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Ritalin Overview

Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a central nervous system stimulant. It affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control. Ritalin is used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is also used in the treatment of a sleep disorder called narcolepsy (an uncontrollable desire to sleep). When given for attention deficit disorders, Ritalin should be an integral part of a total treatment program that may include counseling or other therapies. Ritalin may be habit forming. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction.

Ritalin Abuse Treatment

Your healthcare provider is a great person to start with when searching for help for Ritalin abuse or addiction. He or she will be able to help you deal with the problem or may suggest other resources. Treatment of an addiction to Ritalin is usually based on behavioral therapies that have proven effective for treating cocaine or methamphetamine addiction. At this time, there are no proven medications for the treatment of Ritalin addiction. Antidepressants, however, may be used to manage the symptoms of depression that can accompany early abstinence from Ritalin. Depending on the person's situation, the first step in treating addiction to Ritalin may be to slowly decrease the drug's dose and attempt to treat withdrawal symptoms. This process of detoxification could then be followed with one of many behavioral therapies. Contingency management, for example, improves treatment outcomes by enabling patients to earn vouchers for drug-free urine tests; the vouchers can be exchanged for items that promote healthy living. Cognitive-behavioral therapies, which teach patients skills to recognize risky situations, avoid drug use, and cope more effectively with problems, are also proving beneficial. Recovery support groups may be effective in conjunction with a behavioral therapy as well.

Ritalin Signs of Abuse

Someone who has become addicted to Ritalin will exhibit telltale signs. Among these are:

  • Torn or Broken Down Relationships: such as broken down marriages, or long-held relationships

  • Problematic Sleeping Patterns: Such as staying up through the night, or “crashing” for long periods of time

  • Financial Problems: begging for money or stealing to trade for drugs

  • Unusual behavior: Such as hyperactivity, being extremely alert, or going from manic to depressive in mood

  • Problematic Eating Habits: resulting in loss of weight or appetite

  • Disregard for Appearance: lack of bathing or wearing clean clothes.


Effects of Ritalin Abuse

  • Permanent damage to blood vessels of heart and brain, high blood pressure leading to heart attacks, strokes and death

  • Liver, kidney and lung damage

  • Destruction of tissues in nose if sniffed

  • Respiratory (breathing) problems if smoked

  • Infectious diseases and abscesses if injected

  • Malnutrition, weight loss

  • Disorientation, apathy, confused exhaustion

  • Strong psychological dependence

  • Psychosis

  • Depression

  • Damage to the brain including strokes and possibly epilepsy


Ritalin Withdrawal Symptoms

Ritalin withdrawal symptoms can be a problem if the medication was abused extensively. It is crucial to slowly taper off the drug over time, which helps to reduce any possible withdrawal symptoms. Here are some possible symptoms of Ritalin withdrawal:

  • Weakness/Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Heart rhythm changes

Ritalin Abuse Statistics

Abuse of Prescription Drugs such as Ritalin is Increasing. In a study, it was found that nearly 7 million Americans abused prescription drugs, including Ritalin--more than the number who abused cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, Ecstasy and inhalants, combined. 3.8% of 12th graders reported having used Ritalin without a prescription at least once in the past year in 2007. In 2004, Ritalin was involved in an estimated 3,601 hospital emergency department visits, compared to 271 in 1990. From 1990 to 2000, 186 deaths in the US were linked to Ritalin. The risk is highest for those who snort large amounts of the drug. Since 1995, it has ranked on the Drug Enforcement Administration's list of "most stolen" medications.

References
http://www.drugabuse.gov
http://www.fda.gov/Drugs
http://www.usa.gov/
http://www.justice.gov/dea/druginfo/factsheets.shtml
http://druginfo.nlm.nih.gov/drugportal/drugportal.jsp

Individualized detox protocols are carefully monitored and tailored to address detox symptoms. As part of our holistic approach, our detox incorporates traditional detox with biofeedback sessions.

Clients being treated in our residential program reside with us for the specific amount of days established in their individualized addiction treatment program.

Our treatment model is rooted in the belief that it is our utmost responsibility to do whatever we can to prepare our clients for life outside of treatment.

In addition to our traditional therapeutic treatments we offer holistic and alternative therapies such as: yoga, chiropractic care, medical massage, personal training and art therapy.