When Does Ritalin Use Become an Abuse Problem?

Ritalin’s abnormally high potential for abuse and addiction is primarily linked to the fact that most individuals who use the drug are under the age of 25. The manifold uses of Ritalin for purposes other than prescribed are are also a contributing factor.

Not all addictions to Ritalin however, are the result of recreational drug use. Medically, Ritalin is known as a chemical compound called methylphenidate. Normally prescribed for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, methylphenidate increases the levels of dopamine in the brain. The result is an increase in feelings of wakefulness and focus.

How Ritalin Abuse Develops

If you have been prescribed Ritalin by a medical professional for the treatment of ADHD or any other disorder, your doctor may or may not have discussed with you the drug’s potential for tolerance, dependence and addiction. If you worry about the effectiveness of your prescription doses, or suspect that you are becoming dependent, there are a few important factors to take into account.

Tolerance to your prescription medications can occur when your brain begins to counteract the effects of the drug. If you consistently notice that a regular dose of Ritalin has less of an effect than previous doses, your body may be developing a tolerance to the substance. Your response to this scenario should never be to simply take more Ritalin until the desired effect is achieved. A conversation with your doctor or other medical professional about the strength of your doses combined with lifestyle factors that may make you a candidate for abuse can be very helpful. Your doctor may suggest an alternate medication or lower your dosage. If you begin to notice that you are running through your prescriptions too quickly or feel as though you can’t function normally without Ritalin, you should also talk with your doctor about the potential for abuse.

Recognizing Ritalin Abuse

Ritalin is a popular substance among recreational drug users because of its perceived benefits. Some individuals, particularly high school or college students who do not have ADHD, may use the drug to provide prolonged periods of wakefulness. What can be helpful in studying for exams or completing assignments often puts students at a high risk for dependency and addiction. Ritalin is also used as an appetite-suppressant. Still others use the substance in chronic doses to provide feelings of euphoria and escape. If you are using prescription Ritalin without a prescription, what you are doing is not only illegal, but dangerous. You are opening yourself up to unnecessary risks for dependence, addiction and overdose. Ritalin addiction can cause permanent physical and psychological damage.

Find Ritalin Rehabilitation Centers

If you are using Ritalin in either a prescription or recreational scenario and fear that you may be a candidate for addiction, we can help. We are available 24 hours a day through our toll-free helpline. We can help you find the answers you need and provide you with the resources for rehab. In some cases we can even talk with your insurer about the possibility of covering your treatment. Please call us today.