Ritalin is called a psychostimulant because it works by exciting certain kinds of brain activity. As such, it is used by doctors and medical professionals in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is also used to treat other disorders, including narcolepsy, various forms of depression, overweight issues and a lack of energy and focus. The basic scientific name for the drug is methylphenidate (MPH), and it works in some ways that are similar to cocaine, although the effects are not as strong nor do they last as long. Street names include “Vitamin R,” “Smart Drug,” and “R-Ball.”
Is Ritalin an Addictive Drug?
Ritalin is an addictive drug, and it is used outside of medical care at the risk of the user. Common use of the drug occurs among teenagers, young adults and college students who use the drug for the following purposes:
- As an appetite suppressant
- As a way to stay awake (to help pull an all-night study session)
- As a temporary way to increase focus
- As a way to feel euphoria
If you or someone you know uses the drug for these reasons, this is drug abuse and has the potential of creating a debilitating addiction.
How Ritalin Addiction Develops
Ritalin addiction does not develop overnight; it develops through the following actions:
- Ritalin works by affecting the central nervous system to increase certain brain activity.
- The drug works by increasing the brain’s level of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in feelings of pleasure.
- Interestingly, dopamine is a chemical that is released naturally after healthy activities to reward those experiences, such as through eating, sex, physical exercise and good work.
- For those who are prone to depression, there seems to be a less effective amount or functioning of dopamine in the brain. A drug like Ritalin will increase the effectiveness of dopamine, or block neurotransmitters that absorb dopamine to make the pleasurable chemical last longer.
- It is clear that a tolerance develops as people use Ritalin over time, which means that an increase in the amount of drug is required for the same effect.
- Ritalin appears to significantly reduce ADHD when given to children and young adults 18 years or younger, but it is not clear how the drug works in long term applications.
Ritalin Addiction Help
Like all addictions, Ritalin addiction will harm your physical health, and you will slowly descend into deeper addictions. You will most likely find your personal relationships affected negatively. To get more information about the nature of Ritalin addiction and how to end your struggle with drugs, call our toll-free helpline now; our staff that can answer questions and are waiting 24 hours a day to help you.