According to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) domestic and worldwide use of Ritalin has risen sharply since 1990. The United States is the primary consumer of the substance, a central nervous system stimulant that treats symptoms of attention disorders such as poor mental focus and impulsivity. As the number of legitimate users increases, so does the population of people who abuse the drug. While it is a prescription drug that helps people in professional settings, abusing this drug can create a dangerous addiction that will require professional treatment to overcome.
Statistics on Ritalin Abuse
According to the DEA facts about the community impact of Ritalin abuse include the following:
- Ritalin is one of the top ten stolen prescription drugs in America
- In 2010, 1.5% of 8th graders, 2.7% of 10th graders and 2.7% of 12th graders reported nonmedical use of Ritalin
- In 2009, the highest non-medical use of methylphenidate among youth was among the 18-25 year old age group
- The American Association of Poison Control Centers reported 9,215 methylphenidate exposures in 2009
- In 2009, 4,953 people visited the emergency for nonmedical use of methylphenidate
Addicts also refer to Ritalin as “kiddie coke,” vitamin R and “the R ball.” Unlike other central nervous stimulants such as cocaine, it cannot be produced clandestinely. It is obtained through phony prescriptions, doctor shopping, pharmacy theft and from individuals who possess it legitimately. This helps curb its availability in some areas, but it still finds its way to many people who lack a prescription.
Dangers of Ritalin Addiction
Ritalin is classified as a Schedule II substance because of its high potential for abuse and addiction. It is easy to obtain because the symptoms it treats can be faked. However, people who take the drug and do not need it, or people who abuse the drug may exude any of the following side effects:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Elevated body temperature
- Malnutrition due to appetite suppression
- Cardiovascular failure
Recovery from Ritalin addiction is possible with the help of friends or treatment professionals. The earlier the problem is addressed, the less difficult breaking the habit may be.
Help for Ritalin Addiction
If you or a loved one is addicted to Ritalin, please get help before it takes over your life. Recover counselors at our toll-free, 24 hour helpline can help you understand treatment options and solutions. Please call today and take the first step toward a better life.