If you have a teen who has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or attention deficit disorder (ADD,) there’s a pretty good chance that your doctor has prescribed Ritalin to help them manage the effects of their disorder. When taken as prescribed in low doses, Ritalin helps bridge the gaps in the chemical compounds of the brain. This enables the user to regain their ability to focus on schoolwork and prevents their minds from wandering. As there have been many kids who have been helped by Ritalin, there is an almost equal number who have adapted Ritalin as a recreational drug. However, there is nothing really “recreational” about this abuse.
The FDA has classified Ritalin as a Schedule II controlled substance. This means that it is a drug with highly addictive tendencies. What could have been a random experiment at a party might turn into a full-blown Ritalin addiction problem for your teen.
Ritalin Addiction Warning Signs
If you have a teen you suspect might be abusing Ritalin, you should be ask yourself these questions:
- Has your teen’s sleeping habits changed? Are they staying up at all hours then sleeping through most of the day?
- Is your teen showing increasing signs of nervousness or agitation? Are they going through periods of sustained sadness? Are they prone to sudden outbursts of aggression?
- Have they lost their appetite?
- Are they showing signs of nasal damage such as multiple nose bleeds or sores around the nose?
A “yes” answer to a combination of these questions should be cause for concern. If these warning signs are showing up with your teen, it might be time to seek some professional help. This could be with your doctor or a recommended therapist who is trained in dealing with teen addiction issues.
Signs of Teen Ritalin Withdrawal
If your teen has developed an issue with abusing Ritalin, they might take it upon themselves to kick the habit. When this occurs, they might exhibit some of the following Ritalin withdrawal symptoms:
- Constant exhaustion
- Lack of drive or energy
- Hunger cravings
- Muscle twitching
One withdrawal symptom you might not be able to see but they will definitely be experiencing is the craving to use again. This is why trying to kick the habit without proper supervision is tenuous.
Other Teen Abuse Behavior Patterns
You might also begin to notice money missing from around the house. If your teen is using, they need to support that habit. Also look to see if they are selling their own belongings. Take note of who they are socializing with and where they are hanging out. And notice if they are taking care of themselves such as wearing clean clothes and showering.
Help for Teen Ritalin Abuse
Finding out that your teen is struggling with a Ritalin addiction is not the end of the world. This is a habit that can be broken with the use of a proper treatment program. There will definitely be challenges ahead but when confronted with care and the right resources, you can help your child find their way towards regaining their life. Counselors are standing by at the toll-free number on this page to provide further assistance and information.