Problems with a Ritalin High

Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a drug prescribed to treat certain medical conditions such as narcolepsy, tachycardia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is a stimulant drug that is structurally similar to amphetamine and pharmacologically similar to cocaine. Abuse of Ritalin is a serious and growing problem.

Downsides to Using Ritalin Recreationally

People who take Ritalin recreationally do so because it can cause euphoria and increased alertness. Unfortunately, there are many downsides and problems associated with abusing Ritalin. Ritalin can be a useful drug, and, when people use it under a doctor’s care, their risk of addiction is relatively low. When Ritalin is abused, the addiction potential is high. Ritalin has a powerful effect on the central nervous system. When cocaine addicts take Ritalin intravenously, they find the two drugs to be almost equal in effect. Ritalin has many of the same properties that make cocaine so addictive.

Physical Effects of Ritalin Abuse

Use of stimulants like Ritalin in doses higher than medically recommended is associated with higher rates of psychosis and psychiatric admissions. Ritalin abuse can also affect neurotransmitter levels. Ritalin increases the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, and the body reacts and adjusts to the drug’s effects. Generally when a drug increases the amount of dopamine in the body, the body reacts by producing less on its own or by making receptors less sensitive. This means that when drug use is stopped, levels of the neurotransmitter are unnaturally low. Low dopamine levels can lead to anhedonia, or the inability to feel pleasure. Other long-term physical effects of Ritalin use include the following:

  • Malnutrition because of loss of appetite
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Irregular breathing
  • Severe headaches
  • Paranoia
  • Delusions

Behavioral Effects of Ritalin Abuse

People under the influence of mood-altering drugs like Ritalin often do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do and which they later regret. Some actions have serious consequences. Driving while high, for example, can be dangerous both to users and those around them and can also lead to legal trouble. When people habitually abuse a drug, it becomes important to them, and former values and interests fade in importance. When relationships are neglected due to drug use, there can be much tension. A change in priorities can also lead to problems at work or school.

A Ritalin High Isn’t Worth the Problems

If you’ve realized that a Ritalin high isn’t worth the risk, give us a call and let us discuss rehab options with you. Our number is toll free, and our knowledgeable phone counselors can answer your questions and provide you with options. They can even check your insurance coverage at no cost or obligation. Our helpline is staffed around the clock, so don’t wait to get help or information. Call now.