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Ritalin Side Effects and Abuse

If you enjoy an occasional cup of coffee or tea, you’re already somewhat familiar with the effects of the world’s most prevalent stimulant – caffeine. Stimulants are substances that act upon your body’s central nervous system. By increasing the neurotransmitters that signal reward and motivation, they provide a temporary boost of energy and alertness.

People living with conditions such as ADHD and narcolepsy can find some relief from their symptoms by taking prescription stimulants like Ritalin, also known as methylphenidate. However, like all drugs, stimulants carry a potential for abuse and severe side effects. 

What Is Ritalin?

If a doctor has prescribed you Ritalin and you take it precisely as directed, you may experience more mental acuity, alertness and ability to focus. However, stimulants can still be habit-forming, even when judiciously used. 

Stimulants are Schedule II drugs, which makes them legally controlled substances – in the same category as morphine, meth and fentanyl. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, all Schedule II drugs “may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.” 

Is Ritalin Dangerous?

People without ADHD might take Ritalin in hopes that it will improve their intellect or insight. However, there is no evidence stimulants will boost your cognitive skills and awareness if you don’t have this disorder. Instead, you might put yourself at risk of serious side effects, including unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when you try to scale back your Ritalin use or quit altogether. You may have undergone a much milder form of stimulant withdrawal if you’ve ever skipped your morning cup of coffee or cappuccino.

Someone experimenting with Ritalin use might also take far more than prescription instructions would direct them to – either because they genuinely don’t know how much is safe, or because their goal is to get high. One off-label use for Ritalin includes crushing and snorting the pills for faster-acting effects. If you regularly misuse this drug, you should know that an overdose can cause side effects such as seizures, hallucination, irregular heart rate and chest pain. Combining stimulants with other drugs, such as alcohol, can be deadly.

Getting Help for a Prescription Stimulant Addiction

If you believe you cannot function without Ritalin, you continue using it despite various problems it has caused or you have been taking increasingly higher doses to achieve the same desired effects, you may have developed a substance use disorder. At Vista Taos, we provide our prescription drug addiction treatment program for adults seeking a way to end their dependence on commonly abused drugs. 

Our accredited, family-owned New Mexico addiction rehab facility has put recovery within reach for people like you. Our full continuum of care begins with medically managed detoxification, followed by evidence-based counseling to address the root cause of your addiction and help you learn to live a fulfilling life without relying on intoxicating substances. 

During your stay in our extended-care program, you will enjoy professionally prepared meals and holistic services such as yoga, acupuncture and massage therapy, with activities and excursions that allow you to experience the beauty and spiritualism of Taos. Connect with us today to speak to our caring admissions advisors.

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