Ritalin is the trade name for methylphenidate. It is a central nervous system stimulant used to treat attentional deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD), narcolepsy (a sleeping disorder) and postural orthostatic tachycardia, a condition in which the heart rate increases when the patient moves from a supine to an upright position.Ritalin is best known however, for its use in treating children suffering from ADHDA.After fifty years of research, studies validated the use of Ritalin as safe and as such received approval by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of hyperactivity by the medical community in the United States.
Stimulants such as Ritalin, also referred to as “uppers” has the potential to enhance mental and physical functions. They are considered high performance drugs and are typically used recreationally by athletes and theatrical performers.
In 1954, Ritalin (Methylphenidate) was synthetized by Leandro Panizzon; a chemist who allegedly named the drug after his wife whose name was Ritaline. It was reported that Panizzon’s wife suffered from low blood pressure and used the drug for its stimulant properties to enhance her tennis game. Once on the market, the drug was originally used to stimulate barbiturate induced coma patients. It was also used to treat memory loss in elderly patients. The treatment of children with mental challenges such as minimal brain dysfunction (MBD) and hyperactivity problems occurred as a result of studies conducted by Charles Bradly, an American psychiatrist, of young subjects who were then referred to as “maladjusted children”.
The FDA approved an extended release version of Ritalin produced by the Janssen pharmaceutical company in 2000. However, in 2005 concerns about the drug caused the administration to issue several warnings regarding Ritalin’s potential to cause suicidal thoughts, visual hallucinations, psychosis and aggressive or violent behavior.
Ritalin is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance by the Food and Drug Administration. Drugs with this classification must meet the following criteria as defined by the Controlled Substance Act:
- Accepted for medical use in the United States.
- A high potential for abuse.
- Lead to psychological or physical dependence
The manufacture, sale, distribution, possession and use of Schedule II drugs are highly regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Individuals or companies in violation of these regulations are subject to severe penalties under Federal law.
Potential for Abuse and Addiction
Illegal use of Ritalin typically occurs because of the drugs ability to enhance or heighten mental acuity and physical performance. The drug is usually crushed and snorted in order to facilitate acceleration into the blood stream and to quickly achieve the stimulating effects. The drug’s effect, when used in this manner mimics that of other illicit drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines. Habitual use of the drug in this manner can also lead to addiction. Studies show that when low doses of Retalin is orally administered, the drug does not cause the use to feel the rush experienced by snorting the drug.
Data shows that the increase in addiction from using this drug is due in part to an increase in dispensation of prescriptions for the treatment of ADHD and drug sharing or selling for illicit use. In a recent survey of over 10,000 university students, approximately 25% of these student admitted to using Ritalin for non-medical or recreational purposes.
Popular street names for Ritalin include, Kiddie Cocaine, Poor Man’s Cocaine, R-Ball, Rids, Skittles, Smarties and Vitamin R to name a few.
Ritalin Overdose Potential
Ritalin overdose typically occur when the drug is used for illicit purposes, in combination with other stimulants or because of accidental or intentional use of more than the body can handle. Overdosing on this drug can result in hallucinations, dangerous spikes in blood pressure, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, high fever, rapid heartbeat, hyperventilation, tremors, convulsions or coma. Medical attention should be sought if any of these conditions present after ingesting Ritalin.
Effects of Ritalin Administration
There is also data confirming the drug’s ability to cause toxic necrosis which is the premature death of cells in living tissue that may necessitate amputation at the point of a Retalin injection. Several cases of cardiac arrest has occurred in children administering this drug without proper parental or medical supervision. Other effects of using this drug includes but is not limited to:
- Complaints of stomach aches
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth
- Changes in heart rhythms
- Retarded growth patterns in some children
In at least one research study, Retalin was shown to contain carcinogenic properties.
Treatment for this drug must commence with a thorough physical and psychological evaluation.Based on the physical condition of the patient and the impact the drug have had on the user’s liver, kidneys and psychological state, it may be necessary for addicts to under a medically supervised detoxification process. Long acting formulations of Retalin can stay in a user’s system longer than the drug’s half-life period which is typically between two to four hours.Ritalin withdrawal symptoms that are usually manifested as fatigue, depression and heart rhythm irregularities can be alleviated by slowly tapering drug use.
Our drug treatment centers specialize in the treatment of Ritalin addiction. Our services include a comprehensive fully integrated evidence based treatment program that is customized for each patient. Our board certified treatment specialist provide around the clock medical oversight during all detox processes and ongoing evaluation of rehabilitation programs.
If you or a loved one has been abusing Ritalin or have observed adverse effects from using this drug, call our Drug Rehab Treatment Centers at 877-855-3470 for professional advice on how to get into a recovery or treatment program that is right for you.