ADHD Home > Ritalin Abuse
The consequences of Ritalin abuse can be extremely dangerous. Taking high doses of a stimulant can result in:
- An irregular heartbeat
- Dangerously high body temperatures
- The potential for cardiovascular failure or seizures.
Taking high doses of some stimulants repeatedly over a short period of time can lead to hostility or feelings of paranoia in some individuals.
Ritalin should not be mixed with antidepressants or over-the-counter cold medicines containing decongestants without the approval of a healthcare provider. Antidepressants may enhance the effects of Ritalin, and Ritalin in combination with decongestants may cause blood pressure to become dangerously high or lead to irregular heart rhythms.
Your healthcare provider is a great person to start with when searching for help for Ritalin abuse or addiction. He or she will be able to help you deal with the problem or may suggest other resources.
Treatment of an addiction to Ritalin is usually based on behavioral therapies that have proven effective for treating cocaine or methamphetamine addiction. At this time, there are no proven medications for the treatment of Ritalin addiction. Antidepressants, however, may be used to manage the symptoms of depression that can accompany early abstinence from Ritalin.
Depending on the person's situation, the first step in treating addiction to Ritalin may be to slowly decrease the drug's dose and attempt to treat withdrawal symptoms (see Methylphenidate Withdrawal). This process of detoxification could then be followed with one of many behavioral therapies. Contingency management, for example, improves treatment outcomes by enabling patients to earn vouchers for drug-free urine tests; the vouchers can be exchanged for items that promote healthy living. Cognitive-behavioral therapies, which teach patients skills to recognize risky situations, avoid drug use, and cope more effectively with problems, are also proving beneficial. Recovery support groups may be effective in conjunction with a behavioral therapy as well.