Ritalin is one of the most commonly used brand names for the drug methylphenidate. Methylphenidate is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant drug which falls in the phenethylamine and piperidine drug classes. Ritalin interacts with chemicals in the brain and central nervous system that are responsible for hyperactivity and impulse control. Methylphenidate is a mild stimulant that is believed to work by changing the levels of certain natural hormones within the brain. This drug is primarily used to treat individuals suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or narcolepsy. Ritalin has been classified as a Schedule II narcotic, similar to cocaine, morphine, and amphetamines. Although this drug is made for the use of medical purposes only, it is commonly abused by teenagers and young adults.
Those who abuse Ritalin typically use slang names for the drug such as:
The abuse of Ritalin is especially common in teenagers and young adults. The problem may begin through abuse of prescribed Ritalin, either intentionally or in an attempt to keep up with job or school demands. Other teens experimenting with the drug are supplied by friends, theft from a family member, or an illegal street dealer. Although many teens may start off using Ritalin as a means to stay focused, thats typically not where it ends. Over time, some teens will begin further abusing the drug by chopping the drug and snorting it like cocaine for faster absorption and to experience the effects more rapidly. The effects of the drug can keep its users up for hours, making it very alluring to teens and young adults. However, similar to other stimulant drugs such as cocaine, after the stimulating effects wear off, users will experience a “crash”, inducing feelings of fatigue, depression and reduced awareness. Unfortunately, as teens and young adult keep using the drug, a tolerance develops, causing them to use more and more of the drug in larger amounts. With larger doses of Ritalin, the drug can cause convulsions, headaches, and hallucinations. In some cases, using dangerous amounts of the drug can lead to death. There have been tragic instances in which children died of heart attacks caused by damage associated with Ritalin.
If you or a loved one have been abusing Ritalin, it is very important to seek help as soon as possible. If you are a parent and are concerned that your child may be abusing Ritalin, it is vital that you effectively address your child and have them assessed by a medical professional. The earlier a Ritalin abuse issue is treated, the better the treatment outcomes. However, it is never too late to seek help. Harbor Village offers comprehensive drug addiction treatment services which are capable of effectively treating even the most complex substance use problems.