Ritalin Use in Different Cultures

Ritalin is a controversial drug used to treat the symptoms of ADHD. Ritalin, though occasionally marketed under other brand names in different countries, is a methylphenidate drug. Methylphenidates are drugs whose makeup is similar to cocaine. They have a high abuse potential and dangerous long-term side effects that include the following:

  • Decreased blood flow in the brain
  • Changes in the brain’s use of energy
  • Atrophy, or the destruction of brain cells
  • Increased rates of depression

Because of these long-term effects Ritalin prescriptions have caused a great deal of controversy, and different countries have gone to various measures to control its use.

The Legality of Ritalin in Foreign Countries

Under international law Ritalin is a Schedule II drug. It is considered to have high abuse potential but also a medicinal value. This potential for abuse is the reason why Ritalin and certain other methylphenidate use is highly regulated in several foreign countries. Though the countries of the United Nations recognize the potential dangers of methylphenidate abuse, few actually attempt to control it. The countries that are taking legal action in this regard are the following:

  • United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • New Zealand

In these countries possession of a methylphenidate without a prescription can lead to anything from a fine to imprisonment. In countries without such legal constraints unlawful possession is not as much of an issue.

These drugs are rarely prescribed in most countries outside of the US. As a result the chance of widespread addiction is much lower. Since methylphenidate is difficult to obtain, most drug users will find a different drug that has similar but more immediate effects. Cocaine is almost identical to Ritalin in function. However Ritalin does not target the pleasure receptors of the brain directly, so the high produced is less intense than that of other methylphenidates.

Ritalin as a First World Drug

Ritalin addiction is a more significant problem in first world countries, where ADHD is more likely to be diagnosed and treated with medication. In other settings there is less need to control addiction, as the drug is simply not available. According to the Cancer Prevention Coalition five times more Ritalin is prescribed in the United States than the rest of the world combined. Other countries rarely prescribe Ritalin or its other forms to the younger age group which is the primary at-risk population in the U.S. Most other nations maintain a harsher view of the drug, though the U.S. government has taken steps to control the distribution of Ritalin.

Ritalin Abuse and Addiction

Ritalin can make positive changes in a person’s life, but the threat of addiction remains. Don’t let yourself or a loved one struggle with Ritalin abuse or addiction. If you need help or more information, call our toll-free number today. We are here to answer your questions 24 hours a day.