Symptoms of Ritalin Abuse

Symptoms of Ritalin Abuse

While Ritalin is the most frequently prescribed stimulant drug for Attention Deficit Disorder, there is much about the drug that is causing a controversy between the benefit of the drug and the potential for Ritalin abuse and addiction.

As is true with many prescribed medications, a primary symptom of Ritalin abuse and addiction is when a person consistently increases the dosage or goes through binge periods where they consume excessive amounts of Ritalin, followed by a period of withdrawal. Not only is this abusive pattern counterproductive for the intended purpose of the drug, but it can also have serious side effects such as severe depression and even death.

Data from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) indicates a strong potential for people to abuse Ritalin and become addicted, predominantly because the drug is easy to acquire and relatively inexpensive. Additional studies have also identified some alarming statistics regarding Ritalin abuse, including:

  • According to a DEA survey, as many as 50 percent of adolescents in drug treatment centers reported Ritalin abuse.
  • A study of over 40,000 students conducted by Indiana University found that almost 3 percent of high school students surveyed reported Ritalin abuse monthly or more often.
  • Reports from students and faculty on college campuses indicate that students use Ritalin as a study aid and a party drug.
  • Currently, about six million children – roughly one child out of every eight – will take Ritalin or other forms of ADHD medications.
  • Additional studies from poison control centers, emergency rooms, and high school surveys all indicate that Ritalin abuse has increased significantly since 1990.
  • Children between the ages of 10 and 17 accounting for 56 percent of those emergency room visits from Ritalin abuse.
  • According to the United Nations, the U.S. produces and consumes about 85 percent of the world’s production of methylphenidate (Ritalin).

Ritalin and Cocaine

Often referred to as “Kiddie Cocaine,” long-term Ritalin effects have been linked to brain development abnormalities similar to those found with cocaine use.

Medical studies and DEA data conclude that methylphenidate (Ritalin) produces behavioral and psychological effects similar to cocaine in laboratory animals and in humans. Ritalin effects children the same way related stimulants like cocaine effect adults. In fact, recent studies show that Ritalin appears to cause long lasting changes in brain cell structure and function that remains long after the therapeutic Ritalin benefits dissipate.

Get Help for Ritalin Addiction

Determining when a person’s use of Ritalin moves from therapeutic to addictive is difficult to do, especially if the person is a family member or friend. However, it is possible and we can help, so please call our toll free number today at 855-396-3024.  We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about Ritalin abuse help.  We are here to help.