Methylphenidate is a drug that is most commonly used to treat ADHD in children today. The drug was created in 1954 to treat CFS, narcolepsy and depression. This drug is a generic form of drugs like Ritalin. The drug was not used on children until the 1960’s. Today this drug and others like it are commonly used to treat young children with Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Methylphenidate addiction is created when an individual abuses the drug or their body becomes tolerant to the drug. When a tolerance is created the individual needs to increase dosage or frequency with which they take it to obtain their desired effects. Eventually the body will not respond to the drug and the individual will become addicted to the ‘normal’ state that the body feels with the drug in their system. Under the appropriate care of a physician this drug can be safe and effective. Although, individuals can become dependent on the drug even under the supervision of a medical professional. This drug, and others like it, are stimulants that increase the levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that can increase happiness or pleasure. It also plays a key role in control of movement and focus. The feelings of pleasure that the drug can create can cause both a physical and emotional addiction to the effects. Addiction treatment for this drug is normally not needed because most people take the drug as prescribed by a physician. Treatment is needed for those who take the drug recreationally.

Dangers of Methylphenidate Abuse

According to the Drug Enforcement Agency Methylphenidate is a schedule II drug with a high potential for abuse. It is classified in this category because of its high potential for abuse. When this drug is abused it can create an intense high. Abusers of this drug normally crush and snort the drug, which can make have similarities to cocaine. When this drug is taken as prescribed, orally, it does not produce this type of high and therefore does not cause normally cause an addiction. There have been cases when an individual had to get addiction treatment for taking this drug for ADHD. When the individual experiences hypertension and develop seizures, as a reaction to other medical issues, they need to seek professional help. Physicians can reduce or wean a patient off the medication for these reasons, which in some cases can cause withdrawal symptoms.

Effects of Methylphenidate

If you are worried about a methylphenidate addiction for yourself or another there are various signs. Addiction causes a variety of mental, emotional and physical effects that can be seen in everyday life. Methylphenidate use can cause: difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, irritability, nervousness, stomach aches, headaches, dry mouth, blurred vision, nausea, fatigue and dizziness. If you notice any of these symptoms it is important to speak with a physician immediately. Signs of addiction can be similar to these characteristics of methylphenidate use. When dependency is created by taking this drug addiction treatment is necessary. These are a number of signs of a methylphenidate addiction: irregular or rapid heartbeat, high body temperature, cardiovascular problems, seizures, feelings of hostility, paranoia, verbal tics, difficulty urinating, and involuntary movements. Anyone suffering from an addiction with also exhibit a number of social issues that can be detected. Addiction causes many individuals to lose focus on their responsibilities. As a result, an addict will begin to decline in productivity at work. They will also stop taking care of their family obligations. Addiction forces an addict into seclusion. They will lose interest in normal activities and begin socializing with new people. Families will notice a seclusion and isolation that is unlike that individual.

Detox from Methylphenidate

When receiving treatment for any addiction the first step is an assessment. A professional conducts an interview with the addict to discover the extent of the addiction and prescribe a treatment. After the assessment the individual must go through detox. Methylphenidate detox is a process where the body naturally relies itself of the drug completely. The can go through withdrawal symptoms as it craves more of the drug. The extent of the discomfort depends on how often and how badly the addiction was, the worse the addiction the worse the pain. Methylphenidate withdrawal can include: fatigue, nightmares, insomnia, hypersomnia, increased appetite, psychomotor retardation, depression, disruptions or changes in heart rhythm. Detox from this drug is recommended to be monitored by a medical professional because patients can experience depression. These feelings of depression can begin as a new dosage is needed and last a few days. Professionals can monitor the physical and emotional state of their patient to ensure their safety.

Reasons for Methylphenidate Abuse

Methylphenidate has been gaining popularity. The drug like other stimulants is used as performance enhancing drugs. Athletes are using it to increase focus and energy for events. Students are using the drug as a ‘study-buddy’. The drug enables students to focus harder and study for longer periods of time. Many students use the drug before tests or exams as a way to increase their ability to cram before a test. This practice has been gaining popularity because of peer pressure as well. More and more students see this as a way to boost their grade point averages and encourage others to use it as well. The danger is that recreational use of this drug makes it easier to develop an addiction. Not to mention, that there are no proven studies showing that this drug actually increases grade point averages.

Getting Help

Most people for abuse or use this drug for medical reasons do not need professional treatment. If you or a loved one is having trouble decreasing methylphenidate use or cannot stop using the drug you should seek professional treatment. There are a number of different addiction hotlines that can provide all the necessary information to enter a treatment program. Most people who abuse this drug are able to stop using on their own, while others prefer an outpatient treatment program. If your or a loved one’s addiction is more serious than an inpatient treatment program is advised. Inpatient treatment centers provide around the clock service to ensure patients do not relapse and continue to progress through the program. Drug abuse and addiction are very serious issues in this country. If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction seek professional help immediately. The longer an addiction is allowed to carry on the harder it is to overcome. There are a number of options available for anyone and any situation. Getting help can be as simple as opening up to a friend, family member or a professional.