Ritalin Tolerance and Abuse

Ritalin is the brand name for the amphetamine narcotic methylphenidate. The drug is a central nervous system stimulant prescribed for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. The abuse of Ritalin is common among teenagers and young adults, but adults use and abuse this drug as well. Ritalin is a stimulant, and it provides the following effects:

  • Increased energy
  • Heightened concentration
  • Feelings of wellbeing
  • Loss of appetite

These side effects are particularly appealing to young adults and college students. Ritalin abuse can easily lead to addiction even in those prescribed the drug.

Developing a Tolerance and Dependency for Ritalin

The ease with which a person can develop a tolerance for Ritalin is one contributing factor to the drug’s high addiction potential. Tolerance refers to the ability to adapt to the effects of a drug, and this creates a need for a larger dose of the drug to achieve the original desired effect. The time needed for Ritalin tolerance to develop depends on the following:

  • The amount of Ritalin used
  • The frequency of Ritalin use
  • How the drug is administered
  • Personal physical factors

After an individual develops a tolerance for Ritalin, the likelihood of overdose, dependency and addiction significantly increases. A dependency occurs when a person begins to physically or psychologically crave Ritalin. Drug use becomes habitual, and without Ritalin an individual will begin to feel the effects of withdrawal. Dependency easily transforms into addiction, when an individual continues drug use despite negative consequences. The individual will no longer feel capable of functioning without the drug.

Side Effects and Dangers of Ritalin Abuse

In addition to the threat of addiction or overdose, side effects of Ritalin use can include the following:

  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Loss of appetite (may cause serious malnutrition and digestive problems)
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Irregular heart rate and respirations
  • Psychosis
  • Seizures or stroke

Ritalin Detoxification and Withdrawal Symptoms

If a person takes a step back and realistically evaluates his or her Ritalin use, an addiction or abuse problem may become clear. Treatment for Ritalin addiction begins with detox or the physical removal of Ritalin from the user’s body. Ritalin detox should be performed under the care of a physician or trained rehab professional to ensure safety and greatly improve the outcome of the process. Without the aid of a trained expert the detox process is inefficient and a person will likely relapse. Ritalin detox can last anywhere from three days to a week. Withdrawal is a large part of detox, but medical professionals can ease the process and minimize the associated symptoms. Ritalin withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Severe depression
  • Psychomotor retardation
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Suicide

The most severe withdrawal symptoms are psychological. Recovering Ritalin users experience mood disorders, behavior complications and emotional turmoil that can lead them back to addiction or towards suicidal thoughts or actions. Medically supervised detox processes will be monitored by psychiatrists and psychologists who can identify mood changes and help regulate them.

Finding Help Quitting Ritalin

Quitting Ritalin is not an easy task, but there are people who can help. Quitting Ritalin the right way can be an empowering and life-changing action. If you are ready to start living a life free from addiction, pick up the phone, and call our toll-free helpline now. We are here to help you find the best possible treatment options for you, and we are here 24 hours a day to do so. End Ritalin tolerance, abuse and addiction today. Call now.