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Methylphenidate, more commonly known as Ritalin, is a stimulant that directly affects the chemicals in your brain and central nervous system. It is most often prescribed as a treatment for attention deficit disorder, attention hyper deficit disorder, and narcolepsy.

As effective as Ritalin is, it can still lead to potential abuse and addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an estimated 52 million people in the United States have used a prescription drug, like Ritalin, in a nonmedical capacity at least once in their lives.

Symptoms and Side Effects of Ritalin Use

As a stimulant, Ritalin is designed to increase energy and alertness. This can ultimately help you control your behavior problems, focus on activities, and increase your ability to pay attention.

Other potential side effects of Ritalin use include:

  • Nervousness
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Sleep problems
  • Headache

Complications of Ritalin Abuse

Thanks to Ritalin’s easy obtainability and high potency, it has a high potential for addiction. Addiction’s negative effects easily exhibit themselves through your physical health, but it can be even more harmful to your character and behaviors. Addiction often causes people to act recklessly, which leads to financial and personal issues. Worse yet, you may end up lashing out at the people you love most.

Some common medical issues associated with Ritalin addiction include:

  • Seizures
  • Anxiety and restlessness 
  • Delirium
  • Coma

Dangers of Drug Abuse

Extended Ritalin abuse can lead to a variety of possible dangers, including:

  • Fast or uneven heartbeat
  • Fever
  • Severe blistering skin rash
  • Hallucinations
  • Muscle tics
  • Aggression
  • Hallucinations
  • Easy bruising
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack

Symptoms of Ritalin Addiction

Contrary to what you might think, addiction is based on a chemical dependence. It’s not a personal choice. With Ritalin, the drug alters your center nervous system and brain to cause a flood of dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for motivation, reward, and feelings of pleasure. By taking Ritalin, a user triggers that sense of reward and pleasure.

Some common symptoms of Ritalin addiction include:

  • Taking Ritalin for purposes other than its intended prescription
  • Taking higher dosages of Ritalin
  • Using Ritalin to relieve stress
  • Becoming tolerant of the drug
  • Withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug


  • Irritability
  • Unpleasant dreams
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Medical Intervention for Ritalin Addiction

Medication can be used throughout the detox process as a means of rebalancing chemicals, curbing cravings, and managing severe withdrawal symptoms. Treating Ritalin abuse also often includes use of cognitive behavioral therapies.

Ritalin Detox Process

Detox is your first step to wellness and sobriety. Its main goal is to remove harmful chemicals from your system by tapering off drug use and administering medication.

Inpatient care offers the best option for detox treatment. Through inpatient care, you are admitted to an inpatient facility, which offers a safe, supportive space for you to undergo your detox without having to worry about negative influences. Best of all, inpatient care offers round-the-clock access to a trained medical staff, who can provide counseling, administer medications, and ensure that you are safe and in good hands during any severe health problems.

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