Ritalin’s Effect on Your Future

While the side effects of prescription Ritalin use can often be monitored and dealt with properly, Ritalin abuse can quickly get out of control. An addiction to this medication can cause long-term health problems, withdrawal symptoms and psychological changes that may affect the user’s everyday decisions and future plans.

How Ritalin Affects the Brain

Since this drug is prescribed to treat disorders associated with brain function, such as ADD and ADHD, it targets the central nervous system. The brain is the command center for the central nervous system, which means that Ritalin abuse can cause the entire body to become chemically imbalanced. When used as prescribed, Ritalin increases extracellular dopamine levels in order to increase alertness. Ritalin works specifically in the prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain which controls attention, decision-making and impulse control.

Ritalin Side Effects

Ritalin use can lead to a number of side effects, including the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Sleeping difficulties

Any of these mild side effects can affect one’s performance at work or school. With an addiction, these side effects may become magnified and can eventually develop into severe, long-term health issues. Clouded thinking, slow reaction time and sleep deprivation can lead to illness, injury and a variety of other health problems. Physical tics also commonly appear in Ritalin users because of the way the drug affects the central nervous system. Tremors or convulsions have also been reported, though they are rare and are more likely with chronic use.

Mood swings and personality changes are common symptoms that can accompany any form of addiction. As an addict’s focus shifts toward the substance of choice, those around him are likely to take notice. Isolation and depression can disrupt the addict’s life as a deep need for Ritalin takes precedence over other responsibilities such as work, school or family.

Making Decisions with Ritalin

Addiction can have a significant influence over the decisions the user makes. An uncontrollable desire for Ritalin may increase your drive for obtaining the drug while decreasing your interest in other activities. Seeking help for your addiction is one of many decisions that can be clouded by an addiction to Ritalin.

Finding Recovery from Ritalin Addiction

If you or someone you love is struggling with Ritalin addiction, please call our toll-free helpline now. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions about Ritalin addiction and how it affects decision-making abilities. We can also connect you with the best treatment options for your situation. Please call now.