Ritalin (methylphenidate) is psychostimulant that is prescribed for the following issues:
- Attention deficit disorder (ADD) – this condition is characterized by extreme inattentiveness and hyperactivity as well as behavioral issues and mood disorders
- Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) – a condition characterized by excessive heart rate and decreased blood pressure
- Narcolepsy –a condition characterized by extreme fatigue, falling asleep at inappropriate times, muscle weakness, slurred speech and impaired vision
Ritalin is a central nervous system stimulant that alters the level of certain substances in the brain. It can control many problems, but is also highly addictive.
Addiction to Prescription Ritalin
Ritalin increases alertness and focus while blocking hunger and fatigue. If you were prescribed Ritalin for ADD, POTS or narcolepsy, speak to your physician about finding an alternate medication, or to discuss how you can safely wean yourself off of Ritalin. If you suddenly quit using Ritalin, you may experience extreme fatigue, depression or changes in your heart rhythm. Seek professional help to break a Ritalin addiction.
Effects of Ritalin Abuse
If you were not prescribed Ritalin and you abuse the medication, you most likely do so to feel more alert or to lose weight. However, this may also cause any of the following problems:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Irritability and nervousness
- Stomach aches or nausea
- Dry mouth or blurred vision
- Dizziness or drowsiness
As a result, you live on a seesaw between feeling focused and alert when you take the medication, but you have serious effects that can interfere with maintaining a balanced life.
How to Tell Your Friends about Ritalin Abuse
It is important to have friends who enjoy similar activities and in whom you can confide. However, some friends are fair weather friends, meaning they support you as long as everything is going well. However, if you or they run into a problem, they no longer are around. If you want to talk to a friend about quitting Ritalin, do not start with these fickle people.
Also avoid friends who have formed cliques. If you are friends with a group of people with whom you compete against, such as in cheerleading, sports or theatre, recognize that these friends may have something to gain from your loss. These might not be the friends to discuss breaking your Ritalin addiction.
If you have a true friend, one who cares about, respects and loves you, then having a candid conversation with this person should be relatively easy. You do not want to disappoint your friend, but a true friend cares about you in spite of her expectations for you. Having a person you can talk to about your Ritalin use is a good step for you to take to quit using Ritalin.
Get Help for Ritalin Abuse
We know that it is difficult to approach your friends about your Ritalin use. We want to support you, so please call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline any time to discuss your concerns and to plan to talk with your friends about Ritalin use.