Ritalin is a central nervous system stimulant used to treat the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adults. Ritalin is also used to treat narcolepsy. Ritalin is used as a part of a treatment plan that should include counseling and behavioral and education modification. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse’s Monitoring the Future Survey, more than 4 percent of all high school students use Ritalin on a regular basis and in 1994, more high school seniors abused the drug than those who were prescribed the drug legally. Statistics also indicate that those who begin using Ritalin at a young age are more likely to abuse the drug in the teen and college years. Dealing with Ritalin addiction with the support of peers is important for successful recovery.
Because Ritalin is so widely prescribed, young people often view it as a safe way to get high. But using Ritalin in larger amounts or for longer periods of time than prescribed by a physician can lead to addiction. High school and college students also use Ritalin as a study drug to help them focus or stay awake to prepare for big tests or complete large projects. Using Ritalin in this way or selling it to others is dangerous and can lead to accidental overdose. If you or a loved one uses Ritalin and you think he has a problem with the drug, look for these signs of addiction:
- Craving more Ritalin before the next dose is due
- Needing more of the drug to get the same level of control
- Becoming preoccupied with getting and using the drug
- Needing a supply of the drug on hand at all times
- Using Ritalin as a “study drug” or a way to get high with friends
- Selling or sharing your Ritalin prescription with others
- Engaging in illegal behaviors to get and use the drug
- Going into debt to buy Ritalin
- Participating in dangerous behaviors while under the influence of the drug
If you or a loved one experiences any of these symptoms of addiction, it is time to get help.
Ritalin Support Groups
People who are addicted to Ritalin need the help of rehab to break free from the drug. Rehab begins with a period of medically-supervised detox where the body is given the opportunity to rid itself of the drug toxins. After detox, a program of psychotherapy and individual and group counseling will help you learn valuable coping skills to deal with strong emotions and drug cravings. Once rehab is over, getting support from your peers helps you know you are not alone in your struggles. Family members and friends can also help to encourage you as you face each day. With the right mix of coping skills, help from others, and determination, you can live a life free from the negative influences of Ritalin abuse.
Finding Help for Ritalin Addiction
Ritalin addiction continues to be a problem for many long-term Ritalin users. If you or a loved one struggles with Ritalin abuse, we are here to help you. Call our toll-free number 24 hours a day to speak to an admissions coordinator. We are ready to answer your questions about Ritalin addiction and help you find appropriate treatment.