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How to Help a Ritalin Addict

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Help for Ritalin Addicts

Ritalin (generic name: methylphenidate) is a highly addictive prescription stimulant medication used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is a widely prescribed medication, making its abuse a common problem across the US.

Addiction to Ritalin often necessitates participation in a specialized substance abuse treatment program. It can be extremely difficult for someone battling a dependency on the drug to cope with the problem independently.

Types of treatment for Ritalin addiction vary and may include some combination of the following;

Is Ritalin Addictive?

Ritalin is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance, which means that it carries a high potential for abuse and may lead to the psychological and/or physical dependence.

Ritalin is believed to influence dopamine levels within the synapse. By increasing the level of synaptic dopamine, it produces intensely gratifying sensations of euphoria. In fact, the drug is both pharmacologically and structurally similar to cocaine – with similarly rewarding stimulant effects.

Fusce vitae

Ritalin is the most commonly prescribed stimulant medicine and is among the most abused drugs in the United States. Methylphenidate and Ritalin are available in several different forms, including:

  • Tablets.
  • Patches (marketed as Daytrana).
  • Capsules.
  • Liquid (marketed as Methylin and Quillivant).

Several studies have suggested that the addiction potential of Ritalin is much higher when the drug is crushed up and inhaled nasally or injected, as the effects are felt quicker and more intensely.

What are the Signs of Addiction?

Potential signs of Ritalin addiction may include:

  • Pupil dilation.
  • Dizziness.
  • Nausea.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Chest pain.
  • Heart rhythm changes.
  • Changes in libido.
  • Psychological symptoms (such as paranoid delusions, hearing voices, expansive thought, depression, etc.)
  • Withdrawal symptoms when substance is not administered.

One of telltale signs of addiction is using the drug in a manner that is different than prescribed. For instance, individuals abusing Ritalin may:

  • Take higher doses than recommended.
  • Take in combination with other substances, such as alcohol or opiates.
  • Crush the tablets and inhale them rather than take them orally.

Am I Addicted?

Addiction signs aren’t always physical. You may have a problem with Ritalin if you:

  • Lose interest in your hobbies.
  • Academic or employment difficulties (such as sudden disinterest, frequent absenteeism).
  • Changes in interpersonal relationships.
  • Obsession with obtaining/using the drug.
  • Altering the prescribed dose (taking more than what is prescribed).
  • Using the drug for recreation or without a prescription.
  • Visit multiple doctors for a prescription.

Understanding whether you or a loved one addiction is not simply about recognizing the physical symptoms. Someone struggling with addiction may also exhibit social and behavioral changes.

If your use is affecting both your health and the way you conduct your life, you are likely addicted to Ritalin.

Those who regularly take Ritalin should monitor themselves continually for the following common signs of addiction:  

Disrupted sleep patterns – Individuals who are addicted to Ritalin will often stay up all night and then have extended periods of crashing.

Erratic behavior – Addicted individuals will exhibit periods of hyperactivity, which are characterized by extreme alertness and intense mood swings, ranging from euphoric highs to depressive lows.

Irregular eating – Addicted individuals may exhibit rapid changes in weight or appetite.

Interpersonal difficulties – Addiction can lead to difficulties at school, work, and in other relationships. You may even be drawn to withdrawing from others.

If you are concerned about your use of Ritalin, or if you have noticed any of the signs listed above in someone you care about, talk to a doctor or addiction specialist.

Addiction Treatment

Should you or someone you know struggle with addiction to Ritalin, there are a number of treatment options available.

Call Our Hotline Today

Recovery from Ritalin addiction often requires treatment. Trying to overcome addiction alone can be frustrating and difficult.

There are a number of treatment options that can help you break free from a substance use disorder and finally feel like yourself again. Reach out to us today at for more information on how we can help you reclaim your life or the life of someone you know from grip of Ritalin addiction.

 How to Help Someone with Alcohol or Illicit Drug Addiction

Help for Prescription Drug Abuse

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Amanda Lautieri is a Senior Web Content Editor at American Addiction Centers and an addiction content expert for DrugAbuse.com. She holds a bachelor's degree and has reviewed thousands of medical articles on substance abuse and addiction.
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