When Does Ritalin Experimentation Become Addiction?

When Does Ritalin Experimentation Become Addiction?

When people begin experimenting with drugs, they often do so with the belief that it will just be a harmless, short-term action. It is probably safe to say that nobody experiments with drugs with the intention of developing an expensive, time consuming, and harmful addiction. There is a fine line between experimentation and addiction, however. In the case of Ritalin experimentation, that line is frequently crossed.

Ritalin is the brand name for a drug called methylphenidate. This drug acts as stimulant on the central nervous system (CNS), meaning that it enhances mental and physical functions through chemical changes in the brain. The drug primarily produces the effects of increased attention and energy. Because of these effects, Ritalin is useful in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.

Ritalin is frequently used for reasons other than those for which the drug is prescribed. It is often used to gain an academic advantage by increasing attention and providing the energy to stay up all night studying. It is also commonly used as a diet pill, as Ritalin has strong appetite suppressing effects. And because Ritalin is so commonly prescribed, many people find that it is easy to acquire simply by asking those in their social network.

Signs of Ritalin Addiction

Individuals experimenting with Ritalin are often unaware of the associated risk of addiction with this drug. Upon prescribing Ritalin to a person, healthcare providers should explain to the individual that periodic “holidays” should be taken from the drug. This occasional break from the drug is essential in reducing the risk of Ritalin dependence. However, those who obtain the drugs by means other than a healthcare provider may not be aware of the need for Ritalin holidays. Those that experiment with Ritalin may then use it consistently, allowing the body to develop dependency and addiction. Signs of Ritalin addiction include the following:

  • Physical effects such as persistent sleeplessness, weight loss, and increased heart rate
  • Mental effects such as anxiety, panic attacks, and mood swings
  • An inability to function when the drug is not used
  • An inability to stop using the drug despite negative consequences
  • Withdrawal symptoms upon discontinued use of the drug such as fatigue and depression

In addition, experimenting with Ritalin may create psychological addiction. Because Ritalin is so commonly abused to fit into societal standards, many people find that they become psychologically dependent on the drug. Users may feel that they cannot find happiness, confidence, or personal satisfaction when they are not abusing Ritalin. They may become psychologically dependent on the effects of the drug, such as better school grades from increased attention or weight loss from a decreased appetite.

Get Help for Ritalin Addiction

Experimentation with drugs like Ritalin can quickly lead to physical and psychological addiction. If you or a loved one has become addicted to Ritalin, it is important to seek appropriate treatment. Therefore, please call our toll-free hotline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about treatments for Ritalin addiction.