Ritalin is a central nervous system stimulant used to treat the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Ritalin works in the brain to control symptoms of ADHD by calming brain chemicals that may become unbalanced, especially in the areas of hyperactivity and impulse control. Ritalin is highly habit forming, and using the drug in ways other than prescribed by a physician can lead to addiction. When life becomes challenging and those who use the drug are faced with things like financial loss, the risk of addiction to Ritalin is increased.
Ritalin addiction happens when those who use the drug become dependent on the substance to feel normal. Children who take Ritalin to control the symptoms of ADHD need regular dosing changes to compensate for growth. However, those who use the drug in ways other than prescribed by a physician can also develop tolerance to Ritalin. Tolerance means those who abuse the drug need more of the substance to achieve the same results. Once tolerance happens, dependence and addiction are not far behind.
The most obvious sign of addiction to Ritalin is the appearance of withdrawal symptoms when drug use is stopped. These withdrawal symptoms can include the following:
- Changes in heart rate and rhythm
Besides the appearance of withdrawal symptoms, other indications there may be a Ritalin addiction include the following:
- “Doctor shopping” to get new prescriptions for the drug
- Becoming preoccupied with getting and using Ritalin
- Engaging in dangerous behaviors, such as driving while under the influence of the drug
- Going into debt to get and use Ritalin
- Using Ritalin as a study drug or selling Ritalin to friends
If you or a loved one uses Ritalin and any of these symptoms are present, it is time to get help.
Ritalin and Financial Loss
People who abuse Ritalin may have a personal or family history of addiction. When a person has a genetic predisposition to addiction, the chances of responding to financial or other challenges with drugs are increased. Coping mechanisms used to handle a crisis are not in place, and the temptation to turn to a substance like Ritalin can be overwhelming. Using the skills learned in addiction rehab, as well as finding support through 12-step programs and regular therapy sessions, can help the person struggling with Ritalin abuse and financial crisis deal with stress in appropriate ways.
Finding Help for Ritalin Addiction
Ritalin can be an important part of a treatment program for ADHD and narcolepsy. However, using the drug to cope with the stress of a financial crisis can lead to addiction. If you or a loved one struggles with Ritalin abuse, we are here to help you. Call our toll-free, 24 hour number to speak to an admissions coordinator. We are ready to answer your questions about addiction and help you find treatment.