Ritalin Addiction and Malnutrition

Although Ritalin is used to treat hyperactivity, it is not a sedative but a stimulant. It increases the activity of the central nervous system and provides energy and alertness. For this reason it is often abused. Whether used medicinally or recreationally continual use of Ritalin can lead to a number of serious health problems including malnutrition.

Ritalin and Appetite Suppression

One of the mechanisms by which Ritalin may cause malnutrition is by suppressing the appetite. This property of the drug makes it popular among people wanting to lose weight. Users describe feeling constantly full and having no desire to eat. The appetite suppressing qualities of stimulant drugs like Ritalin appear to be linked to neurotransmitter levels. A 2007 article in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology points to the involvement of dopamine receptor cells. The body’s “fight or flight” system may also be involved. Drugs like Ritalin that stimulate the sympathetic nervous system may fool the body into thinking it needs to prepare for an emergency. It does that in a number of ways including increasing the heart and respiration rate, dilating blood vessels, providing the muscles with nutrients and inhibiting stomach and intestinal activity which leads to a loss of appetite.

Ritalin may also decrease the appetite as a secondary result of some of its other common side effects. Abdominal pain is a known side effect as is nausea. Users suffering these effects may be less likely to consume a balanced, healthy diet.

Ritalin Dependence and Addiction

Ritalin may cause malnutrition indirectly because of its addiction potential. The drug is sometimes known as “kiddie coke” because of its chemical similarity to cocaine. Like cocaine Ritalin has the potential to cause both physical and psychological dependence. When users develop an addiction to a drug, they become so focused on acquiring and using it that other activities and relationships fade in importance. This can be true even of fulfilling basic needs for food and shelter. People who become addicted to Ritalin may spend more of their time and money on the drug than on healthy food which can lead to a malnourished state.

We Can Help You End Ritalin Addiction

If you have developed a Ritalin addiction, call our toll-free number and let our counselors help you find your path to freedom. They can answer your questions and help you find a treatment program that meets your individual needs. They can even check your insurance coverage if you wish, at no cost or obligation. The helpline is available 24 hours a day, so there is never a wrong time to call. Why not call now?