No one is immune from addiction risks. Drugs like Ritalin affect the brain in predictable ways, and anyone who takes them may develop an addiction. However there are certain factors that may predispose people to addiction in general and to Ritalin addiction in particular.
Characteristics of Ritalin Users
Ritalin is a stimulant drug. Those who use it non-medically generally do so because they want the energy and focus they believe it can provide. For this reason Ritalin is popular among students and professionals with high-demand jobs. Ritalin is also a popular drug among those trying to lose weight. The National Study on Drug Use and Health issued a 2005 report on the illicit use of stimulant drugs including Ritalin. Findings included the following:
- Of six ethnic groups profiled whites had the highest rates of stimulant abuse followed closely by Native Americans
- Of 15 abused stimulants Ritalin was the third most commonly used
- Dependence on stimulants was equally likely among males and females
- Dependence on stimulants was most common in the 18 to 25-year-old age group
The abuse of Ritalin bloomed among high school students in the 1990s. A survey known as Monitoring the Future found that non-prescription use of the drug among high school seniors doubled between 1993 and 1994. Abuse rates continue to be high, and recreational use of Ritalin is increasingly popular among those of all age groups. The increase in Ritalin abuse has led to a rise in the number of emergency room visits related to its use. The Drug Abuse Warning Network notes that in 1990 there were 271 emergency room visits related to Ritalin, but by 2001 the number had risen to 1,478.
Risk and Protective Factors Related to Ritalin Use
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes that the following factors correlate with abuse of drugs and alcohol:
- Lack of attachment to parents or caregivers
- Caregivers who abuse drugs
- Academic failure
- Association with drug-using peers
- Drug availability
- Prevailing ideas about the acceptability of drug use
- Major life transitions such as graduating, moving or beginning a new job
Drugs like Ritalin are often among the first substances to be used for recreational or coping purposes.
We Can Help You End Ritalin Abuse or Addiction
If you are addicted to Ritalin, believe you are at risk for addiction or are worried about a loved one’s drug use, we can help. Our toll-free helpline is available around the clock, so we are always ready to answer your call. Our knowledgeable and compassionate counselors understand the issues and can help you understand your treatment options. Don’t let Ritalin addiction take any more from you than it already has. Call today.