What Is the Law Regarding the Use of Ritalin and Why?

What Is the Law Regarding the Use of Ritalin and Why?

Like several prescription drugs, the law regarding Ritalin is not black and white. Ritalin itself is not classified as an illegal drug, but rather as a controlled substance. Ritalin falls into the Controlled Substance Act’s drug schedule as a schedule II drug.

Why Is Ritalin a Controlled Substance?

Schedule II drugs, or chemical substances, are those with a high potential for abuse. The use of schedule II narcotics can cause the development of severe physical or psychological dependence and poses significant risk for harm. Although Ritalin is a prescription drug, there are several risks and dangers that may result from its use and abuse. As a point of comparison, other drugs that are classified as schedule II controlled substances include cocaine, methamphetamine, oxycodone, and fentanyl.

What Legal Trouble Can Result from Ritalin Abuse?

Ritalin is legal when it is used only as prescribed by a medical professional. The drug acts as a central nervous system stimulant, similar to amphetamine, and is used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, the use and possession of this drug without a prescription is illegal. The distribution of Ritalin is also illegal, meaning a person is breaking the law when he gives Ritalin to another individual, even if it is a friend or family member. If law enforcement finds a person in possession of Ritalin without a prescription, they can penalize the individual with jail time and fines. The penalty will vary depending on the quantity, personal circumstances, past criminal record, and the intent to supply or sell. In low doses, the first offense is typically considered a misdemeanor, but as the quantity increases or the offenses multiply, the penalties increase.

On average, the first offense for the simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance can be up to a year of imprisonment, a fine of $1,000, or both. A second offense can cost up to two years in prison and $2,500, and a third offense can result with multiple years of jail time and $5,000, according to Section 844 of the Controlled Substances Act.

What are the Other Consequences and Risks of Ritalin Abuse?

Ritalin is a chemical substance with potential for several serious side effects, long-term health consequences, addiction and overdose. When abused, Ritalin can cause several intense side effects, including the following:

  • Nervousness and anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite, significant weight fluctuation and malnutrition
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Heart palpitations
  • Digestive problems
  • Changes in heart rate and blood pressure
  • Toxic psychosis
  • Drug dependence
  • Severe depression with withdrawal
  • Convulsions
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations and delusions
  • Heart attack, stroke

There are numerous legal, physical and psychological consequences of Ritalin abuse. If you are concerned that you or your loved one has a Ritalin abuse problem, please get help sooner rather than later. The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you can avoid several detrimental consequences and dangers of drug abuse and addiction.

Having Trouble Quitting Ritalin?

Our toll-free helpline is operated 24 hours a day by trained addiction counselors who are here to assist you. Whether you have questions and concerns, want information, or are ready to find treatment and recovery services, we are happy to help. If you’re ready, we have connections to treatment programs, interventionists, and recovery centers across the nation; we can help you find the options that best fit your own unique recovery needs. To learn more about Ritalin addiction and recovery, call and speak with an addiction counselor today. We’re here to help, however we can.