Ritalin Abuse

While Methylphenidate (MPH) (brand name of Ritalin) is most often prescribed for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHA) and attention deficit disorder (ADD). It is a very powerful stimulant that has pharmacological effects similar to those of cocaine and amphetamines.

Even though Ritalin is a controlled substance, it is readily available and inexpensive, which contribute to its potential for abuse. Reports are showing that teens and young adults are using Ritalin for its stimulant effects:

  • Appetite suppression
  • Wakefulness
  • Increased attentiveness
  • Increased focus
  • Euphoria

While the tablets can be taken orally, when abusing Ritalin, people may crush the tablet into a powder and snort it or dissolve the tablets with water and inject the mixture. Complications from injection are common since the fillers that are used in manufacturing Ritalin are not soluble in water and when injected they can block small blood vessels causing damage to the lungs and retina.

When abused, Ritalin can also cause a Ritalin addiction problem when excessive doses are consumed over a long period of time. It is also possible to develop tolerance to the drug so that larger doses are needed to produce the original effect leading to more drug use and an increased risk of unwanted side effects and addiction.

Ritalin Abuse Effects

Extended or abusive use of Ritalin can result in mental and emotional changes in a person because the drug increases the levels of dopamine in the brain, a neurotransmitter linked to mood, pleasure and behavior. Some effects of Ritalin and changes include:

  • Depression a mood disorder characterized by sadness, withdrawal from people and activities, feeling hopelessness and helpless, self-blame, and changes in eating and sleeping patterns.
  • Hallucinations and delusions – long term Ritalin use can cause a person to experience hallucinations and delusions. A hallucination is seeing, hearing or feeling things that don’t exist while a delusion is a false belief that a person strongly believes in. In addition, some people have paranoia or psychotic episodes.
  • Anxiety – with short-term use of Ritalin, some people experience nervousness or dizziness. However, in some long-term Ritalin users, a strong anxiety occurs that is typically coupled with restlessness or compulsions.
  • Behavioral Changes – abnormal or strange behavior is another mental change that results from Ritalin use such as agitation, aggressive behavior, confusion or being more social and talkative than normal.

Get Help for Ritalin Addiction

Determining when a person’s use of Ritalin moves from therapeutic to addictive is difficult to do, especially if the person is a family member or friend. However, it is possible and we can help, so please call our toll free number today at 855-396-3024.  We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about Ritalin addiction treatment.  We are here to help.