Ritalin, also known under the generic name methylphenidate, is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and sleep disorders such as narcolepsy. This prescription drug is a mild stimulant that creates a calming effect for hyperactive children.
The side effects of Ritalin include nervousness, insomnia, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and headaches. Other more serious side effects include numbness, changes in skin color, sudden outbursts, aggression, agitation, depression, mood swings, and uncontrolled movements.
When properly prescribed and monitored, Ritalin is effective and safe for the treatment of ADHD. Like other stimulants, this drug is most commonly abused by those taking it without a prescription. The risk of abuse among those using Ritalin for non-medical purposes is so high that the US Drug Enforcement Administration classifies Ritalin as a Schedule II drug, alongside cocaine, methamphetamine, and OxyContin.
In non-ADHD patients, Ritalin can provide better energy and focus. It can also give users a sense of motivation that helps the user complete day-to-day tasks. Essentially, a drug created to calm children has the opposite effect on adolescents and adults without ADHD. A tolerance for Ritalin can develop quickly, and as the user loses that stimulating effect, will require more of the drug, leading to addiction.
Symptoms of Ritalin Abuse
Anyone taking Ritalin for prolonged periods of time, particularly for non-medical use, are most at risk for developing an addiction and over time may begin to develop the following:
- Tremors or muscle twitches
- Loss of appetite, accompanied by weight loss
- Headaches and fevers
- An irregular heart beat
- Trouble breathing
- Anxiety and restlessness
- Paranoia and hallucinations
Ritalin Withdrawal Treatment
Suddenly stopping the use of Ritalin can lead to extreme exhaustion, intense nausea and severe depression. Therefore, it’s vital to seek treatment if you or a loved one shows signs of Ritalin abuse. Continuing to use the drug can result in an increase in side-effects and potentially lead to an overdose.
Talbott Recovery offers a number of addiction rehab programs, including day treatment and intensive outpatient programs. Get help for your Ritalin drug addiction at one of our three facilities located in the Atlanta, Dunwoody, or Columbus, GA areas.
Learn more about how Talbott Recovery can help you or a loved one end their battle with Ritalin abuse. Contact us today.