Physical Complications of Abusing Ritalin

Physical Complications of Abusing Ritalin

Ritalin is an extremely common prescription drug used to treat attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD.) When used by individuals who have that disorder, and in the prescribed doses, the drug is highly effective. Although it is a stimulant, it has a counter-intuitive effect for patients, as it slows down the brain to allow for focus, self-control and concentration. However, when abused by someone who does not have ADHD, the drug is basically speed: it is highly addictive and quite dangerous. It is also one of the most commonly abused drugs on college campuses today, so seek help to quit abusing this powerful, dangerous drug.

Physical Side Effects of Ritalin Abuse

Ritalin, a brand name for methylphenidate, is an amphetamine that was first formulated in the 1940s to treat narcolepsy and the effects of other medications. It was first seen as an effective treatment for hyperactivity in the 1960s, but it was not widely used until the 1990s, when prescriptions multiplied by a factor of five. The intended micro-doses of Ritalin effectively treat attention problems in millions of Americans today, but when abused the drug acts similarly as methamphetamine—it allows users to stay awake and to pay attention for extended periods of time. Because of these effects, it is commonly abused by students and young adults in competitive environments. It is essentially a performance enhancer for people who must think, but this type of abuse is far from safe.

The physical side effects of Ritalin abuse include the following issues:

  • Suppressed appetite
  • Impaired movement
  • Headaches
  • Irregular or racing heartbeat
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rashes
  • Exhilaration
  • Agitation and irritability
  • Muscle spasms
  • Dilated pupils
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Fever
  • Delirium
  • Seizures and coma
  • Skin crawls
  • Flushing
  • Anxiety and restlessness
  • Persistent sleep disorders (insomnia, night terrors and etc.)

People that abuse the drug by crushing and snorting or injecting it may experience intense panic attacks, paranoia or even a condition that resembles paranoid schizophrenia. While legitimate patients using the drug as prescribed rarely experience tolerance or withdrawal symptoms, Ritalin abusers will experience both. Withdrawal symptoms can include intense psychological cravings, severe sleepiness and depression with thoughts of suicide.

Safely Ending Ritalin Abuse

After becoming addicted to Ritalin, it is dangerous to quit cold turkey. The safest and most effective way to quit abusing drugs is under the close medical supervision of a recovery doctor and staff. Many of the worst withdrawal symptoms can be relieved medically, and a comprehensive approach recovery to can address the psychological aspects of Ritalin addiction. Psychological addiction is much more powerful than the physical one, so treating it is essential for recovery to endure. If left untreated, many Ritalin addicts eventually move up to methamphetamine, cocaine or other stimulants, as the drug fails to give them the boost they crave. In other words, seek help before drug abuse claims your life.

Find Help for Ritalin Abuse

If you would like more information about the physical effects of Ritalin abuse, or you would like to be connected with an addiction treatment program, then please call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline now. Our admissions coordinators are always available to answer your questions and to get you the help you need.