Unintentional Ritalin Dependence

Ritalin is a drug commonly prescribed to manage attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and chronic sleep disorders. When taken as directed, the drug can be effective and poses little threat of physical dependence or addiction. When Ritalin is abused in any form, however, a serious physical and psychological dependence can develop. When people begin to abuse Ritalin, they very seldom have the intention of developing a dependence or addiction, but the process can happen quickly without the user being aware of its progression.

How Does Ritalin Dependence Develop?

Ritalin users can quickly develop a tolerance to the drug, which means that over time the body gets used to the drug’s chemical presence and the brain’s equilibrium is altered to adjust to the use of the drug. When this occurs, the individual may not feel the effects of the Ritalin because the body now tolerates its presence at that dosage. Many users, both prescribed and illicit, find that they must increase their dosage in order to achieve the intended effects.

Anytime Ritalin is abused, an individual is highly susceptible to chemical dependence and psychological addiction. As the body adjusts to the increase in Ritalin use, it often halts production of its own chemicals that perform the same functions that the drug is now fueling. Without the natural production of these chemicals, the body becomes physically dependent on Ritalin, meaning the drug is needed to function and feel well. An individual can recognize Ritalin dependence when he experiences symptoms of withdrawal when drug use ceases.

Do Ritalin Users Have Control Over the Development of Dependence?

Ritalin users have the ability to prevent the development of dependence if they refrain from all forms of drug abuse. This applies to both prescribed and illicit users. Many Ritalin abusers are individuals seeking the drug’s performance-enhancing qualities for either physical activity or strenuous mental activity that requires wakefulness and concentration. It is common for these individuals to believe that occasional use of Ritalin is harmless, which is why many of these users are caught off guard when their drug abuse develops into an unintentional dependence.

Ritalin user’s can look for warning signs of dependence as well as symptoms of withdrawal in order to halt unintentional dependence or addiction. If dependence does set in, the individual may have little control when it comes to stopping his drug use without professional help. Common warning signs of Ritalin dependence are characterized by symptoms of withdrawal and can include the following:

  • The need to increase dosage or frequency used
  • A crash in energy and mood
  • Intense mood swings
  • Symptoms of anxiety, panic and aggression
  • Irritability
  • Drug cravings
  • Difficulty concentrating and feeling disoriented

Finding Help for Ritalin Dependence

If you are concerned that you may need help for a dependence to Ritalin, please call our toll-free helpline now. Our addiction counselors are available 24 hours a day to speak with you about all of your options when it comes to treating and recovering from Ritalin dependence or addiction. Counselors are ready to answer questions, provide information and offer you connections to the best treatment and recovery services available for your individual needs. Making the decision to get help is often the hardest part of finding recovery, but you do not have to go though it alone. Please call us for help today.