Ritalin Abuse in Africa

Ritalin Abuse in Africa

Historically, drug abuse in Africa has involved the following substances: marijuana, heroin, and cocaine. Marijuana, which grows naturally on the continent, is the most commonly abused substance in Africa. Heroin and cocaine were introduced later through drug trafficking. Though illegal substances have historically been the most common substances of abuse in Africa, the abuse of prescription drugs, such as Ritalin, is a growing problem around the world, and African nations are no exception.

While there are not many statistics concerning drug abuse in Africa, South Africa in particular has experienced increasing problems with prescription drug abuse. As Africa’s most developed nation, South Africa offers its residents better access to healthcare. However, more access to healthcare inevitably leads to more access to prescription drugs, placing South African residents at a higher risk for problems related to prescription drug abuse.

Who Abuses Ritalin?

Ritalin is a brand name for the substance methylphenidate. In South Africa, Ritalin is classified as a Schedule 7 drug, along with morphine and other opiates. Schedule 7 drugs are addictive and can only be obtained with a prescription. Ritalin is commonly prescribed to children for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Unfortunately, Ritalin can create effects similar to cocaine and is therefore abused by children, teenagers, and adults.

Similar to other parts of the world, students in Africa abuse Ritalin to cope with the large amount of academic work they are required to do. Medical students and university students in South Africa have reported snorting crushed Ritalin to help them focus while studying for exams. In other instances of Ritalin abuse, mothers may take their children’s Ritalin for energy and focus, especially when facing a stressful project or a long night of childcare.

Risks of Ritalin Abuse

Africans who misuse Ritalin are vulnerable to certain health risks. The health risks of Ritalin abuse include the following:

  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Psychosis
  • Depression
  • Malnutrition
  • Liver, kidney, and lung damage

Though drug rehab programs are scarce in other parts of Africa, there are drug addiction treatment programs available throughout South Africa. Those who abuse Ritalin should seek treatment as soon as possible in order to prevent potentially dangerous health risks.

Need Help Finding Treatment Centers for Ritalin Addiction?

If you or someone you love is addicted to Ritalin, please call our toll-free helpline today. One of our rehab admissions counselors can connect you to a high quality treatment program. Our number is available 24 hours a day, so we can help at any time. Don’t hesitate to call now.