When Using Ritalin Becomes a Habit

Ritalin is commonly prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). When taken as prescribed by those who need it, Ritalin balances brain chemistry and allows a person to focus. Ritalin is essentially speed; at higher doses it effects a person much in the same way as cocaine or amphetamines. It can be just as addictive as these illegal drugs and carries many of the same long-term consequences.

Why Do People Abuse Ritalin

Many people, college students especially, abuse Ritalin to have more energy and to be more productive at school or work. They tell themselves it will only be one time, when they need to finish a project or get through a long day. After the first time the drug may feel “safe,” and an individual may be confident that she can use Ritalin occasionally with no negative consequences. Soon it becomes a habit and tolerance builds up, leading to higher doses and eventually addiction. By the time withdrawal symptoms are occurring between doses, addiction is in place and treatment may be needed to break the habit.

Effects of Ritalin Abuse

It is a common misconception that prescription drugs are safer than illegal drugs, and many people who take Ritalin do not realize how similar it is to illegal drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine. The main difference is the method of consumption. Ritalin is prescribed in very small oral doses. After tolerance has occurred due to abuse, a person often seeks other ways of taking Ritalin in order to get the same effect. Snorting and injecting Ritalin has a very similar effect as snorting or injecting cocaine, and addiction can be just as strong.

Signs of Ritalin Addiction

There are several symptoms that indicate addiction, and some of them are as follows:

  • High blood pressure
  • Nervousness
  • Exaggerated feelings of elation
  • Depression
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Feeling as if you can’t get by without Ritalin
  • Spending more and more time and money finding and using Ritalin

Experiencing withdrawal symptoms is an indication of addiction. Ritalin has few outward physical symptoms of withdrawal, but the internal ones include depression, insomnia, fatigue, and powerful cravings.

Consequences of Ritalin Addiction

Overdosing on Ritalin carries health risks similar to those of other stimulants. Taking large doses of Ritalin can cause severe psychosis including paranoia, emotional instability, delusions, and panic. These symptoms are similar to amphetamine overdose, which has been linked to violent behavior and even homicide.

Once a person is addicted, it becomes extremely hard to stop taking the drug. Uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms cause a person to keep using, even when he wants to stop. Being addicted to Ritalin eventually changes an individual’s behavior so much that it affects his job, school work, social life, and personal relationships.

Ritalin Abuse Help

Ritalin may feel safe due to being commonly prescribed, but when abused repeatedly it can cause dependency, serious addiction, and health consequences. Get help before addiction takes control of your life. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to learn more about treatment for Ritalin abuse.