Using Ritalin to Cope with a Loved One’s Illness

Methylphenidate, more commonly known by its brand name Ritalin, is widely prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). When taken as advised by a doctor Ritalin slowly increases the body’s release of dopamine and helps someone diagnosed with ADHD to relax and focus on an individual task. Because of its ability to stimulate the mind and increase learning speed Ritalin has been widely abused among college and high school students who are looking to gain an academic edge. When taken outside of prescribed limitations Ritalin also gives a euphoric high and increased awareness to the consumer, especially if the drug is snorted or taken intravenously. Its addictive properties and its popularity and availability among young people put teens at an especially high risk for Ritalin dependence and abuse.

Escapism and Ritalin Abuse

If an individual wants to avoid dealing with the unpleasant realities of life, he or she often seeks a means of escape. This can be achieved through increased participation in regular daily activities like sports and work as well as through various forms of entertainment like video games and movies. Some people, when confronted with a problem, such as the illness or death of a loved one, turn to drugs to soften the pain and sadness of their circumstance. When it comes to prescription drugs like Ritalin, those who are taking medication per doctor’s orders may begin to augment their dosages in the face of increased stress or despair, hoping to gain a high that could temporarily release them from their real world circumstances. If the gravity of the situation affects more than just the person abusing drugs, as is the case with the illness of a loved one, friends’ and family members’ preoccupation with the condition of the ill person may blind them to the steadily growing signs of drug dependence in the individual using drugs as a means of escape. In the case of a Ritalin user family members may not notice a child, sibling or parent increasing his or her dosage. Family members need to keep lines of communication open during difficult and stressful times. If individuals feel that the weight of a family member’s illness has made the home inhospitable to honest expression and release, they are more likely to seek escape in drug use or other high-risk activities.

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If you or someone you know is suffering from Ritalin addiction, we want to help. Our toll-free number is open 24 hours a day, and we are here to answer your questions and direct you to the resources you’ll need to begin the recovery process. Don’t deal with addiction for one more day.