Many medical professionals prescribe Ritalin to treat symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It works by stimulating dopamine in the brain, which increases attention and focus. It is also prescribed for narcolepsy, a condition that causes excessive sleepiness and daytime sleep attacks. For those with ADHD and narcolepsy, Ritalin increases attention and function, but people who abuse the drug need professional treatment for them to recover.
Recreational Ritalin Abuse
While Ritalin is helpful when people use it under a doctor’s supervision, many young adults abuse this drug for non-medical purposes. Friends or loved ones who are prescribed the medication may sell the pills to others, and other people acquire the drug from illegal sellers. Reasons for recreational Ritalin abuse include the following examples:
- To provide a sense of energy. Ritalin is a stimulant, so snorting the drug produces energy and euphoria that lasts for a short period of time.
- To counter the depressant effects of alcohol. Many young adults take Ritalin while out for an evening of drinking and partying. The stimulants in Ritalin counter the effects of alcohol and allow people to stay out later.
- To substitute for more dangerous drugs. Because Ritalin is a prescription medication, many people mistakenly think that taking it is safer than taking illegal drugs or stronger prescription medication.
- To increase focus. Many people who take Ritalin report a sense of focus. College students may abuse Ritalin to stay up all night working on a paper or studying for an exam.
Unfortunately, many people who abuse Ritalin recreationally become addicted to it. Although it is safe to use under a doctor’s care, it is still addictive.
Signs of Ritalin Addiction
Signs of Ritalin addiction include the following problems:
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- Irregular eating
- Changes in appearance (disregarding cleanliness, washing hair, clean clothes and etc.)
- Enlarged pupils
- Muscle twitches
- Skin rash
- Stealing Ritalin from loved ones
- Defensiveness over Ritalin use
- Withdrawal symptoms if a Ritalin dose is missed
If you or someone you love is showing these signs, seek professional help immediately. The longer you abuse Ritalin, the greater the side effects and the greater the risk of accidental overdose. Get help before something dangerous happens.
Ritalin Addiction Help
If you notice the signs of Ritalin addiction in yourself or a loved one, know that we can help. You can call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline anytime. You can speak to one of our addiction recovery specialists who will help you find the best treatment option for your unique situation. There is no shame in admitting you need help. Call us today to start the road to recovery from Ritalin addiction.