Ritalin Abuse: Effects, Signs & Symptoms

Ritalin Abuse: Effects, Signs & SymptomsIf you or someone you care about is misusing Ritalin, the prescription medication most often used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, there could be very serious repercussions. Ritalin is methylphenidate, a stimulant that can be useful for people with ADHD but very dangerous when abused.

Risks of misusing Ritalin include developing an addiction, severe and harmful side effects, and overdose. Many people begin misusing stimulants to increase mental performance or stay awake, but this use can quickly get out or control and lead to a stimulant use disorder. If Ritalin use is causing problems in your life, or someone you love is struggling to stop using it, professional addiction treatment can help.

Symptoms and Side Effects of Ritalin Addiction

Ritalin has been listed as a schedule II controlled substance because of the high potential for abuse and dependence1. Any degree of misuse can lead to a stimulant use disorder. Misuse includes:

  • using someone else’s prescription
  • taking more than prescribed
  • using it for longer and in higher doses than recommended

It can seem deceptively harmless to use a prescription drug, especially one that children with ADHD take, but non-prescribed use can easily get out of control. If you are unsure if you have an addiction to Ritalin, take a look at the criteria that addiction specialists use to diagnose stimulant use disorder. Depending on the number of these you meet, you may have an addiction that is mild, moderate or severe.

  • Your use of Ritalin feels out of control, and you often use more of the drug or use it for longer than you wanted.
  • You have tried to stop using Ritalin, or at least cut back on using it, but without success.
  • You experience cravings when not using it.
  • More and more of your time is spent getting, using or recovering from Ritalin.
  • Your responsibilities are not always being met because of drug use.
  • Some of your regular activities have fallen by the wayside because of your drug use.
  • Loved ones are concerned about you, and your continued use of Ritalin is damaging those relationships.
  • You have health problems, mental or physical, that are caused by or worsened by using the drug.
  • You’ve used Ritalin in spite of risky situations, like buying it on the street from someone you don’t know or trust.
  • You have developed a tolerance and need to use more to get the same effect you used to.
  • When you stop using Ritalin you go through withdrawal and then go back to using it again.

Signs of Ritalin Abuse

If it’s someone else’s use of Ritalin that concerns you, it may be possible to observe some of these signs, but they may also do their best to hide them. Look for signs that this person is high on Ritalin to get an idea of how often they are using. Signs of stimulant intoxication include:2

  • Acting euphoric, energetic and unusually confident
  • High activity levels
  • Alertness, restlessness and wakefulness
  • Changes in behavior and mood, including aggression, anxiety or paranoia
  • Talking very rapidly
  • Acting confused or even having delusions or hallucinations
  • Higher than normal heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure
  • Dilated pupils
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Weight loss over time
  • A low mood as the drug’s effect wears off

Reach Out For Help

We provide holistic care and treatment using an individualized approach specifically tailored to your needs. Our holistic care and treatment is based on the best scientific evidence available. Secondly, we help you lead a healthy, substance-free life with adaptive coping and problem-solving skills. Don’t let Ecstasy addiction control your life. Our addiction professionals can help you get on a path of recovery, significantly changing your life. Contact us today for more information on our certified staff of professionals, as well as our first-rate facilities.

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