Between the years of 1990 and 2000, the amount of methylphenidate, also known as Ritalin, produced each year increased from 1,768 kilograms to 12,957 kilograms, according to an article produced by PBS. This is a staggering increase, and it might be due to permissible and licit use of the drug. After all, some people find that this medication helps them to deal with very real symptoms of distress caused by conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity syndrome. But the rise might also be caused by the diversion and illicit use of this drug.
The paths people follow in order to develop an addiction like this might be very different, but no matter how addiction starts, the only way to end it is to enroll in a Ritalin rehab program. In rehab, patients can find the comprehensive help they need to fight Ritalin addiction on all fronts. This article will outline some common pathways people follow as they develop an addiction. Call Michael’s House now to find out more.
Experimental Use and Ritalin Addiction
While Ritalin can be vital for people with serious medical concerns, it can also provide help for people who have no medical concerns at all. The drug can help people stay awake and alert, so they can handle the demands of life just a little easier. Experimentation like this can quickly lead to addiction, especially if people augment their use with a dash of another substance.
Experimenting with Ritalin in combination with alcohol or other drugs while out partying is a common starting point for Ritalin addiction. In fact, in a study published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, researchers report that “most” people who abuse Ritalin mix the drug with other substances of abuse. This augmentation can soothe the jitters Ritalin can deliver, and it might provide users with euphoria in addition to alertness. Unfortunately, it can also be very dangerous. Ritalin can enhance the effects of other drugs, which can lead to alcohol poisoning or accidental overdose. Additionally, Ritalin itself when taken in large amounts can cause cardiac arrest or a seizure. Those who mix and match might also develop complex cases of addiction to multiple substances, all at the same time.
Ritalin Prescriptions in Children and Parental Addiction
Sometimes, parents of children with Ritalin prescriptions to treat attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) take advantage of their access to the prescription. Parents like this may follow a predictable pattern of behavior that may progress in this way:
- The parent takes one or two pills.
- The parent enjoys the experience.
- The doctor is asked to provide an “emergency” refill.
- The child is taken to multiple doctors for prescriptions.
- The parent takes the extra pills regularly.
Though abuse can be occasional at first, many overextended parents begin to depend on the drug to accomplish everything they need to get done. Over time, as dependence develops, they may begin to rely on the drug just to get through the day or wake up in the morning. When dependence becomes this serious, Ritalin addiction is definitely an issue that requires treatment.
Medical Use of Ritalin and Addiction
People who have ADHD take the drug Ritalin and experience a calming and focusing effect. The drug helps them to can slow down their thoughts, so they can take a breath before acting or making a decision. In a study on the drug’s use in adults, for example, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, researchers found that adults who took the drug had reductions in impulsivity and hyperactivity, and they were able to focus more completely on the tasks at hand. These are all very positive results.
Those who don’t have ADHD, however, may have very different reactions to the drug. Instead of feeling calm and focused, people like this might feel energetic and full of great ideas. Their projects seem to complete themselves, their petty concerns seem to fade, and everything seems clear and wonderful. Even people who do have ADHD may develop this experience if they take large doses of the drug, or if they take the drug’s doses too close together. It’s not uncommon for people to use the drug properly, and then transition to illicit and recreational use. It’s an issue that merits close monitoring, and treatment if an addiction develops.
Treatment at Michael’s House
If you would like more information about what Ritalin addiction treatment includes or how a Ritalin rehab center like Michael’s House can help you or your loved one, contact us today. We offer an extensive Ritalin detox and addiction treatment program as well as sober living for those ready to begin their personal journey toward recovery. Call us here at Michael’s House now.