Ritalin is a brand name for the generic drug Methylphenidate, which is a stimulant, and is primarily used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Ritalin is a drug that is prescribed for daily use and comes in the form of a tablet or capsule. According to the FDA medication guide, Ritalin is a central nervous system stimulant prescription medication that may help increase attention and decrease impulsiveness and hyperactivity in patients with ADHD. Ritalin is also used to treat narcolepsy. Drugs such as Ritalin are commonly redirected from reliable channels to be secretly used in the illegal market contributing to Ritalin addiction and abuse.
Common Street Names for Ritalin
Stimulants come in the form of pills, powder, rocks and injectable liquids. There are various stimulants that are well known for their brand names such as Adderall, Dexedrine and Didrex. Some street names are:
- Black Beauties
- Vitamin R
The active ingredient in Ritalin is methylphenidate HCL and the inactive ingredients are: D&C Yellow No.10, FD&C Green No.3, lactose, magnesium, stearate, polyethylene glycol, starch, sucrose, talc, and tragacanth.
Ritalin is a Schedule II substance which carries a high potential for abuse and may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
History and Trends in Ritalin Addiction and Abuse
Methylphenidate, which is the generic name for Ritalin, was created in 1944 and patented in 1954 and used in 1955. The National Forensic Laboratory Information System which is a part of the Drug Enforcement Administration frequently collects drug identification results of cases studied at different governmental levels in forensic laboratories. Between 2007 and 2011 ADD/ADHD drugs more than doubled with the majority of the laboratories reporting on the use from the South of the United States. They gathered the results that between 2007 and 2011 the amount of ADD/ADHD medication prescriptions given out annually elevated 39%.
Drugs such as Ritalin are commonly used in universities when students need that extra push to complete an assignment on time or to be able to stay up all night to study. Many times they are sold by people who are prescribed the medication to students without the prescription.
Side Effects of Ritalin
Stimulants such as Ritalin boosts dopamine levels in the brain therefore referred to as uppers. The increase of the dopamine helps decrease the impulsiveness of the patient, helping the patient focus. Side effects of Ritalin may include:
- Upset stomach
- Difficulties sleeping
- Loss of appetite
- Hearty palpitations
- Slowing of growth in children
- Eyesight changes
- Blurred vision
- High blood pressure
- Rapid pulse rate
- Zombie-like behavior
- OCD behavior
- Abnormal movements
Signs of Ritalin Addiction and Abuse
Ritalin is widely available which is an integral part of the drug’s abuse. Ritalin abuse effects start with the patient is trying to reach the rush, or euphoric high while all other interests become secondary. This is because the methylphenidate in the patients system gives effects similar to cocaine due to the rapid release. It is also possible to build up a tolerance leading to the patient needing to take more of the drug to achieve the same effect. Ritalin abuse effects may also include the patient exhibiting hostility, paranoia especially when the drug is taken intranasal. Other Ritalin abuse effects may lead to weight loss and improvement of alertness or to stay awake. Ritalin addiction may lead to the patient using the drug through taking tablets, intravenous use and intranasal use.
Signs of Ritalin addiction and abuse may include:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Physical exhaustion
- Weight loss
- OCD- like behavior
- Sense of superiority
- Reduced appetite
- Rapid heart rate
When drugs such as Ritalin are chronically abused, withdrawal symptoms can form when the drug is stopped. Ritalin is a drug that should be stopped gradually through Ritalin addiction treatment because the symptoms can cause extreme tiredness and severe depression. Other withdrawal symptoms may include panic attacks, crankiness, extreme hunger, nightmares, sweating, nausea, headaches, insomnia, excessive sleep, and rebound worsening of ADHD-like symptoms, over-activity and irritability.
Treatment for Ritalin Addiction and Abuse
Ritalin addiction treatment may vary depending on the person and when they first started to use the drug. Many times it is more difficult for those who started taking the drug at a young age to overcome the dependence on it. Treatment of Ritalin addiction should address the underlying reasons why the patient is using the drug and choose the correct treatment strategies for each individual patient. Ritalin addiction isn’t something easy to overcome but can be treated successfully with a detox program where numerous people overcome their addictions.
If you or someone you know is experiencing Ritalin addiction and abuse, please call White Sands Tampa at 1-877-640-7820.