Ritalin is an increasingly popular Schedule II controlled substance known for its unique fast-acting ability to induce high levels of sustained alertness and attentiveness. Ritalin is most commonly abused among young students as a means to stay awake and focus on schoolwork. Ritalin differs from many other drugs because of its generally effective and desirable uses among students. Some of its other desirable effects can include the following:
- Appetite suppression
- Prolonged wakefulness
- Increased focus
- Prolonged attention span
- Increased control over behavior problems
- Improved listening skills
- Increased ability to stay organized
Ritalin is a legal substance when it is properly prescribed by a doctor for the treatment of a valid medical condition. It is classified as a central nervous system stimulant and is primarily prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and a sleep disorder known as narcolepsy. Ritalin’s fairly unique and effective ability to treat ADHD and narcolepsy have made it a very common prescription drug among young adults suffering from either disorder. Ritalin also comes with a very wide range of possible side effects and negative interactions with other substances. Some of the common side effects of Ritalin can include the following:
- High blood pressure
- Racing heartbeat
- Chronic sleep trouble
- Aggressive behavior
- Unusual behavior
Abusing Ritalin can lead to more severe effects, such as addiction and psychological dependence. Ritalin is considered as a highly addictive substance that can lead to life altering consequences. Some of the severe consequences can include the following:
- Erratic and violent behavior
- Sudden panic
- Psychotic outbursts
- Death from overdose
- Damaged blood vessels in the heart and brain leading to potential heart attacks or strokes
Ritalin is commonly seen as a gateway drug that can potentially lead a person to abuse other more potent drugs, such as cocaine. Ritalin differs from many other drugs because of this characteristic. Many abusers build up a tolerance for the effects of Ritalin until the substance no longer works well enough and the abuser turns to a harder drug like cocaine. Cocaine can produce similar effects to Ritalin but with a much higher potency and level of intensity.
Recovering from Ritalin abuse or addiction can be difficult and often requires a unique treatment process. Because Ritalin can produce severe physical addiction and intense psychological dependence, it is critical to treat both simultaneously. Tapering off the substance by slowly reducing the amount taken under medical supervision in a controlled rehab environment can be the most beneficial way to reduce negative withdrawal effects. Seeking out a professional form of treatment through a licensed rehab facility is essential to experiencing a healthy recovery.
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