What exactly is Ritalin?

          Ritalin is a prescription medicine that affects the central nervous system. Its medical name is methylphenidate (CNS). Ritalin is most commonly prescribed to children and adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Narcolepsy, a sleep disorder that affects both children and adults, is also treated with it.

Methylphenidate was used to treat barbiturate and sedative drug overdoses long into the 1960s. In the 1960s, it was promoted as a tonic to help regulate hormones and improve mood.

Uses and Dosage :

           This medication is commonly administered in 5 mg and 10 mg doses. Methylphenidate is most often given in time-release capsules and is taken up to three times per day. Prescriptions do not exceed 60 mg per day since most individuals have a rise in undesirable side effects over that dosage.

Ritalin is available in the following tablet forms: 

  • Water-soluble pills for oral administration 
  • Chewable tablets 
  • Long-acting tablets 
  • Sustained-release tablets 
  • Extended-release tablets

Side Effects of Ritalin Use :

          Ritalin elevates dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain, which regulate reactivity to external and internal stimuli.

External stimuli might take the following forms:

  • A passing vehicle
  • Another agitated youngster in the room
  • Music or background sounds
  • Sounds such as traffic, road construction, sirens, or dogs barking

Internal stimuli may include:

  • Needing to use the restroom
  • Understanding when to eat
  • Excitement that may obscure the feelings of other needs

Although these stimuli are common occurrences for someone with ADHD, they cause a rush of dopamine, which is why individuals with ADHD symptoms may appear:

  • Unable to stay focused 
  • Tired
  • Irritable
  • Bored 
  • Hyperactive 
  • To have roller-coaster emotions 
  • EasilyDisturbed
  • Apathetic in duties

Ritalin, on the other hand, can help ADHD youngsters adjust the way their brain reacts to certain stimuli. Ritalin’s right dose has been designed to release norepinephrine and dopamine. This dose is specifically designed to combat the lows and highs of ADHD, which need continual stimulation to keep on target.

The time-release properties assist youngsters with ADHD in maintaining a more constant energy level throughout the day. This allows them to focus on daily chores and perform in a manner comparable to their non-ADHD counterparts. Ritalin usage on a regular basis enables the brain to focus on the correct item at the right moment.

Side effects :

Ritalin’s most common adverse effects are minor and might include:

  • Sleeplessness
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Trouble in falling or staying asleep
  • Headache or drowsiness
  • Appetite loss and weight loss
  • Restlessness

It may potentially have serious adverse effects on the body. They are:

  • Hearing voices, hallucinating, or accepting things that are not true
  • Changes in mood and depression
  • Heartbeat that is fast, hammering, and/or irregular
  • Sudden death in those having heart-related problems
  • Adult strokes and heart attacks

Ritalin Risks :

           The elevated heart rate linked with frequent dosing can result in heart attacks in adults and severe cardiac problems in youngsters. Adults who use marijuana for an extended period of time may develop depression.

  • Medication Interactions :

      Blending the accompanying medications in with Ritalin can bring down its belongings. Blending medications can likewise cause genuine incidental effects and increment wellbeing hazards. Continuously counsel a specialist prior to starting the utilization of the accompanying medication types:

  1. Cold drug that contains decongestants 
  2. Blood thinners 
  3. Circulatory strain medicine

Ritalin and Alcohol : 

       It is a CNS stimulant medicine that can raise your blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate, as well as cause a fever. The effects of mixing Ritalin and alcohol, on the other hand, do not cancel each other out. Instead, they raise the risk of negative side effects such as:

  • Overdosing on a drug 
  • Alcohol poisoning 
  • Withdrawal effects

When you take methylphenidate with alcohol, you’re more likely to get alcohol poisoning. Methylphenidate hides the effects of alcohol, making it difficult for the user to judge their level of intoxication, leading to continued drinking. This could lead to alcoholism, such as binge drinking.

Alcohol can further amplify Ritalin’s negative side effects, giving the user:

  • Heart rate that is quite fast
  • Blood pressure that is too high
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Drowsiness and difficulty sleeping

Is Ritalin a Dangerous Drug?

      Yes, it has the potential to cause addiction or physical dependence. Methylphenidate is a schedule II controlled drug with a high risk of abuse. Long-term use can develop to drug tolerance and substance use disorder (SUD) (only if misused). To attain the same results, patients will need to take more pills or take them more frequently.

Patients frequently self-medicate and increase their dosage frequency, like they do with other stimulant medicines, in order to maintain the high and alertness they are accustomed to.

Symptoms of Abuse and Addiction:

       If used as directed and in the recommended dosage, ritalin does not develop a tolerance. Patients who use the medicine for a long time, however, may develop substance use disorders. For the medicine to be effective, these patients will require greater, more frequent doses under doctor supervision, which will increase their reliance on the drug.

The pills can be crushed and snorted, or they can be dissolved in water and injected intravenously.

  • When snorted, Ritalin enters the bloodstream in a more concentrated form than when swallowed, and its time-release properties are lost, resulting in a speedier “coming down” from the drug.
  • When injected, the user experiences total euphoria, prompting them to raise the dosage each time in order to reproduce the initial high. The half-life of the stimulant is less than the half-life of the orally recommended amount, as it is with other injectable stimulants. The cat-and-mouse game of chasing the high through harmful substance addiction is perpetuated by the shorter half-life.

Addiction :

     At higher dose or overdose, medicine stimulants can lead to perilously tall body temperature, unpredictable pulse, heart disappointment, and indeed seizures. In a few cases, in both grown-ups and children, Ritalin overdose can cause steady visualizations and neurosis. Patients may listen to voices or see things that are not there.

Ritalin withdrawal 

     It is common in people who stop taking the medicine abruptly after a long period of use:

  • Depression or bipolar-like symptoms 
  • Insomnia or sleep-related difficulties 
  • Extreme exhaustion or even muscle dysfunction are some of the withdrawal symptoms.

Therapies :

       To break a Ritalin habit or addiction, most people gradually reduce their dosage over time in order to avoid unpleasant side effects and withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal should always be managed by a doctor or addiction specialist. It’s also a bad idea to quit “antidepressants.”

  • Psychological therapies 
  • Inpatient rehabilitation
  • Intensive Outpatient treatment 
  • Family, group, and individual therapy are all common treatment options for Ritalin addiction.

Dependent patients will require proficient mediation to recuperate effectively. Numerous enslavement treatment programs are outlined to spread mindfulness approximately the threats of manhandling medicine drugs.