The stimulant drug Ritalin has been used to treat children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, attention deficit disorder, and narcolepsy. Ritalin remains classified as a Schedule II narcotic and is ranked with such medications as cocaine, amphetamines, and morphine. The number of young adults taking this medication has dramatically increased in the last few years. Even toddlers are being prescribed this seriously stimulating drug, along with thousands of other Americans who use it.
With so many people taking the drug, both legally and illegally, how do you know if you are addicted to it or not? Ritalin increases the effect and amount of dopamine in your brain, helping you to lose weight, feel euphoric, and have abundant energy. Here are some of the significant signs that your body and mind have become dependent upon Ritalin.
1. Fatigue. If you routinely take Ritalin, you’ll feel exhausted if you don’t get your routine dose of drugs. You may have been using Ritalin to perk you up to get your work done during the day. But stop taking Ritalin or miss a dose, and see how poorly you’ll feel. When your body becomes addicted to this drug, you’ll feel exhausted if you quit taking it or take a lower dosage.
2. Heart problems. If you use Ritalin to keep up your energy levels, the extra energy the medication gives you may be wearing out your heart. You may be trying to keep up at work when the job gets hectic. But what you’ll do in the long run is hurt your heart. If you start feeling heart palpitations or pain in the left side of your chest, you need to get medical help quickly.
3. Severe headaches. Another complication from Ritalin remains that because the heart works too hard, you may also get a headache. At this point in your drug use, you are using too much Ritalin and have become addicted to the drug. The headaches due to Ritalin use may also be a signal that your body is about to have a heart attack, extremely high blood pressure, or a stroke. If not treated, and if the drug is not discontinued, sudden death may occur, also.
4. Symptoms of poor nutrition. When you’re hyped up on Ritalin, you may be so active that you forget to eat. Taking this medication also causes your appetite to decrease significantly. So while you’re bouncing around getting stuff done at a rapid rate, you may also be on the verge of starving yourself because you keep forgetting to eat. If you wonder whether a person near you is on drugs, you may also be able to tell that they take more Ritalin or a related drug by the fact that they are losing weight rapidly. This lack of proper nutrition and the rapid loss of weight can be extremely harmful to a person’s body.
5. Problems sleeping. Ritalin remains a form of amphetamine. Amphetamines improve focus, speed, and concentration. But you can’t just turn these effects off and on. When it’s time to rest, your body may still be humming along due to Ritalin use. You will not be able to rest even if you desperately want to. So if discontinue using Ritalin and can’t sleep, you may be addicted to the substance. Chronic Ritalin users can have a tough time getting the rest they need.
6. Doctor Shopping. If you go from one doctor to the next to look for an increasing amount of this medication, you are probably hooked on it.
7. You start buying your Ritalin on the streets or stealing it from others. By the time you need to get any medication on the streets, you are addicted. Or if you take your child’s Ritalin, you have a serious problem, too.
Please don’t try to go off Ritalin addiction alone. The side effects of Ritalin withdrawal are very uncomfortable. Find a high-quality drug rehab center and detox facility that can help you get off this drug with as few withdrawal discomforts as possible. Get off Ritalin and get drug-free for life.
To learn more about Ritalin addiction including treatment options, please take a look at The Recovery Village website.