Stress or Anxiety Issues and Ritalin Abuse

The abuse of the stimulant Ritalin can be a complicated issue. Intended to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the effect of the drug is similar to that of cocaine and other amphetamines, and so the possibility for addiction is quite high. In addition, as a widely prescribed drug, it is available through prescription and is thus present in many homes. There are many issues, both psychological and social, that contribute to Ritalin’s illegal and harmful use.

Anxiety about Weight Control

As obesity becomes an ever increasing problem, many have turned to illegal, and in many instances harmful, means of controlling weight. A side-effect of Ritalin is that it suppresses appetite, and so it sometimes becomes part of a plan to maintain or lose weight. There are, however, safer and over-the-counter drugs that can be used for such purposes. While using Ritalin may aid weight control or weight loss, the deception and secrecy necessary to obtain and abuse a prescription drug such as Ritalin generally increases the user’s overall stress level.

Concentration and Focus

Ritalin is most often prescribed for ADHD because it aids users with an increased ability to focus. It is sometimes abused by students in college and even in high school to cram in extra studying. Students who feel extreme pressure to meet unrealistic expectations may turn to Ritalin as a way to improve class performance and to extend study hours. While this may be effective in the short-term, it is ultimately far less effective than developing other study habits that can last a lifetime. Over time the addictive and damaging nature of Ritalin will degrade the health of the user outside of the immediate side effects which include :

  • Sleep issues
  • Appetite loss
  • Headaches
  • Blood pressure increases
  • Heart palpitation

As one of the main side effects is the increase of anxiety, using Ritalin to deal with school or work stress will likely only make the problem worse.

Underlying Factors

People generally turn to drugs to manage other issues, whether they are stress, relationships, or traumatic events, these underlying factors should be dealt with in healthy ways.

  • The use of drugs may suggest an uncertain, chaotic, or inconsistent home life where normally manageable levels of stress may push a person to self-medicate. In such situations, people may be distrustful of medical professionals who can help discover non-chemical ways of dealing with anxiety and stress.
  • Isolation and even alienation can be disabling for individuals who have trouble dealing with stress. A lack of a group of supportive friends can contribute to one’s sense that the options are limited.
  • Previous experiences with drug abuse, either directly or within one’s family can be a contributing factor. A person in such situations will see how peers or family members cope with stress by turning to drugs or alcohol, and so the pattern is observed and mimicked.

Good News for the Anxious and the Stressed

There are, in fact, a number of healthy and effective ways to deal with anxiety and stress. Counselors and therapists are trained in helping patients discover resources that can manage stress. Beginning with your family doctor, you can find out how to confront issues of stress that may be driving you to drugs such as Ritalin. There are safe ways to deal with the abuse of and addiction to Ritalin, as well as a counseling therapy to address the underlying issues.

Call Now

A quick call to the free, 24/7 hotline can get you started on the path toward a manageable, effective, and healthy path of stress reduction, free of Ritalin abuse. Call now for more information.