24 hours a day to speak to an admissions coordinator about available treatment options.