Signs of Ritalin Abuse
Methylphenidate increases dopamine levels in the brain. Methylphenidate is generally not addictive when taken by prescription at the recommended dosage. Oral doses of methylphenidate take about sixty minutes to reach the brain. This length of time prevents the drug from causing the kind of high produced by many illicit, or illegal, drugs that release dopamine. When snorted or injected, methylphenidate has the potential to be addictive. In both of these consumption methods, the drug reaches the brain more rapidly than when swallowed in pill form. The most frequently observed side effects of Ritalin and other methylphenidates (when used appropriately) are difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, and nervousness. Less common side effects include skin rash, fever, weight loss, dizziness, headaches, stomach pain, irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing, and feelings of anxiety. It is possible that long-term use of methylphenidate causes slowed growth in children. Some parents fear that children who take methylphenidate in childhood may become substance abusers in their teens.
Dangers of Ritalin Abuse
The health consequences of methylphenidate abuse depend on the method used to deliver the drug into the body. When injected, the drug moves quickly into the body and bypasses many of the body’s natural defenses against environmental contaminants. Dust, bacteria, or other substances can get into the solution and cause serious harm to the user. Users who inject methylphenidate risk health problems like blood clots, infections, and drug overdoses. Those who share needles increase their chances of contracting hepatitis, a liver disease, and HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus), which can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). Snorting methylphenidate can seriously damage a user’s nasal passages, causing open sores in the nose, frequent nose bleeds, and a burning sensation in the nose. The abuse of methylphenidate can lead to a number of more general health problems, as well.
Methylphenidate that is abused gives the user a high, which is addictive and leads to the desire for greater amounts of the drug. Higher doses can bring on agitation, uncontrollable shaking, and high blood pressure. Methylphenidate abusers may also see things that are not real, have strange ideas that are not true, and act in a bizarre manner. Severe consequences, including death, have been reported.
It is very important to clarify what a psychological dependence means. According to the medical field of study, a psychological addiction is which affects the behavior of the user. The individual has a particular mental state that is characterized by an imperious wish of using the drug in order to obtain the drug’s effects.
Scientists claim that Ritalin is not addictive when taken orally and used exactly as prescribed. It becomes addictive when a person abuses it. Ritalin is known as a highly addictive drug when misused and can result in severe psychological dependence.
A person who abuses Ritalin can definitely develop a physical tolerance to the drug that requires an increased dosage to attain the same results. Ritalin dependence can lead to signs and symptoms like cravings and panic attacks if the drug is not available. These panic attacks can cause psychotic episodes and even heart disorders.
It is important to distinguish between abusers who are misusing Ritalin for performance purposes, which may cause them to develop dependency and addiction, and those who are seeking a cocaine-like high. Some hardcore abusers engage a “binge-crash” behavior, where they use Ritalin over the course of days without sleep, behavior that results in a lapse into a coma-like state.
Recognizing a Ritalin Addiction
It can sometimes be difficult to recognize the signs of Ritalin abuse and dependence in someone. A person can tell if Ritalin is being abused based on behavioral and physical changes.
Possible Ritalin addiction signs may include:
- Problems at school or work
- Physical health issues
An unnatural increase in energy and focus may be an indication of a Ritalin addiction. Difficulty sleeping, high blood pressure, fast breathing, and increased heart rate can also be Ritalin addiction signs.
- Behavioral changes
Ritalin can cause feelings of elation. A Ritalin addict may appear more energetic or report a deep sense of well-being. Ritalin addicts also tend to eat less than other people and have problems with their sleeping patterns
- Spending money on Ritalin
Signs of a Ritalin Overdose
When abused, methylphenidate produces toxicity similar to other central nervous system (CNS) stimulant overdoses. Stimulant intoxication produces a wide pattern of signs and symptoms:
• Toxic psychosis
• Loss of consciousness
• Irregular heartbeat
• Dilated pupils