How Is Concerta Abused?There are many ways that Concerta is abused. Some people abuse Concerta by taking it the way it was designed to be taken (by mouth). Others may inject, smoke, or snort Concerta (see Snorting Concerta). However, Concerta tablets are more complicated than typical tablets, which may make the medicine more difficult (but not impossible) to abuse.
Because Concerta is so commonly prescribed, it is usually not difficult to find ways to obtain Concerta illegally. People often use the Internet to get Concerta illegally (see Concerta Without a Prescription).
The History Behind Stimulants and Their AbuseHistorically, stimulants were used to treat asthma and other breathing problems, obesity, neurological disorders, and a variety of other ailments. As their potential for abuse and addiction became apparent, the use of stimulants began to decrease. Now, stimulants are prescribed for treating only a few health conditions, including narcolepsy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and depression that has not responded to other treatments. Stimulants may also be used for short-term treatment of obesity and for patients with asthma.
Stimulants such as Concerta have an effect on key brain neurotransmitters called monoamines, which include norepinephrine and dopamine. Stimulants increase the levels of these chemicals in the brain and body. This, in turn, increases blood pressure and heart rate, constricts blood vessels, increases blood sugar levels, and opens up the pathways of the respiratory system. In addition, the increase in dopamine is associated with a sense of euphoria that can accompany the use of stimulants.
Research indicates that people with ADHD do not become addicted to stimulant medications, such as Concerta, when taken in the form and dosage prescribed. However, when misused, stimulants can be addictive.