RitalinRitalin is a central nervous system stimulant that is used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy in people of all ages. Ritalin is a schedule II controlled substance, which means it has a high potential for abuse. Ritalin is actually a brand name prescription for the drug methylphenidate. There are also sustained or extended-release formulas that are sold as Ritalin SR, Ritalin LA, Metadate ER, Metadate CD, Methylin ER, and Concerta. Ritalin was synthesized in 1944 but wasn’t marketed until 1957. It was then used to treat chronic fatigue, depression, and narcolepsy and to offset sedation effects from other medications. In the 1990’s Ritalin started to be used to treat ADHD and the sales have sky rocketed since.

Ritalin comes in 5, 10 and 20 milligram tablets that are intended for oral ingestion. Many people who abuse Ritalin crush the tablet and snort it, or have even been known to dissolve it in water and inject it. When injected it produces feelings of euphoria. Ritalin increases the activity of dopamine in the brain, not unlike other stimulants such as cocaine and amphetamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure feelings. When Ritalin is taken correctly (orally), it raises dopamine levels slowly and steadily. When it is snorted or injected it reaches the brain almost immediately and the intense release of dopamine creates a high.

Ritalin is being abused by many different people. It has been found that many adolescents who are prescribed Ritalin either misuse it themselves by snorting it, or sell it to their friends/classmates for them to do the same. It has also been found that parents are claiming their children have ADHD to obtain the prescription and then keep the medication for their own use. Many universities have found that college students are taking Ritalin to help them stay awake and study. Many times these students snort the drug to achieve faster effects.

Side effects for low doses of Ritalin include: appetite suppression, wakefulness, heightened alertness, headache, nausea, and irregular or rapid heartbeat. Side effects for high doses of Ritalin include: excitation, agitation, muscle twitching hallucinations, dry mouth, increased blood pressure, delirium, seizures, coma, formication (the sense of bugs crawling all over you), and severe anxiety. The long term effects of Ritalin abuse include anxiety and sleeplessness. Abusers who have injected high doses over a long period of time may experience a toxic state resembling acute paranoid schizophrenia. As long as a therapeutic dose is taken a tolerance does not seem to develop. In abusers, a tolerance develops quickly because the feelings they are trying to achieve require a higher and higher dose. Withdrawal symptoms include exhaustion and severe emotional depression.

If you or someone you love has a problem with RITALIN:, call our professionals at Sobriety Resources (855)289-2640 today to experience the freedom of sobriety.

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