Ritalin is a prescription stimulant commonly prescribed but also commonly abused. Learn more about Ritalin addiction signs, withdrawal and treatment options.
If 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.
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:
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.
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
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