Drug abuse and addiction in the United States is at its highest level and continues to rise. One of the major causes for the increase in substance abuse and addiction is the popularity of prescription drugs. Prescription drugs are any drug that can be obtained with a script written by a licensed physician. These drugs can also be obtained through non-legal measures by stealing or purchases on the black market. Concerta is a prescription drug that falls under the category of stimulant. It is typically used to treat ADHD. Concerta is considered a Schedule II drug, like Ritalin, because it has a high potential for abuse and addiction. This drug is growing in popularity with young adults because they consider it a smart drug. Many students are using the drug as a study support and believe it helps to boost their focus and in-turn their scores.

Stimulants

Stimulants give the body a jump start. It causes increases in alertness, energy, and attention. Stimulants increase heart rate, blood sugar, and blood pressure, constrict blood vessels, and open the pathways of the respiratory system. These drugs were initially used to treat asthma and obesity, but today they are used to treat ADHD, ADD, depression, narcolepsy, and other problems. When these drugs are abused they have a high risk for addiction.

Reasons that People Abuse Concerta

This drug is normally prescribed to those suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. If it is used over a long term period that person’s body adapt to the drug, which will require higher or more frequent doses of the drug to achieve the desired effect. This is called a tolerance and is one of the first stages towards addiction. Since this drug is a stimulant it does increase a person’s sense of alertness, energy, and attention. Some users will enjoy these effects and continue to abuse the drug to achieve that feeling. The more they use it the less they will feel those sensations, which will require them to increase dosage and frequency of taking the drug. Another side effect of Concerta use and abuse is weight-loss. Many people will abuse the drug to loss weight, as it is a ‘benefit’, but weight gain will resume when they stop taking the drug. Smart drugs are prescription drugs that young adults believe help them increase their test scores. Concerta is a stimulant so it does increase energy and sometimes focus. Students will begin and continue to use this drug because they believe it will help increase their test scores.

There have not been any concrete or significant results regarding Concerta, Ritalin, or other stimulants showing they can help to increase test scores. Many students experience a crash and lethargy that is equal to the intense ‘focus’ they initially feel from abusing the drug. Increased sensations of sleepiness, fatigue, depression, and reduced alertness always follow after taking the drug. Several students have reported severe headaches, nausea, and convulsions after snorting the drug.

Addiction Information and Statistics

The abuse and improper use of prescription medications in the United States remains high, without signs of diminishing, and the majority of our society is unaware of the significant problem we as Americans have. In the United States alone, 52 million people over the age of 12 have used prescription drugs non-medically in their lifetime. The United States occupies 5% of the world’s population and consumes 75% of the world’s prescriptions drugs. In 2010, there was enough prescription pain medications prescribed to medicated ever adult American for every 4 hours, for one month. There were 8.76 million prescription medicine abusers in 2010. The three main prescription drugs abused were: Painkillers at 5.1 million, Tranquilizers at 2.2 million, and Stimulants at 1.1.

Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse/Addiction

Individuals that are abusing prescription medications will exhibit several signs. As their tolerance for the medication increases their need for more prescriptions with simultaneously increases. As a result they will need to have their prescriptions refilled more than normal. They will also continue to request for new prescriptions because they ‘lost’ the last one. The individual will crush or break pills apart so that the delivery heightens their desired effect. Prescription drug abusers will also begin stealing, borrowing, or exchanging pills. People that abuse prescription drugs will do whatever it takes to get more pain killers. There are a lot of places via the internet that individuals can get the prescription medications they want. Individuals that are abusing prescription medications will need to perpetually refill their prescriptions, detecting prescription drug abuse starts with the prevalence of increasing prescriptions. The individual in question will also show inconsistency with their answers about prescription drug use. As their abuse continues they will be unable to hold on to or keep up with the lies about their prescription drug use. The prescription drug abuse will cause an individual to change the way they behave. Someone who is abusing prescription medications will have extreme mood swings. They will not sleep in normal patterns like those without prescription drug abuse. Prescription drug abuse can cause an individual to be irregularly irritable. Some people who are abusing prescription drug abuse are more likely to increase their alcohol consumption, which increases the intensity of their experience. Prescription drug abuse can change the way an individual behaves significantly. If you believe that someone you know is abusing prescription drug abuse these signs and symptoms can help you detect the problem. Speaking with a professional is the best way to get the proper helps the individual needs.

Concerta Abuse/Addiction Side Effects

Concerta, also known as methylphenidate, has several side effects which include, but are not limited to:

-Weight Loss
-Increased concentration
-Shakiness
-Heart tremors
-Increased heart rate
-Higher blood pressure
-Higher body temperature

When Concerta is abused it is normally crushed and snorted. Some of the serious consequences of Concerta abuse/addiction are:

-Stroke
-Heart attack
-Seizure
-Coma
-Death

Getting Help

Stimulants continue to be abused and considered safe because they are not illegal drugs. The truth is that drugs like Concerta are just as dangerous as illegal drugs when they are not taken as recommended by a proper physician. These drugs do not work as a study aide; research has shown that on average those abusing stimulants score below the 3.0 level. Speaking with a professional is essential if you or anyone you know is abusing this drug or suffering from an addiction. There are a plethora of addiction hotlines and treatment centers that can help those who are abusing this drug.