Ritalin Substance Abuse Overview

Ritalin, the trade name for methylphenidate, It stimulates the central nervous system, with effects similar to but less potent than amphetamines and more potent than caffeine. Ritalin has a notably calming effect on hyperactive children and a “focusing” effect on those with ADHD. When taken as prescribed, Ritalin is a valuable medicine. Further, research funded by the National Institute of Mental Health has shown that people with ADHD do not get addicted to their stimulant medications at treatment dosages. Because of its stimulant properties, however, in recent years there have been reports of its abuse by people for whom it is not a medication. These prescription tablets can create powerful stimulant effects and serious health risks when crushed and then snorted like cocaine, or injected like heroin.

What is Ritalin/Methylphenidate?

Methylphenidate is often often referred to by the brand name Ritalin. It is a medication prescribed for children with an abnormally high level of activity or with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and is also occasionally prescribed for treating narcolepsy. Ritalin is a type of drug that stimulates the brain mentally but also suppresses other areas of the brain so the ADHD patient is more calm and able to focus. When taken properly, the drug can be safe and effective. It can become a very addictive and sought after prescription drug by those who are already addicted to stimulant drugs or those who try it for the first time.

Dangers

Teenagers who are addicted to the drug often crush the pill and snort the Ritalin because it is believed to give an instant high. It can become a very addictive and sought after prescription drug by those who are already addicted to stimulant drugs or those who try it for the first time. These prescription tablets can create powerful stimulant effects and serious health risks when crushed and then snorted like cocaine, or injected like heroin.

How it works medically?

Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a central nervous system stimulant, similar to amphetamines in the nature and duration of its effects. It is believed that it works by activating the brain stem arousal system and cortex. Pharmacologically, it works on the neurotransmitter dopamine, and in that respect resembles the stimulant characteristics of cocaine.

Short-term effects

  • Nervousness and insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations
  • Headaches
  • Changes in heart rate and blood pressure (usually elevation of both, but occasionally depression)
  • Skin rashes and itching
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weight loss
  • Digestive problems
  • Toxic psychosis
  • Psychotic episodes
  • Drug dependence syndrome
  • Severe depression upon withdrawal.

What are its long-term effects?

High doses of stimulants produce a predictable set of symptoms that include loss of appetite (may cause serious malnutrition), tremors and muscle twitching, fevers, convulsions, and headaches (may be severe), irregular heartbeat and respirations (may be profound and life threatening), anxiety, restlessness, paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions, excessive repetition of movements and meaningless tasks, and formicaton (sensation of bugs or worms crawling under the skin)

Statistics

  • One in eight teens (13 percent) now reports that they have taken the stimulants Ritalin or Adderall when it was not prescribed for them, at least once in their lifetime.
  • In fact, nearly one-third of parents say they believe Rx stimulants like Ritalin or Adderall, normally prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), can improve a teen’s academic performance even if the teen does not have ADHD.
  • One in eight teens (about 2.7 million) now reports having misused or abused the Rx stimulants Ritalin or Adderall at least once in their lifetime.
  • 9 percent of teens (about 1.9 million) report having misused or abused the Rx stimulants Ritalin or Adderall in the past year (up from 6 percent in 2008) and 6 percent of teens (1.3 million) report abuse of Ritalin or Adderall in the past month (up from 4 percent in 2008).

Treatments

For all treatment needs and levels of care, Inspirations’ employs a team of qualified and caring teen addiction treatment professionals, offering a Treatment Program for Adolescents/Teens, who are demonstrating destructive, rebellious, and defiant behaviors resulting in personal and family dysfunction. Our goal in teen addiction treatment is to treat the disease, build the teen’s self confidence and reunite the family. Our teen prescription drug addiction treatment programs are designed around a positive environment to boost the teens self-esteem and produce long term results.

The teen addiction treatment combines a motivational program with the “accountability” concept, emphasizing, respect for family, respect for others, and a teamwork approach towards daily goals and accomplishments. During your teens enrollment to our Teen Prescription Addiction Treatment Center we will tailor a personal educational plan for your teenager. Inspirations for Youth and Families offer an “On-Site” Preparatory format school program in order for our teens to maintain High School Credits.