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The Facts about Ritalin and Withdrawal Symptoms

Ritalin is a prescription drug which is used to treat the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD or ADHD) and Narcolepsy. The drug is also generally known as Methylphenidate and is a type of amphetamine. It works by stimulating the brain of an user which helps to make patients feel more controlled, focused and alert. If a person taking Ritalin for ADD or Narcolepsy is being regularly monitored by their doctor, there is less likely to be problems. Unfortunately, it's now become more common for older patients to increase the dosage of the drug without their doctor's permission. A large percentage of people also take Ritalin illegally in order to increase productivity and raise performance levels or simply to get high.

Many parents take their children to see a doctor because of unusual behaviour such as hyperactivity and lack of concentration. When a doctor makes a diagnosis of ADD, the majority of them are so relieved that their child has been given a label, that they fail to question it, and are perfectly happy to allow their children to take Ritalin. In this respect, many medical professionals are against children taking Ritalin because they feel that it's seen as a 'quick fix' solution.

Ritalin Statistics

In 2003, an independent report showed that over 10 percent of 12th graders admitted using Ritalin for recreational use. Many students had become reliant on it to deal with academic pressures such as exams and homework. Since 1990 the number of people taking Ritalin has increased by 500 percent. Indeed, it has been reported that in 2012, the USA has the highest level of Ritalin production and use.

Why Ritalin is so addictive

Many people in the workplace are under increasing amounts of pressure to meet targets which are sometimes unrealistic. There are only so many hours in a day, so more and more adults are taking Ritalin to enable them to cope. Unfortunately, because of the way that it has been designed to work, it's really easy to become addicted to this drug. Once a person starts using Ritalin to increase concentration they soon discover that they simply can't function without it which results in Ritalin withdrawal symptoms. It's also interesting to know that a lot of adults and teens use Ritalin in order to counteract the effects of drinking too much alcohol.

Ritalin alters the chemical balance in the brain and eventually after prolonged use, the brain can't work correctly without it. Although technically it is a prescription drug, it's not safe for everyone to use. This is the mistake that people often make with Ritalin as they assume that because doctors prescribe it, then it must be okay. In fact it isn't okay to take unless you have ADD or Narcolepsy, and even then, you need to be closely monitored by a medical professional.

Common Addiction and Ritalin Withdrawal Symptoms

A person who is addicted to Ritalin may attempt to stop taking the drug on their own with no medical intervention. Unfortunately, withdrawal can be very unpleasant. This is because Ritalin is a legal form of 'speed', Speed is an extremely addictive illegal amphetamine which is taken recreationally in order to get high. It's actually common for Ritalin addicts to crush the pills and snort them as powder just like they would with an illegal drug.

A person who stops taking this drug can expect to experience ritalin withdrawal symptoms which incllude sleep disruption, extreme irritability, erratic mood swings, disorientation, severe aggression, depression, extreme fatigue and heart arrhythmia. These ritalin withdrawal symptoms are not thought to be life threatening in general, but they are extremely unpleasant. Indeed, many people cannot bear the physical and mental side effects and so begin to take the drug once again.

A more serious side effect of taking Ritalin is malnutrition or a nutritional balance inside the body. This occurs because overuse of Ritalin can result in the appetite being suppressed. This stops the user eating healthily and so other health problems can arise. It's also possible for a person who is abusing Ritalin to suffer from cardiovascular complications such as heart failure. So in essence, the long term outlook for Ritalin abuse is bleak.

Seeking the Right Help

It's important to go and see a doctor if you have an unnatural dependency on Ritalin or any other drug. A doctor will ask you to describe your ritalin withdrawal symptoms and will need to know exactly how much of the drug that you are taking, so it's imperative to be entirely open and honest.

A doctor may prescribe a short course of anti-depressants to help you with the initial withdrawal, and they will probably recommend that you have some cognitive behavioural therapy and counseling for your addiction. You may be asked to continue taking the Ritalin, but in a slowly decreasing dose so that your body doesn't go into shock. This method can help to ease the severity of the ritalin withdrawal symptoms.

There is also a natural drug called Flavay which is scientifically proven to ease feelings of agitation, lack of concentration and hyperactivity. Some doctors are now advising parents to try this supplement before they prescribe Ritalin to see if the child's ADD symptoms can be treated more naturally and safely.


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