Choosing A Ritalin Addiction Rehab
A user of Ritalin may have begun using the methylphenidate as a child. Ritalin is often prescribed to children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or to those with an abnormally high level of activity. In some cases, the drug will be prescribed to help with narcolepsy. In the United States alone, ADHD diagnoses fall on eight percent of children aged 4 to 17 and 2.9 to 4.4 percent of adults according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse..
Addiction and Age
As Ritalin is a drug predominately prescribed to children so it is no wonder that Ritalin addiction statistics show age to be a factor in developing an addiction to the drug. In the Monitoring the Future Survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Ritalin use among 8th, 10th and 12th graders was looked at and analyzed. In 2008, Ritalin use among 8th graders accounted for 1.6 percent of that group, 2.9 percent of 10th graders and 3.4 percent of 12th graders. With Ritalin being predominately prescribed to children with ADHD, the drug carries a danger of negatively affecting patients at a young age, causing them to start abusing the drug.
Addiction and Geographic Locale
The National Institute on Drug Abuse looked at location in terms of Ritalin abuse in its Community Epidemiology Work Group. The findings proved that illegal methylphenidate seemed to be more readily available in places such as Texas and Michigan. In other areas of the country, Ritalin use is mixed with other drugs such as heroin or cocaine. How one takes the drug can also vary depending on location. For example, the group found middle and high school students in Detroit and Minneapolis/St. Paul to either inhale the drug by crushing it or just popping Ritalin pills. Ritalin addiction by area also shows patterns in behavior of how addictions develop. For example, the group also found that in places, like Phoenix, adults admitted to taking their children’s prescription for Ritalin.
How Ritalin Addiction Forms
Before you can seek Ritalin addiction treatment, you should know exactly how you are abusing the drug. Ritalin is often abused as a performance enhancement or just recreationally to get high. Some of the signs and symptoms you may be abusing Ritalin are as follows:
While these are not the only symptoms associated with Ritalin abuse, they are some of the key indicators that the drug is not being used to help a problem, but rather to create problems. Apart from increasing blood pressure, body temperature and heart rate, and decreasing sleep and appetite, Ritalin abuse can lead to long-term addiction. Anyone taking Ritalin without medical consent is at risk of becoming addicted to the drug.
Addictions set in mainly when you take doses and routes different than a doctor would suggest. Dopamine rises quickly in the brain, leaving you with an addiction and heavy withdrawal symptoms like:
- Poor sleep patterns
Treating a Ritalin addiction often begins with detoxification, the process where you must go without the drug as medical professionals monitor your withdrawal pains. Specifically for Ritalin, you may be in detox for anywhere from three days to one whole week. To help with detox, sometimes Ritalin addiction treatment centers will prescribe sleep aids, anti-anxiety drugs or Clonidine. Coupled with strong medications are vitamins and healthy eating practices to ensure you get your nutritional status back up to par.
After detoxification, Ritalin addiction treatment programs often focus on therapy. Addicts will begin interacting with counselors. Through individual and group therapy, Ritalin addicts can get to the heart of their addiction by understanding their new behaviors without the drug. Counseling is also key in preventing relapse. While the individual sessions are important to understanding why you began using the drug, group sessions help the addict further by relating to peers who have suffered through an addiction just as you have.
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Treatment facilities for Ritalin addiction often continue their help even after the patient has left their facilities. An addict may have to invest in aftercare where they must attend 12-step programs and other meetings with recovering addicts. Just like alcohol addiction or drug abuse, battling a Ritalin addiction goes beyond detox and therapy. You will have to accept that the addiction is one that requires monitoring for the long haul. The more time that passes after a Ritalin addiction has been treated, the better off the patient can be.