Ritalin has become popular as a drug of abuse in recent years. The huge increase in cases of children being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has led to a corresponding increase in prescriptions for Ritalin. The increased availability of the drug has led to diversion onto the black market. Children, teens and young adults with a prescription sometimes sell pills to peers, and some have admitted to faking symptoms for their doctor in order to get a prescription. Ritalin abuse is now prevalent in junior high schools, high schools, colleges and the professional world, and abuse of the drug has become common.
Effects of Long-Term Ritalin Use
There is a stigma attached to using illegal drugs that is often absent from the abuse of legal drugs such as Ritalin. Users may believe that if the government approves it and doctors prescribe it, then it isn’t an addictive drug and it isn’t dangerous or harmful. This is a dangerous assumption that has contributed to the prescription drug abuse epidemic. Prescription drug abuse has greatly outdistanced illicit drug use in recent years.
Ritalin is a classic example of a commonly abused prescription drug. Ritalin is virtually identical in its pharmacology and its mechanism of action to other stimulants such as cocaine, amphetamines and methamphetamine. However doctors, parents, teachers and other authorities commonly administer Ritalin to children despite lack of a clear understanding of its effects on the brain. What is clear is that Ritalin is increasingly being abused. The negative effects of long-term use of Ritalin may include but are not limited to the following:
The effects of Ritalin overdose may include the following:
- Cardiac arrhythmia
Treatment for Ritalin Addiction
Stimulant drugs such as Ritalin can be highly addictive, but they do not produce a strong physical dependence or severe withdrawal symptoms. However chronic use of stimulants and abrupt withdrawal can both lead to psychological issues such as severe depression or psychosis. Thoughts of suicide may emerge during withdrawal, so recovering users should be monitored and have access to psychiatric counseling.
Addiction to any drug is often a dysfunctional reaction to problems or issues in a person’s life. Treating the addictive behaviors without treating any underlying causes such as depression, lack of coping skills or a stress disorder may alter behavior for a time but will leave the individual susceptible to relapse. Treatment that deals with the addiction but also addresses any underlying or related issues is much more likely to result in real long-term recovery.
Need Help Overcoming Ritalin Addiction?
Addiction to Ritalin can take over your life and cause many serious problems. Addicts typically suffer bad health, problems at work and family and relationship troubles. However Ritalin addiction can be treated successfully, and you can find a life free from the dangers of continued Ritalin use. If you would like help finding treatment for Ritalin addiction, or if you have any questions regarding Ritalin, addiction or treatment, call our toll-free helpline today.