Men and Ritalin Abuse

Men and Ritalin Abuse

Ritalin is a medication prescribed for people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It stimulates the brain to increase concentration, impulse control, and decision-making abilities.

Ritalin is highly addictive and mimics the effects of cocaine when crushed and snorted. Recreational abuse typically follows a “binge and crash” cycle during which time the drug’s euphoric high disappears before the substance leaves an individual’s system. To maintain the high, users often ingest greater doses of Ritalin. This heightens the rollercoaster effect. Tolerance and dependence can quickly develop.

Signs of Ritalin addiction include the following:

  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Delirium
  • Hallucinations
  • Fever
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Flushing
  • High blood pressure
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting

Some people become addicted to Ritalin accidentally because they wrongly believe prescription drugs are not as dangerous as street drugs. Another misconception that allows individuals to ignore Ritalin abuse is the notion that they must “hit bottom” before getting sober. In truth, people who seek help quickly – before physical and psychological dependence become severe – are more likely to recover and avoid relapse.

Male Ritalin Abuse

In the past, society viewed drug addiction as a character flaw and a sign of moral weakness. Other misconceptions included the following:

  • Addicts are bad, crazy, or stupid
  • Addiction is a willpower problem
  • Addicts should be punished – not treated – for using drugs
  • People addicted to one drug are addicted to all drugs
  • Addicts cannot be treated with medication
  • Addiction is not a true brain disease

Today, it is widely understood that even “good” men can become addicted to Ritalin, and that willpower alone cannot end substance abuse. Instead of being viewed as reprobates, addicted individuals are seen as people who need treatment. Several factors that make men vulnerable to addiction include the following:

  • Exposure to traumatic events
  • Negative psychological conditions
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Codependence
  • Low self-esteem
  • History of physical or sexual abuse
  • Mental health problems

Since 1990, domestic and worldwide use of methylphenidates such as Ritalin has risen sharply. The United States is the primary consumer of Ritalin. As the number of legitimate users increases, so does the population of people abusing the drug. Statistics about the impact Ritalin has on communities include the following:

  • Ritalin is one of the top ten stolen prescription drugs in America
  • In 2010, 1.5% of 8th graders, 2.7% of 10th graders and 2.7% of 12th graders reported nonmedical use of Ritalin
  • In 2009, the highest nonmedical use of methylphenidate was among 18 to 25 year olds
  • The American Association of Poison Control Centers reported 9,215 methylphenidate exposures in 2009
  • In 2009, 4,953 people visited the emergency room for nonmedical use of methylphenidates

On the street, Ritalin is called “kiddie coke,” “Vitamin R,” and “The R Ball.” Unlike other central nervous stimulants such as cocaine, it cannot be produced clandestinely. It is obtained through phony prescriptions, doctor shopping, pharmacy theft, and from individuals who possess it legitimately.

Recovery from Ritalin Addiction

If you or someone you love struggles with Ritalin abuse, help is available. Admissions coordinators at our toll free, 24 hour support line can guide you to wellness. Don’t go it alone when help is just one phone call away. You never have to go back to a life of addiction. Start your recovery now.