Ritalin Addiction in the LGBT Community

Ritalin Addiction in the LGBT Community

Ritalin is a prescription amphetamine that stimulates the brain. With chemical properties similar to cocaine, the drug is addictive. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community tends to prefer stimulant drugs such as Ritalin. The 2007 book Unequal Opportunity estimates that gay men are 12.2 times more likely to take amphetamines than are heterosexual men.

Addiction and LGBT Youth

Doctors commonly prescribe Ritalin to young people, so young people have more access to this drug than they may have to illicit drugs. According to a study published by Addiction in 2008, LGBT youth use drugs at the following rates:

  • 190% higher usage rates for LGBT youth overall
  • 340% higher usage rates for bisexual youth
  • 400% higher usage rates for lesbian youth

The study concluded that many LGBT youth abuse drugs to escape the social pressure and unequal rights their community often suffers. The amount of suffering is evidenced by the US Department of Health and Human Services statistic that suicide is the leading cause of death for LGBT youth.

Ritalin and LGBT Parties

People in the LGBT community abuse Ritalin for more reasons than to escape social stigmas and for recreation. For instance, a strong party culture exists in the LGBT community that promotes drug abuse, especially in big cities. Ritalin fits into this party culture in the following ways:

  • It raises dopamine levels in the brain for a euphoric high
  • Increases energy levels for longer nights of partying
  • Assists in weight loss for those pursuing a certain image

Many gays start abusing drugs to help them through social transitions, and their comfort level with drugs spills over into their adult life. Nevertheless, Ritalin addiction could care less about sexual preference when it begins to unravel a user’s life.

Effects of Ritalin Addiction

When an addiction takes hold, Ritalin abuse poses the following risks:

  • Initiates or accelerates mood disorders like depression, anxiety and mania
  • Hinders sound judgment and decision-making skills
  • Motivates unsafe sexual behaviors
  • Causes insomnia, anxiety, heart palpitations and other side effects
  • Increases the likelihood of a seizure, heart attack or overdose

The best way to overcome Ritalin addiction is with professional help, and many treatment facilities offer programs that cater to the needs of LGBT patients.

Ritalin Addiction Treatment for the LGBT Community

Rehab facilities desire positive, comfortable environments that foster social connections and meeting patients’ individual needs. Addiction treatment includes any of the following services:

  • Tapered detox that gradually weans addicts off Ritalin
  • Screenings to identify and treat co-occurring issues
  • Counseling to address unconscious conflicts, traumas and insecurities
  • Strategies to recognize and resist personal drug-use triggers
  • Behavioral therapies that encourage positive thoughts
  • Holistic options like acupuncture, massage, yoga and nutrition
  • Group therapy to discuss coping mechanisms and support structures

For the LGBT community, many treatment centers offer specific programs that tackle gay-specific issues and concerns. The key to recovery is treating the whole person, and LGBT patients will always feel accepted as they battle addiction and any co-occurring issues.

Help for LGBT Ritalin Addicts

Regardless of your sexual preference, treatment centers are designed for you. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to speak with a counselor about your many options. If you have health insurance, we can also check your policy for treatment coverage. Please call now for instant support.