There is no escaping the simple fact that as a form of drug therapy Ritalin is commonly prescribed to teens. This is because they are the ones who are most often diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD.
As we all know too well, the social circles of teenagers are ripe with misinformation. When a rumor takes hold, it is hard for the truth to break in. There is a lot of rumors flying around about the use of Ritalin. The following separates the myths from the facts.
MYTH: Taking Ritalin will let you get an “A” in every class.
FACT: A person who has been diagnosed with ADHD will have trouble focusing on just about anything. When used a prescribed, Ritalin will help those with ADHD with their concentration. This will allow them to stay on topic when it comes to school work. It is not a magic pill that can make your instantly smarter.
MYTH: Anyone who takes Ritalin will become a drug addict.
FACT: There have been some studies to prove that proper Ritalin users are actually less likely to get hooked on other drugs. “Proper Ritalin users” is the key phrase. Those who choose to abuse the drug can end up “chasing the high” which leads them to increasing doses or seeking out even stronger drugs to get stoned.
MYTH: Taking Ritalin is just like taking cocaine.
FACT: Like cocaine, Ritalin is classified as a stimulant form of a drug. However, unlike cocaine, Ritalin is prescribed in low-dose pill form. Taken in that way, it is regulated and gradually released into the blood stream. You won’t get a “cocaine buzz” that way. Abusers of the drug do crush it up and snort it like cocaine to get that instant high. Sadly, there have been reported instances of people dying from snorting Ritalin.
MYTH: All school violence happens because kids are on Ritalin.
FACT: There are many reasons why violence occurs in school. It doesn’t appear that taking Ritalin is among the primary reasons. Consider that there are around six million patients using Ritalin prescriptions every day, using it the way it should be used. Clearly there aren’t six million acts of violence in the school every day. On the other hand, Ritalin addicts often will have explosive bouts of high energy which can lead to destructive behavior.
MYTH: Ritalin melts your brain.
FACT: Ritalin does alter the body’s brain chemistry, but there is no “melting” involved when it is used as prescribed. When an imbalance in the brain occurs, it means that the neurotransmitters that send signals back and forth have broken down. Ritalin sets out to repair those breaks. It’s only when the drug is abused by people without ADHD that the brain begins to act up and causes all kinds of mental and physical problems.
Ritalin is not a cure for ADHD, but a way of helping a person manage with the disorder. When taken in large doses outside the realm of a prescription, there can be many harmful side effects. If you know someone who has crossed over the line when it comes to taking Ritalin, call the toll-free number on this page. Counselors are standing by to help point you in the right direction to seek help.