Ritalin Addiction Facts
Ritalin is mainly used to treat ADHD and is dispensed in 5,10 or 20 mg tablets. An extended release version of Ritalin is now also available. This medication is considered a Schedule II controlled substance. This means that your doctor will have to write you a special prescription and no refills will be allowed. One of the reasons for this is because of the increase in the number of cases of Ritalin Drug abuse.
Thousands of ER visits occur each year due to Ritalin abuse. There are many reasons that experts believe these Ritalin related ER visits are on the rise. First is that many erroneously believe that because Ritalin is a prescription medication, it is safer than street drugs. Most people unwilling to try street drugs, may be more open to try a medication not prescribed for them. Also, there has been a rise in the number of legitimate prescriptions being written for Ritalin, which makes the availability of the drug much wider.
Many choose to use Ritalin to stay awake for longer periods of time. Those who are attending school may use Ritalin to stay awake and study. The same is true for those who are required to stay up for extended periods while working. Others try Ritalin in order to lose weight. Ritalin often works in the short term for these purposes, but not over a longer periods. As the brain becomes more accustomed to Ritalin, a user will need to take more and more for the same effect, continuing to do more damage to their brain. it has been recently rported that people are taking Ritalin to alter their response to alcohol also. When using this medication, a person can hypothetically drink more without passing out. This is of additional concern as it can lead to fatal alcohol poisoning.
Ritalin may be taken in a number of ways. Normally it is taken as a tablet. Abusers will often crush Ritalin tablets and snort it in order to increase the effects. Others choose to dissolve it in water and take it intravenously. No matter how the drug is taken, the signs of Ritalin abuse will be these same. These include increasing doses of Ritalin as well as frequent episodes of binging. After either of these, the abuser will often exhibit severe depression.
Other symptoms often seen with Ritalin Addiction include physical cravings for the drug and an inability to abstain from it. Dramatic mood swings may be seen and it will appear as if the user has two personalities. One "personality" be seen when the addict is using Ritalin and the other will appear when he or she stops using. Lying about use is another symptom often seen as are aggression and paranoia. A change of friends is a warning sign and physiological effects of Ritalin abuse include an irregular heartbeat and increased body temperature.
In order to deal with Ritalin Addiction or other drug addictions, first the addiction must be recognized. Once this has occurred, treatment may begin. This often requires that the addict enter a drug rehabilitation treatment facility. Once someone enters the treatment facility, detoxification will begin. This is the process of withdrawing from a drug while under medical care and will usually take three days to one week. Symptoms of withdrawal from mRitalin addiction include disturbing dreams, weight gain, uncoordinated behavior and cravings. Other symptoms that may be experienced include fatigue, increased appetite, confusion and depression.
The side effects that occur when withdrawing from Ritalin may be treated while under medical care. This may include sleep aids for insomnia or anti-anxiety drugs. Clonidine, a blood pressure medication, can help to ease the craving that occurs when someone stops using. During detoxification from Ritialin, vitamins and a healthy diet will administered as users often overlook these in their daily life.
Once the detoxification process is underway, therapy will begin. This usually starts within a day or two of entering the program. Drug testing will most likely begin at this point also. During therapy, many things will be looked at. Things discussed during therapy will vary greatly, but will look at such areas as why the patient started using. One-on-one sessions will be combined with group therapy. Family members and significant others may be included in the addiction treatment process. New behaviors will be taught along with life skills. This is designed to help the addict maintain recovery and prevent relapse. It has been shown that the most successful drug rehabilitation programs last for 90 days. Unfortunately, due to the high costs of long term drug addiction treatment, many are 30 days, considered to be short term drug treatment programs. This makes after care even more important.
Addictions are chronic, progressive, and in many cases, fatal diseases. For this reason, long term addiction management is very important.
As with all drugs of addiction, many who suffer from Ritalin Addiction do relapse. Often addicts will find that multiple drug rehabilitation stays will be needed to kick this habit once and for all. The one thing that needs to be remembered is that the longer a Ritalin addict or any addict is clean, the more likely they are to stay that way. One day may not seem like much in the long run, but it is one step closer to a permanent recovery. On the other hand, one day may seem like forever to an addict who is trying to get, and stay sober. Help is available, and you will find it is more beneficial than you ever dreamed.