Ritalin Abuse, Addiction and the Best Treatment for Recovery in Idaho

Ritalin addiction and abuse continue to be problematic for people who live in Idaho.

Many do not realize that they are addicted, and as a result, may not realize their need for detox and rehab to recover. This is typical, considering the fact that we tend to think of prescription drugs as safe. But when they are misused, they are not safe at all.

A lot of people do not mean to get hooked on Ritalin. In fact, it has become one of many “smart drugs” that college students use to stay awake to prepare for exams. But whether a person is using it according to the prescription, or as a recreational stimulant, both can and do lead to addictions.

Fortunately, it is possible to recover from a Ritalin addiction with the right support. In most cases, this means going through both detox and rehab. We want to make sure Idahoans get the proper information about this drug and how to get off it safely.

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What is Ritalin?

Ritalin is the brand name for the generic drug, methylphenidate. It is a central nervous system stimulant that is used to treat ADHD/ADD and narcolepsy.

It works by affecting specific chemicals and nerves in the brain that are associated with hyperactivity and impulse control.

Doctors first started prescribing Ritalin in the 1960s. But the number of prescriptions being written for it increased in the 1990s due to the number of people being diagnosed with ADHD.

In 2013, the number of prescriptions written for Ritalin increased by more than 60%. 2.4 billion people use this drug worldwide, and the United States accounts for 80% of the total consumption.

Ritalin Addiction

Ritalin abuse is common with teens and young adults using it to the point they become addicted. Ritalin is a type of amphetamine drug and is related to the highly addictive crystal meth. What is making Ritalin such a problem is its availability.

Ritalin Addiction

Young people can find it in school, in their homes, and it can also be bought online illegally. Ritalin is also addictive for those who already suffer from stimulant addictions like cocaine or meth. It's cheaper than these illicit drugs and easier to obtain much of the time.

When someone is given a prescription, Ritalin dosage is suggested and it should be adhered to. When users just take Ritalin for the high, they can create a tolerance that gets out of control. There's little monitoring of the means and amount that Ritalin is being used when it's taken without a prescription. It is within the misuse of Ritalin that people are becoming addicted.

Research has found that addiction to Ritalin doesn't occur as much when it's supervised properly. When it's crushed, snorted, or injected, the amphetamine chemicals rush through the body. This creates a sensation much different than when used properly. When someone abuses Ritalin, it can cause a psychological or physical dependence. The Ritalin dosage can increase due to tolerance and cravings may ensue. If you notice that someone you care about is abusing Ritalin, there are professional services to help with prescription drug addiction.

The Ritalin High

Ritalin is often abused for the euphoric feeling a user gets along with the stimulant effects. To obtain a greater high, users will often snort Ritalin which causes irregular heartrate, hallucinations, and seizures. Methylphenidate is similar to amphetamine drugs which helps a person with ADHD to concentrate.

When taken by people abusing the drug for a high, it can cause agitation and restlessness.

Ritalin and its euphoric effects are attributed to the fact it increases dopamine in the brain. This is why people enjoy the high which makes them feel happy and gives them a sense of well-being. If you notice someone using Ritalin as a party drug or consistently using it to get high, they may need help to stop using Ritalin.

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Ritalin Abuse

The Drug Enforcement Administration put Ritalin in the schedule II drug classification due to its high risk of being abused. Ritalin abuse and addiction will usually happen when it's taken for non-medical reasons or when used in higher doses than prescribed. Ritalin abuse includes using it to lose weight, to stay awake/alert, or to get high.

Ritalin has a reputation in colleges as being a “smart drug” and will be abused to help improve performance. There are college students abusing Ritalin that they were prescribed when they were younger.

It becomes useful in college but some will also mix it with alcohol and snort it for a greater high. Ritalin abuse for performance can easily become dependency and addiction as the student begins to believe that without the drug, they couldn't perform any longer.

Serious abusers of Ritalin will binge-crash. This is where they take high Ritalin dosages for a few days and not sleep. This results in a coma-like state once they stop taking Ritalin. They may sleep heavily for long periods of time after a binge session. It mimics cocaine abuse and builds up a tolerance for Ritalin. Within this binge frame, they are more likely to snort Ritalin to get a greater high and feeling of euphoria. When taken by needle, it can cause a rapid spike of “good vibes” that can get users hooked. The severity of this kind of abuse can lead to coma, heart problems, and death. If someone you know is abusing Ritalin, it may be time to get them some professional addiction treatment.

Ritalin Side Effects

When someone abuses Ritalin, it increases the side effects that come with the drug. Some side effects are quite serious and should be monitored by a doctor. Ritalin can change how the heart beats and interfere with breathing. The active drug in Ritalin, methylphenidate, can affect growth in children. Some of the common side effects of Ritalin include;

  • A pain in the chest.
  • A fast, pounding heartbeat that can be irregular.
  • Changes in mood such as agitation, excitement, or depression.
  • Paranoia, hallucinations, or delusions may occur.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Potential seizures.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Headaches.

Serious allergic side effects that indicate you should call your doctor immediately;

  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swollen lips, tongue, or throat.

Complications when taking Ritalin can occur. If someone is experiencing any of the following symptoms, they need to stop taking the medication and seek medical help;

  • They have a pain in their chest and are having trouble breathing.
  • They're seeing things that aren't there.
  • Behavior problems that weren't there before including hostility or paranoia.
  • Convulsions.
  • Unexplained wounds
  • A change in skin color in fingers or toes.
  • Muscles twitches.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Flu symptoms like muscle pain or tender skin.

Are Smart Drugs or Study Drugs a Problem in Idaho?

One of the benefits of a stimulant like Ritalin is that it boosts mental performance and acuity. That alone is the characteristic that has drawn so many people to it.

The Scientific American reported that in one survey of close to 80,000 people, 14% of them reported using stimulants at least once in 2018. That number increased by 5% by 2015.

The use of smart drugs in this way is known as pharmacological cognitive enhancement. There were 15 countries represented in the survey and they all experienced an increase in this area.

The highest rates of use were found to be among people in the United States. Close to 30% admitted to having used Ritalin or a similar drug for PCE at least once in the last year. This was an increase of 20% in 2015.

But how has using Ritalin as a study drug impacted people in Idaho?

Now more than ever, college students are using Ritalin and other prescription stimulants as a way to get ahead. Idaho has some of the best colleges and universities in the country. A quick walk on any campus will result in students that are desperately trying to get good grades. For many of them, finding out that taking a simple pill could help was the lifeline they were hoping for.

It has become a serious problem; especially because Ritalin and similar drugs are so prone to abuse. But aside from that, there are those who are equating their use to the use of steroids for athletes.

One student from Idaho State University told KPVI News, “I do understand why people take them because they do have heavy workloads or they feel really stressed or really need to study the material but for other people who just put in their hard work. It just seems unfair to me.”

What to Expect During Ritalin Withdrawal

Withdrawal from Ritalin can cause drastic changes in how someone acts. It can be extremely challenging to withdraw from without professional help. Ritalin withdrawal symptoms are psychologically dominated. If someone attempts to stop abruptly on their own, it can result in aggression, panic, fatigue, and depression. The extreme low an individual goes through can result in suicidal tendencies also. The dependency on Ritalin is complex and the behavior that occurs with withdrawal can be life-threatening for the user. What you should do when you are worried about someone using Ritalin is get them to seek professional addiction help.

Abuse of Ritalin by Combining Other Substances

Mixing substances with Ritalin can be extremely harmful. For example, alcohol can cause the methylphenidate to quickly release in the bloodstream. If someone is using other medications, there may be adverse effects when mixed together. Ritalin shouldn't be taken if an MAO inhibitor has been taken in the past two weeks. Examples includes; methylene blue injection, phenelzine, or rasagiline.

Substances that don't mix well with Ritalin include:

  • Medications for depression or mood disorders.
  • Medication for blood pressure.
  • Blood thinners.
  • Narcotic opioid medication or heroin.
  • Cold or allergy medicine containing pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine.
  • Seizure medication.
  • There are also vitamins and herbal products that can interact badly with Ritalin.

Various Names of Ritalin

The generic name of Ritalin is methylphenidate. Brand names include;

  • Aptensio XR
  • Concerta
  • Metadate CD
  • Metadate ER
  • Methylin
  • Quillivant XR
  • Ritalin LA
  • Ritalin-SR

Differences of Ritalin vs. Adderall

When comparing Ritalin vs. Adderall, there are some differences although they are both psychostimulant drug treatments for ADHD and narcolepsy. They're both central nervous system stimulants and increase the brain's neurotransmitters, speeding up the activity in your brain. When it comes to addiction with Ritalin vs. Adderall, studies have shown that Adderall is a lot more addictive. Ritalin however, tends to have more negative side effects, especially related to long-term use.

Adderall stays active for a longer period of time and contains Dextroamphetamine and Levoamphetamine which are amphetamine salts. Ritalin contains Methylphenidate and reaches its peak faster than Adderall. Adderall works for 4-6 hours while Ritalin works for 2-3 hours. When people are choosing Ritalin vs. Adderall, they may choose the shorter-acting drug so they can control when they experience side effects.

Signs that a Friend or Family Member is Abusing or Addicted to Ritalin

Addiction often comes with its own set of symptoms with each type of substance addiction inhibiting their own select signs. If you think someone you know is experiencing a problem with Ritalin abuse or addiction, here are some signs and symptoms to look for;

  • Weight loss and loss of appetite.
  • Change in behavior that may include depression, agitation, insomnia, or fatigue.
  • Pupil dilation.
  • They may complain of stomach pain, headaches and the inability to see properly.
  • Repetitive actions as though they have OCD.
  • Hallucinations and paranoia.
  • Violent tendencies.

If someone you know is showing some of the signs and symptoms above, it may be time to seek professional detox help. Ritalin is one of the drugs that you should seek professional help detoxing from as it can cause psychological behaviors that can cause harm to the person.

Ritalin abuse and addiction are serious and vary with each individual. It may be challenging for you to talk with the person you suspect is abusing Ritalin.

The fact is, it's necessary. Ritalin addiction treatment programs can help detox the individual and rehabilitate them through holistic means. Ritalin Addiction and Abuse Resources for Families/Friendsinclude 12-step programs, SMART Recovery, and Inpatient/Outpatient treatment.

Idaho Recovery Options for Ritalin Addiction

Addiction treatment is the best course of action for someone who has gotten addicted to Ritalin. This goes for someone who has been taking it long-term by prescription, or for those who have been using it non-medically. The individual forms a psychological and physical addiction to the drug, which means two types of treatment are recommended.

Drug detox can help with withdrawal symptoms once the drug is stopped. This might begin with a period of weaning off the medication. Afterward, the person may be started on medications to help with any withdrawal they are experiencing.

The next step is to go to a quality drug rehab for therapy and further treatment. It is possible that the addict could be suffering from a co-occurring disorder, which should be treated.

Ashwood Recovery’s Outpatient Rehab Program

Ashwood Recovery offers one of the best outpatient drug treatment centers in Idaho. We recognize that people need personalized care when it comes to addiction recovery. That is why we offer three levels of care to better meet their needs.

Our program consists of either partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient treatment or traditional outpatient rehab. We assess each of our clients carefully to determine what level is right for them. Also, when someone presents with a Ritalin addiction, they are always referred to a detox program we know and trust first. When they are finished detoxing, they return to us for additional treatment and help.

Get More Information About Ritalin Addiction, Abuse, Treatment and Recovery in Idaho

At Ashwood Recovery, our clients are very important to us. We know how hard it can be to admit that they have addictions to Ritalin, and we are here to provide support.

Our staff members are there to show our clients that recovery is possible. They are determined to provide the highest level of care so that our clients can be successful in the long-term.

Would you like to know more about Ritalin abuse and addiction? Do you have questions about the type of Idaho treatment center that might work best for you? Please contact us.

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