Ritalin Addiction Treatment

Ritalin Addiction Treatment 1

Ritalin is a medication that is commonly prescribed for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Ritalin use is safe and effective when taken as prescribed, however, it is recognized by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule II federally controlled substance, meaning it has a high potential for abuse.

With Ritalin abuse on the rise, it is important to know that Ritalin addiction treatment is available to help you or a loved one. This post will explore what Ritalin is, its effects, and what treatment entails.

What is Ritalin?

Ritalin is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that contains methylphenidate. Methylphenidates have similar pharmacological uses and effects that are similar to cocaine and amphetamines. After taking Ritalin, users feel a calming effect.

Ritalin prescriptions are used for individuals living with ADHD and can also be used to treat narcolepsy. Ritalin increases concentration and alertness in these individuals, making it easier to focus on specific tasks.

Like other prescription stimulants, when taken as medically prescribed, the drug is a safe and effective means of medication. However, it is a Schedule II drug, meaning that it has a high risk for abuse and therefore the development of a physical dependency on the drug.

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual V (DSM-5), this condition is characterized by a persistent lack of attention, as well as a high level of energy and impulsiveness. Formally known as attention deficit disorder, this condition tends to manifest at a young age, but can also affect adults.

Symptoms vary depending on the person, but people with ADHD often report difficulty focusing on, or finishing, a set task and may find it difficult to control their physical energy. This can impact performance at school and work.

Ritalin Abuse

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Ritalin abuse is popular among individuals for its increase in alertness and concentration and is most popular among young adults. This can be due to it being regularly prescribed to this particular age group, making the drug easy to obtain among peers. Research found that 63% of those between 18-28 had obtained Ritalin from their companions. Around 20% from family members and another 20% accessed Ritalin from other students.

Methylphenidate abuse, like other stimulant medications, causes levels of the natural chemical, Dopamine, to increase in the brain. Dopamine is associated with the reward system and feelings of pleasure and an increased amount of Dopamine can induce a euphoric and powerful high. This burst of energy is often not found at therapeutic doses and therefore individuals who abuse Ritalin are often attempting to chase this effect.

Side Effects

Prolonged use of Ritalin can cause a tolerance to build in individuals. This means that regular doses of the drug will not induce the same effect as they once did as the brain becomes accustomed to the presence of the drug. Individuals who are recreationally using Ritalin likely do so for the euphoric high, however, those who are taking the drug without a prescription are at an increased risk of experiencing negative side effects, including:

  • Chest pain

  • Changes in blood pressure

  • Nausea

  • Headaches

  • Anxiety

  • Fatigue

  • Insomnia

  • Nervousness

  • Increased heart rate

  • Hypersensitivity

Side effects will vary from person to person, specifically dependent on whether the individual taking the drug has an ADHD diagnosis or not. The most common side effect is the development of a Ritalin addiction and the experience of withdrawal symptoms.

Ritalin Withdrawal Symptoms

If someone has developed a Ritalin addiction and therefore a physical dependence on the drug, when they attempt to reduce their intake of Ritalin or suddenly stop taking the drug, it is likely that they will experience a series of physical and psychological symptoms, also known as withdrawal symptoms. Those who are experiencing withdrawal symptoms may encounter:

  • Increased tiredness

  • Intense sleeping

  • Increased appetite

  • Agitation

  • Anxiety

  • Jittery

  • Delayed movements

  • Achy muscles

  • Paranoia

  • Auditory hallucinations

With the right help and support, you or your loved one can learn to control and effectively manage the experience of withdrawal symptoms, ensuring the detox process is completed with ease and comfort.

Treatment for Ritalin Addiction

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Due to individual differences, such as how long a person has been taking Ritalin and from what age, the Ritalin addiction treatment process will differ for most. However, a rehab program typically follows a set guideline that includes detox, therapy, and an aftercare plan. on either an inpatient or outpatient basis.


The first step of any addiction treatment is detox. After prolonged Ritalin abuse, it is likely that if you attempt to stop taking the drug you will experience a series of withdrawal symptoms. Medical detox is where a medical professional monitors you and your symptoms as you stop taking the substance. Within this period, your body will naturally rid itself of any remaining toxins. Support throughout this process ensures that you are able to effectively manage any adverse withdrawal symptoms.


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Following detox, you will enter a rehabilitation program on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Whether your Ritalin abuse was to improve performance or concentration at school or work, for recreational use, or as an attempt to manage ADHD symptoms, specialized programs can help you address any issues surrounding your Ritalin addiction while trying to tackle the root causes of your Ritalin abuse.

Instead of solely focusing on drug use, treatment programs encompass a whole-person approach, ensuring all aspects of the substance use disorder are dealt with. Additionally, if you are living with any co-occurring mental disorders or the presence of a mental health issue alongside addiction, medical professionals will work to ensure all aspects of your mental health are dealt with accordingly. Treatment centers will utilize different evidence-based treatments, including:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy

  • Family therapy

  • Behavioral therapy

  • 12 step programs

  • Individual counseling

  • Support groups


If you attend a rehab program on an inpatient basis you will reside in a rehab center for a set amount of time. Within this period you will follow a schedule that has been structured for your individual needs. You will be attended daily counseling sessions as well as recovery-oriented activities. Inpatient treatment ensures that you have immediate access to medical professionals 24/7 throughout your stay.


If you undergo your treatment program on an outpatient basis you will be living in the comfort of your own home but will be required to attend sessions at a rehabilitation center multiple times a week for several weeks. While you are able to maintain your daily responsibilities at school or work while being enrolled in treatment, you will have limited access to addiction treatment professionals.

Treatment at Vita Recovery

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Located in Downtown Miami, at Vita Recovery we provide an inclusive, high-quality, and compassionate space to aid in your recovery journey. We understand that asking for help is a big and difficult step and want to make your transition to recovery as smooth sailing as possible.

We believe that everyone should be given the opportunity to recover from a substance abuse disorder and ensure that all of our patients are assigned an individual treatment plan, ensuring that all emotional, medical, social, and psychological needs of all individuals are met and dealt with accordingly.

Our innovative and modern approach is based on empirically derived treatment science and interventions, we provide our patients with effective strategies that are backed by evidence-based outcomes. Our programs use a number of different methods and modalities to respond to individual needs, including solution-oriented therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, 12-step principles, and more.

If you believe you or a loved one is living with a substance abuse disorder, contact us today to see how we can help you.

Why Choose Vita Recovery?

125+ Years of Combined Medical & Clinical Experience
  • 360-Degrees of Services

    Each patient is assigned an individual treatment plan that addresses all the medical, psychological, emotional, and social needs of our patients.

  • Innovative and Modern Approach

    Based on empirically derived treatment interventions & science, we provide patients with effective strategies backed by evidence-based outcomes.

  • Personalized Service for Patients

    Treatment at Vita is customized for each patient. We understand that everyone is unique and so are their needs.

  • World Class Facility

    When you walk into Vita Recovery, you'll feel like you're at a 5-star, luxury facility. We mix modern with comfortability for our patients.