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Warnign Signs of Ritalin Addiction

The drug Ritalin is also know as Methylphenidate and on the street uppers or beanies. It is most commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. It is also used in the treatment of problems such as obesity, depression and neural insult. Ritalin is a stimulant that affects a person's central nervous system and is produced from amphetamines. Its active ingredients work simply by enhancing the dopamine levels in the user's brain. This causes a "high" or happy feeling that people must keep increasing the dosage to continue to feel.

Ritalin has become a drug that is abused mainly by adolescents or young adults. They do this in order to be able to be alert or awake for extended periods of time. Also, it aids in solving problems that require more astute mental capabilities. In order to experience these effects the user must crush and snort the drug or inject it directly to the bloodstream. When this is done it behaves similar to cocaine and has the same addictive qualities.

Signs of Ritalin Addiction

While normal doses of Ritalin will not cause any adverse side effects, higher dosage amounts can cause dangerous and noticeable warning signs. Some of the signs that a person may be addicted to Ritalin include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Flushing of the skin
  • Muscle twitches
  • Anxious or agitated behavior
  • Confusion or delirium
  • Hallucinations
  • Dilated pupils

If a person takes Ritalin as prescribed they will not become addicted. It is when it is used in illegal ways, such as snorted or injected, that the drug has addictive qualities. Due to Ritalin's similarities to amphetamines it causes an users brain to have a higher level of activity and awareness. When a person abuses the drug it can cause an alteration in the chemical makeup of the brain. When this happens it makes the brain feel as though Ritalin is required to function as it normally would. Additionally, as a person's brain becomes more used to having Ritalin available it will cease production of normal chemicals in the brain. This makes the brain reliant on the drug for normal function and thus the addiction is born.

An addiction to Ritalin can occur for a number of reasons. Some common causes of Ritalin addiction include:

  • Increasing recommended dosage without advisement of a healthcare professional.
  • To complete tasks, work or projects in a more efficient manner and solve problems that require higher mental concentration.
  • To negate the effects of alcohol on the body by making an user alert and awake.

It is a common misconception that because Ritalin is a prescription drug it is safe, no matter its quantity and for anyone to use. However, in reality it is extremely dangerous in excessive amounts or taken by those it is not intended for. In fact it can affect the body in both dangerous and unexpected ways. The affects the body will experience will resemble those that are seen in usage of crystal meth and cocaine.

If a person continues to abuse Ritalin they may also experience long term side effects. These side effects can last months and even years after the user stops taking the drug. The most common side effects that will occur are insomnia and nervousness. However, when used illegally some other side effects that can occur include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Blood pressure changes
  • Anorexia
  • Dizziness
  • Unexpected death because of cardiotoxicity

If a person suspects that a friend or family member suffers from a Ritalin addiction they should seek help right away. The withdrawal process of the medication can be both physically and psychologically painful. There are many excuses why a person may begin abusing Ritalin including for weight loss, to stay awake or for the "high" they feel. However, in higher doses Ritalin is extremely addictive and habit forming and can cause a plethora of medical problems that can produce long-term effects.

There are several qualified rehabilitation centers to help those who suffer from a Ritalin addiction. Just as any other drug it requires a process to get the drug completely out of a person's system and regain proper function. Additionally, because it affects the chemical make up of the brain it may take years for a Ritalin abuser to feel a sense of "normal" again. Taking this drug in unintended ways can have extremely negative effects on a person's life.


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