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Ritalin: Addiction, Withdrawal, Overdose, Detox & Treatment
When most people think of Ritalin, they think of a medication that is prescribed to help children with ADHD focus and stay on track. What many people don’t realize is that Ritalin can be addictive.
In this post, we’ll explore the signs and symptoms of Ritalin addiction, withdrawal, overdose, and detox. We’ll also discuss treatment options for those struggling with an addiction to Ritalin.
What Is Ritalin?
Ritalin is a central nervous system stimulant. It’s classified as a Schedule II Controlled Substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) because it has a high potential for abuse and dependence.
This drug is known by the chemical name methylphenidate hydrochloride. It is also known by other brand names and street names. The drug is known by other brand names such as Ritalin-Sustained Release (SR).
Aside from that, it is also known by several street names to hide the real name of the drug when illegal distribution happens. Some of its known street names are Smarties, Poor man’s cocaine, R-ball, Skittles, Kiddie Cocaine, Diet Coke, and more.
What Does Ritalin Look Like?
Ritalin comes in tablet form and is meant to be taken orally. It’s available in both immediate-release and extended-release formulas.
The extended-release formula, Ritalin-SR, is a tablet that dissolves slowly in the body. It’s designed to be taken twice a day and provides a steady stream of methylphenidate into the bloodstream.
Ritalin tablets are small and round. They’re available in 5 mg,10 mg, and 20 mg with pill imprints of CIBA 7, CIBA 3, and CIBA 34, respectively. The colors of the three different tablets are yellow, green, and yellow, respectively.
What Is Ritalin Used For?
Ritalin is another prescription stimulant drug that is used for the medication of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and extreme sleepiness during the day or narcolepsy.
However, the drug is being misused and abused by people of all age groups due to its effects on the brain. It is a central nervous system stimulant that increases focus and attention while decreasing impulsive behavior and hyperactivity.
How Does Ritalin Work?
This drug works similarly to dextroamphetamine. It causes an adrenaline rush in the person’s mind and body. The methylphenidate hydrochloride in this drug mixes with the blood after being taken orally.
It travels to the brain, where it prevents the reabsorption of dopamine and norepinephrine. This increases the amount of these chemicals in the brain, which makes the person more alert and responsive to stimuli.
Norepinephrine is responsible for making the heart beat faster and for narrowing blood vessels. This makes the blood pressure go up. Norepinephrine also makes the sugar level in the blood go up.
Meanwhile, dopamine is responsible for how fast messages move in the brain. An increased concentration of dopamine means that people are more alert mentally.
How Long Before You Can Feel the Effects of Ritalin?
It usually takes 20 to 30 minutes for Ritalin to start working. That being said, everyone responds differently to medications and some people may feel the effects sooner or later than others.
If you do not feel the effects of Ritalin after 30 minutes, it’s important not to take another dose. Taking more medication than prescribed can lead to serious side effects and even overdose.
How Long Does Ritalin Stay In Your System?
There is no exact answer to how long Ritalin will stay in your system, as it depends on many individual factors. However, we can give you some general guidance based on the different types of tests that may be used to detect the drug.
Of course, these are just rough guidelines – the actual detection window will vary depending on personal factors like metabolism and frequency of use.
Urine Test – 1 to 2 days
Blood Test – 12 hours
Saliva Test – 1 to 2 days
Hair Test – 90 days
What are the Short and Long-term Side Effects of Ritalin?
The short-term side effects of this drug include headache, loss of appetite, agitation, difficulty sleeping, lightheadedness, and nausea.
The long-term side effects include destroyed brain arteries, damaged optic nerves, cardiovascular diseases, and elevated blood pressure.
If addiction persists over time, the severe health consequences it delivers to the person are permanent brain damage, and heart and lung failure.
Is Ritalin Addictive?
This medication is dangerous because it is addictive and can harm your health. It is as addictive as cocaine, but it takes longer for the drug to take effect on the brain.
Cocaine’s addictive effect can be felt very quickly after it is taken, either by snorting it, injecting it, or inhaling it. Ritalin’s effect can be felt hours after taking it by mouth.
People usually abuse Ritalin by snorting it, inhaling it, or injecting it into their veins. The euphoric effect of Ritalin is felt more quickly when people snort or inject it than when they take it by mouth.
What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms?
There are several withdrawal symptoms associated with Ritalin, including confusion, frequent headaches, nausea, extreme mood shifts, and irritability. In some cases, people may also experience panic attacks and overfatigue.
These symptoms can be extremely unpleasant and can make it difficult to discontinue the use of the drug. It is important to talk to a doctor or other medical professional before stopping the use of the drug to ensure that you can do so safely. Withdrawal from Ritalin can be a difficult process, but it is possible to overcome with the right support.
What Causes Ritalin Overdose? Signs of an Overdose
An overdose of Ritalin is primarily caused by taking too much of the drug or mixing it with other substances. Ritalin is a central nervous system stimulant, and taking too much can lead to cardiovascular problems, dehydration, and seizure.
Mixing Ritalin with other drugs or alcohol can also lead to an overdose. Therefore, it’s important to be careful when using this medication and to always follow your doctor’s instructions.
Signs of a Ritalin overdose include uncontrolled body shaking, anxiety, panic attacks, short quick breaths, and disorientation
What Should You Do If Someone Is Overdosing?
If someone is experiencing any of these symptoms after taking Ritalin, they should seek medical help immediately. An overdose of this drug can be extremely dangerous and even fatal.
How Do You Treat Ritalin Addiction? Detox & Treatment
There are several ways to treat addiction, depending on the severity of the addiction. If you or someone you care about is addicted to the drug, it’s important to seek professional help from an addiction treatment specialist. They will be able to create a customized treatment plan that takes into account your unique situation and needs.
Detoxification is one of the first steps in treating addiction. This allows the body to rid itself of the toxins associated with the drug and can help reduce withdrawal symptoms. After detox, you may participate in individual or group therapy as part of your treatment plan. This can help you identify the root causes of your addiction and develop healthy coping mechanisms.
Final Thoughts: Addressing Ritalin Abuse and Addiction
Ritalin abuse and addiction are serious problems that can have devastating consequences. If you or someone you care about is abusing this drug, it’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible. With the right treatment, it is possible to overcome addiction and lead a healthy, productive life.