Symptoms of Ritalin Addiction

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The symptoms of Ritalin addiction should not be applied to those being treated for ADHD. Physical dependence may occur, but addiction is involves more than this. There is a psychological component that involves cravings and an inability to abstain from the drug that shouldn’t be confused with treatment for an actual medical condition.

Learn More About Ritalin Addiction and Treatment Options

Ritalin has a high potential for abuse and is regulated by the DEA as a schedule II drug. Although it is tightly controlled in official channels, a great deal of the medication makes its way into illegal use. Theft is common, as well as diversion. Diversion means that some legitimate user (or someone with access) either sells or gives away their medication.

How is Ritalin abused?

Ritalin can be taken orally in pill form, but the time to onset is shortened if it is crushed and snorted. It can also be dissolved in water to make an injection. This latter practice is particularly dangerous, because the pills are not sterile and contain diluents (ingredients like starch and talcum powder). Finding unlabeled pills or a ‘kit’ for injection can be a symptoms of abuse.

Often, Ritalin is used in combination with other illegal narcotics to either improve the high or fight off drowsiness.

Symptoms of Ritalin abuse

Supply is an issue for addicts. Many addictions are uncovered when they attempt to use counterfeit prescriptions to get more of the drug. When available, addicts will build up a hoard and become anxious when their supplies run low. Users may also doctor shop – a way of getting multiple prescriptions for Ritalin by seeing different physicians.

Other symptoms of Ritalin abuse include:

Uncharacteristic and dramatic mood swings
The addict sometimes presents as two different people: the happy, excited and upbeat person (while they are using) and the depressed, lethargic person (when they are not on the drug).
Concealing use through lying
One of the most common symptoms is trying to hide drug use by claiming other things. There may be bouts of mysterious ‘sickness’ to conceal crashes and excuses to free up time to use.
Peer group changes
Addicts may change friends and peers to spend more time with those who are accepting of the behavior. Time spent with others in the drug community might signal a Ritalin addiction.
Aggression, paranoia
When using, aggression, anxiety, disorientation and even paranoia/panic may emerge. Addicts will generally respond with avoidance and denial toward any questions of their behavior.


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