Ritalin Addiction is a hot topic in today’s news since MLB (Major League Baseball) player’s use of amphetamines, such as Ritalin, increased with the eruption of the steroids scandal. Using the “therapeutic use exemption” rule the league had, the number of players being diagnosed with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and being shot up with Ritalin jumped from 28 to 103 in a single year showing that the concern for Ritalin Addiction is not just isolated to teenagers.
Ritalin is a Schedule II controlled substance that works by increasing the dopamine output in the brain to help with concentration. Ritalin is typically prescribed for disorders such as ADD, ADHD, and narcolepsy. Used in the correct environment under medical supervision, Ritalin has been very effective in helping to treat these various disorders usually in combination with a treatment plan that includes therapy and education. Generally it is classified to have mild to moderate stimulant properties unless it is misused. When Ritalin is being abused, it can be snorted or injected which can cause it to have a stronger stimulant effect.
There are many consequences related to Ritalin Addiction but especially when the drug is snorted or injected. With injection, there can be a various number of complications including overdose, blood clots from scar tissue, particles in the liquid such as lint or fiber, infections (blood poisoning, hepatitis, AIDS, etc.), scars or “tracks”, pulmonary problems, and skin and circulatory problems.
While maybe not as dangerous, snorting also comes with its own set of problems. Someone that crushes and snorts Ritalin may suffer from health problems such as damage to the epithelial tissues lining the nasal cavities and air passages caused by direct contact with the drug. They may also develop open sores, nose bleeds, and possibly deterioration of the nasal cartilage from the formation of hydrochloric acid as the tablets come in contact with moisture.
As with any drug addiction, a person suffering from a Ritalin Addiction may run the risk of overdose as their body develops a tolerance for the drug. As a tolerance for the drug builds, so does the amount of drug needed to reach that same effect they had during the first initial high. With an overdose of Ritalin, you may see such signs and symptoms as Agitation, Confusion, Convulsions which may be followed by coma, Delirium, Dryness of mucous membranes, Enlarged or dilated pupils, Exaggerated feeling of elation, Extremely elevated body temperature, Flushing, Hallucinations, Headache, High blood pressure, irregular or rapid heartbeat, Muscle twitching, Sweating, Tremors, and Vomiting. In situations involving overdose, please seek emergency medical help immediately.
When a person is suffering from Ritalin Addiction, a period of detox and withdrawal will occur once they stop taking the drug. Just like other psycho stimulants, such as crystal meth and cocaine, the withdrawal symptoms are predominantly internal and psychological in nature. Although, withdrawal is not necessarily a life threatening situation, it is uncomfortable and sometimes painful. Withdrawal from Ritalin may have various signs and symptoms, some of which include Tiredness, Anxiety, Depression, Lethargy, Hunger, and Cravings for the drug. People that use Ritalin under medical supervision are usually weaned off of the drug instead of being taken off of it immediately to keep the withdrawal symptoms to a minimum.
Ritalin Addiction is a serious illness that needs to be treated as such with help from licensed, professional drug addiction counselors. Treatment in a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation center may also be needed to help with recovery. If you or someone you know suffers from Ritalin Addiction, please seek help. This is not something that needs to be done alone. Once an addict faces up to their problem, they can begin to enjoy their lives and the company of friends and family. Admitting there is a problem will be the first of many hurdles someone with a Ritalin Addiction will have to face. We can help you get your lives back on track & begin the long road to recovery. Please call us.