While Ritalin has been used for several decades as the drug of choice for ADHD patients, there are issues about the drug that need to be considered before a person takes it. Some of these issues include the following:
- Ritalin alone cannot cure ADHD; it should be used in conjunction with behavioral therapies that help people learn to adjust their behaviors
- Ritalin is not recommended for continuous use for multiple years as it can slow a person’s growth rate
- Ritalin has also been used to help reduce smoking and drinking
- Ritalin is contra-indicated with antidepressants as the combination can cause hypothermia, hypertension and seizures
- Abuse of Ritalin can lead to increased heart rate and blood pressure, mood changes, delusions, tremors and other side effects
- Ritalin mixed with drug or alcohol can lead to overuse and dependence, the first steps toward addiction
Before you take Ritalin, know that you are dealing with an addictive substance that will require a doctor’s instructions.
Why Do People Abuse Ritalin?
Some people refer to Ritalin as a study drug because it increases a person’s ability to focus, but when Ritalin is used without a prescription, it is dangerous. Because Ritalin boosts cognitive function, many college students use it without a prescription to study for hours at a time.
Because Ritalin is so available, many students purchase it from their friends or colleagues. The rates can fluctuate given a dealer’s stash and the buyer’s need. It is considered a small investment to make in exchange for the focus that it provides students. Unfortunately, because Ritalin helps people work well for an extended amount of time, it is very inviting for students to take it. When you add the competitiveness of the college experience, some students feel that they can only stay on top of their grades by using the drug.
College students have used caffeine through coffee, energy drinks or soda for years, so many don’t see the harm of stepping it up a notch by using Ritalin. In fact, Ritalin does not seem to cause the jittery or anxious feelings that caffeine often delivers, which allows students to feel focused without danger.
Negative Effects of Ritalin
Because Ritalin is an amphetamine, it can be habit-forming. Particularly, Ritalin increases dopamine production in the brain which targets the brain’s reward system. When the production of brain chemicals is interfered with, a person can experience changes in her mental and emotional health, including the following problems:
- Anxiety – signs of nervousness, dizziness, anxiety, restlessness and compulsions
- Depression – signs of sadness, hopelessness, self-blame and helplessness
- Hallucinations and delusions
- Behavioral changes – signs of agitation, aggressive behavior, confusion or being more social and talkative than normal
Help for Ritalin Addiction
If you or someone you know is addicted to Ritalin, call our toll-free helpline today. We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about Ritalin addiction treatment. We are here to help.