Ritalin addiction is similar to amphetamine addiction. Ritalin is a prescription stimulant drug. It acts on the central nervous system and is most commonly used to treat ADHD. It most commonly comes in a small pill, starting at a dosage of 5mg and going up to 10mg or 20mg doses.
Although Ritalin is the leading drug prescribed to treat children diagnosed with ADHD, it is also a substance that is addictive and carries serious side effects. As a rule of thumb, Many people will either “doctor shop” and get multiple prescriptions filled, or they purchase them illicitly. These allow an individual to take more than the prescribed amount and to get the high that they are seeking.
Signs of Ritalin Addiction
If you are unsure if you or a loved one is abusing Ritalin or a similar stimulant, there are certain behavioral signs you can look for to find out. When trying to find out if an adult is abusing Ritalin, look out for the following signs:
It is not as easy to identify a teenager who is abusing Ritalin as they do not usually present the same behaviors. However, there are a few things you can look for to find out if a teen is abusing Ritalin or another drug. They may have different paraphernalia such as a hammer or grinder in their room used to crush the pills. If they are injecting the substance, they may have a kit including a syringe, spoon, lighter, and belt.
Behavioral Changes and Ritalin Abuse
In addition to the signs listed above, someone who is abusing Ritalin will likely present a number of different behavioral and personality changes. They may start to spend time with a new group of friends or have lots of sudden mood swings, increased hunger outside of normal meals, and decreased hygiene. You may hear them use slang words to describe Ritalin such as rids, vitamin R, smarties, diet coke, and skittles. They may avoid making eye contact and start acting in a manipulative way including making lies and coming up with excuses. Thus, issues in school, work, or other personal responsibilities may arise, as well as unexplained financial changes. There are several addiction treatment programs available to choose from.
Ritalin Addiction Side Effects
Ritalin abuse is not a benign addiction by any means. Thus, someone who uses this substance more than prescribed, or when they have not been prescribed it, run the risks of experiencing any number of the following side effects:
Ritalin Abuse & Overdose
Someone who is using Ritalin to chase a high is likely going to use higher and higher doses as time goes on. As a result, this type of risky behavior can lead to an overdose. As a stimulant, this drug causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. When overdosing, a heart attack and related symptoms are possible. Additional signs of overdose include:
Ritalin Detox & Withdrawal
Just like many other stimulants, ceasing the use of Ritalin can lead to an array of possible detox symptoms. These symptoms may be as mild as drowsiness and deep sleep or as severe as panic attacks, nightmares, and depression. Additionally, severe irritability and extreme hunger are also possible symptoms. A medical detox program can help manage these symptoms and get you or your loved one on the road to recovery from a Ritalin addiction.