Ritalin Relapse

Ritalin, Methylphenidate, is psychostimulant drug that is most often prescribed for attention-deficit disorder (ADD). Ritalin is a powerful stimulant that is classified as a Schedule II narcotic in the Controlled Substances Act since 1971. Schedule II is the classification for medical drugs with the highest abuse potential and addiction profile.

Five Potential Ritalin Relapse Triggers

When a person leaves rehab they are armed with new behaviors and life-skills that will help maintain recovery and prevent relapse. Through the rehab experience, a person has learned a great deal about addiction and has been given the opportunity to explore what issues might have led to their own addiction. While many leave rehab with a bit of anxiety about keeping their sobriety outside the safety of the rehab facility, they also look forward to regaining control of their life and living a more productive life free from drugs. However, relapse does happen and it may require multiple rounds of detox and rehab before extended periods of abstinence become the norm. Some triggers to avoid relapse include the following:

  • False Expectations – If a person believes that because they successfully abstained from Ritalin while they were in rehab, they will be equally successful outside of the facility, they are setting a false expectation. Other false expectations include the following:
    • Support group meetings are only important if I feel like I may want to use again.
    • I do not have to spend each and every moment focused on my recovery.
    • I do not have to bore my friends and family members with all of my feelings.
  • Emotional Regulation – When a person first leaves rehab, they may feel anxiety about being on their own and elation for the progress they have made. As life continues to evolve and the person heads back to work, he or she may not be fully prepared to deal with the stressors of the job and their confidence diminishes. If a person starts having mood swings and exaggerated feelings, whether they are positive or negative, this is a sign that he or she is not handling the stress in a healthy manner. It is also an indicator that the person may be at risk for a relapse. Other factors that can cause emotional fluctuations include the following:
    • Attempting to rebuild relationships that were damaged due to your drug use.
    • Feeling stress over trying to juggle all of the daily life responsibilities.
  • Overconfidence and Denial – If a person who is working toward maintaining their sobriety becomes overconfident, he or she may start to act recklessly. This person may believe that he or she can resume a relationship with former drug buddies, can drop by and visit places that they used to use drugs, or maybe have an alcoholic beverage. As long as they are not taking Ritalin or another drug, the person can fall into denial and believe that they are not relapsing. Denial is the enemy for an addict; it is the enemy when they first started abusing drugs and it is the enemy now because it can set the stage for relapse.
  • Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) – This syndrome has been identified as an actual cause of relapse. While a person may not experience as many of the significant physical symptoms of withdrawal, they do experience emotional and psychological withdrawal symptoms. The reason for PAWS is because as the brain chemistry is gradually returning to normal, you experience fluctuations in the brain chemicals which bring about the symptoms.
  • Lack of a Plan – living a drug-free life requires a sobriety plan that guides you throughout the everyday life experiences as well as how to handle when relapse triggers occur.

Get Help With Relapses

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