Daytrana may be more difficult to abuse than other forms of methylphenidate (such as those that are taken by mouth). Daytrana may be abused in the way it was intended to be used: as a patch applied to the skin. Although it may be more difficult to inject Daytrana or take it by mouth, people have found ways to do this with other medications in patch form. It is important to know that the patches contain much more methylphenidate than you might think. A 30 mg Daytrana patch actually contains 82.5 mg of methylphenidate (although only 30 mg of methylphenidate is absorbed when the patch is used as directed).
Because stimulants are so commonly prescribed, it is usually not difficult to find ways to obtain Daytrana illegally. People may use the Internet to get Daytrana illegally (see Daytrana Without a Prescription).
Historically, 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 Daytrana have an effect on key brain neurotransmitters called monoamines, which include norepinephrine and dopamine (see Methylphenidate and D2 Receptors). 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 Daytrana) when it is taken in the form and dosage prescribed. However, when misused, stimulants can be addictive.