The Elements of Ritalin Addiction

The Elements of Ritalin Addiction

Ritalin is a drug that is prescribed primarily for the treatment of ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is also used to treat other disorders from time to time, such as narcolepsy. Ritalin, chemically speaking, is known as methylphenidate. Patients with ADHD are thought to suffer from a low level of dopaminergic and noradrenergic activity in the brain. Methylphenidate inhibits dopamine and noradrenaline reuptake, correcting this problem.

Ritalin, in addition to its medicinal effects, is also commonly used recreationally. It has effects similar to amphetamines, due to its effect as a psychostimulant. This means it increases the activity in the central nervous system. Studies indicate that Ritalin is not addictive when used properly. That is to say, if you take it orally at the prescribed intervals and truly suffer from low levels of certain brain chemicals, it is ok.

However, when snorted or injected (via crushing and dissolving in solution), Ritalin has effects similar to those of cocaine, and is very addictive. Users who abuse Ritalin also take higher and higher dosages of the drug, increasing the associated risks. Below are some of the side effects that are possible acutely and chronically, and what happens during Ritalin detoxification.

Acute Effects of Ritalin Abuse

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Increased body temperature
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Disturbed sleep patterns
  • Dilation of pupils
  • Erratic behavior
  • Hyperexcitability
  • Irritability
  • Panic
  • Psychosis, convulsions and seizures (at high dosages)

Chronic Effects

  • Permanent damage to blood vessels in the body, including the heart and brain
  • High blood pressure that increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes and infarcts
  • Damage to the brain, possibly leading to seizures
  • Organ damage to the kidney and liver
  • Malnutrition and weight loss
  • Infectious diseases due to injection
  • Destruction of nasal tissues due to snorting
  • Disorientation, apathy, confused exhaustion
  • Strong dependence
  • Depression, psychosis and other mental illnesses

Withdrawal and Overdose

Withdrawal from Ritalin will change the addict’s behavior in unpleasant ways. These changes include all kinds of psychological shifts. Ceasing intake of Ritalin can easily result in psychotic behavior, panic, aggression, depression and suicidal thoughts. These changes can be difficult to handle alone, and rehabilitation and medical attention are necessary.

It is also possible to overdose on Ritalin. Many of the overdose symptoms are ones listed above. They include, but are not limited to: psychosis, seizures and agitation. If you suspect an overdose seek medical attention for the afflicted person as soon as possible. A Ritalin overdose can cause sudden death, especially when the person has a preexisting heart condition.

Treatment for Ritalin Addiction

Ritalin abuse treatment can be very difficult to carry out, in part due to the psychological involvement of the symptoms. While it is very important to make sure that all addicts manage to kick the habit, it is also important to seek support while doing so. The behavioral changes can become threatening to the individual or people around the individual, such as during episodes of psychosis. For help and advice you can contact our 24-hour toll free number. Get the help you and your loved ones need by calling today.