Ritalin is another seemingly harmless drug that has a potential downside. It is classified as a psycho stimulant and it is commonly prescribed to young children who have a difficult time concentrating and who are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD.) since it is a powerful stimulant, it is also used to treat narcolepsy, a sleep disorder characterized by a sudden desire to sleep. Because of its addictive nature, and the tendency for abuse, there are many options for Ritalin rehab.
Ritalin has several common side effects. The most common side effect of use is a rapid heartbeat due to the stimulant nature of the drug. The more dangerous include, but are not limited to, high blood pressure, chest pain, fever, convulsions, muscle cramps, crusty and dry skin, and numbness in the hands. Many of the drug’s ill effects don’t require medical attention and often subside once the body has built a tolerance to the substance. The less dangerous side effects include:
- Loss of appetite
- Stuffy nose
- Sleep troubles
- Scalp hair loss
Manufacturers of the drug have created time-release doses that slowly leech out the stimulant over time. However, addicts have figured out how to crush the tablets and administer the drug in a more concentrated form. Once a user begins using the drug to achieve such an immediate ″rush″ and high, their pathway to addiction is well established and Ritalin rehab may be the next step.
Ritalin’s worst side effect is addiction. It is quite easy to become dependent on the substance. In fact, it is a cousin of methamphetamine, so it makes intuitive sense that the two drugs would have similar rates of addiction. Some addicts do turn to street drugs when they are unable to acquire a supply of prescription drugs.
Who Uses It?
Ritalin is often thought of as a drug prescribed to school children and teens that have problems in school. However, it can also be prescribed for adults who suffer from ADD. It can also pep up those suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, narcolepsy, and it is also used to treat orthostatic tachycardia syndrome that is characterized by low blood volume.
Anyone from a school child to a corporate executive may be taking Ritalin at any given time, so its use and abuse transcends any sort of cultural or economic boundary.
Detox from Ritalin can be a very difficult and trying time. While it is very easy to become dependent on the substance, an abrupt withdrawal from use can cause the following:
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- High stress and anxiety
- Irregular heartbeat patterns
During the acute period of withdrawal, users are very tempted to relapse due to the extreme discomfort they experience in the absence of their drug of choice.
Recovery from a Ritalin addiction may include professional help from counselors and even an in-patient rehab center. The behavioral and psychological components of addiction are the same for Ritalin as for any street drug. In fact, many Ritalin users are known to exceed their prescribed dose and will seek the drug on the black market.
Sometimes, an addiction to a stimulant like Ritalin can be compounded by an addiction to a secondary substance, often a depressant of some sort. Alcohol might be added to the addict’s pattern of use as a means to fall asleep. Other addicts find that opiates can take off the edge of a strong stimulant high, or can even facilitate a night’s sleep.
No matter the particular nature of the addiction, it is common for Ritalin addicts to seek a community of recovering people after rehab. Very often this community is centered on 12-step groups such as Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous, free support networks that can provide the addict with a means of achieving solutions to his problem in the actual 12-step work, but also camaraderie among the fellowships that congregate in the recovery community.
If you or someone you love is experiencing an addiction to Ritalin, you can get help. Reach out to one of our intake specialists today, and they will get you set up with a custom Ritalin rehab plan.
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