Ritalin Drug Facts | A Center for Addiction Recovery

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Information provided below is courtesy of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Ritalin Overview

Ritalin Addiction TreatmentRitalin (methylphenidate) is a central nervous system stimulant. It affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control. Ritalin is used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is also used in the treatment of a sleep disorder called narcolepsy (an uncontrollable desire to sleep). When given for attention deficit disorders, Ritalin should be an integral part of a total treatment program that may include counseling or other therapies. Ritalin may be habit forming. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction.

Ritalin Signs of Abuse

Someone who has become addicted to Ritalin will exhibit telltale signs. Among these are:

  • Torn or Broken Down Relationships: such as broken down marriages, or long-held relationships
  • Problematic Sleeping Patterns: Such as staying up through the night, or “crashing” for long periods of time
  • Financial Problems: begging for money or stealing to trade for drugs
  • Unusual behavior: Such as hyperactivity, being extremely alert, or going from manic to depressive in mood
  • Problematic Eating Habits: resulting in loss of weight or appetite
  • Disregard for Appearance: lack of bathing or wearing clean clothes.

Effects of Ritalin Abuse

  • Permanent damage to blood vessels of heart and brain, high blood pressure leading to heart attacks, strokes and death
  • Liver, kidney and lung damage
  • Destruction of tissues in nose if sniffed
  • Respiratory (breathing) problems if smoked
  • Infectious diseases and abscesses if injected
  • Malnutrition, weight loss
  • Disorientation, apathy, confused exhaustion
  • Strong psychological dependence
  • Psychosis
  • Depression
  • Damage to the brain including strokes and possibly epilepsy

Ritalin Withdrawal Symptoms

Ritalin withdrawal symptoms can be a problem if the medication was abused extensively. It is crucial to slowly taper off the drug over time, which helps to reduce any possible withdrawal symptoms. Here are some possible symptoms of Ritalin withdrawal:

  • Weakness/Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Heart rhythm changes

For information about prescription drug rehab, please contact us at 1 (800) 570-4562