Ritalin / Focalin Addiction and Rehabilitation

Ritalin Focalin Addiction Rehab Header
Last Edited: August 3, 2020
Patricia Howard, LMFT, CADC
Clinically Reviewed
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and certified by an addiction professional.

Dangers of Ritalin Abuse

Ritalin is a brand name for a medication called Methylphenidate. This drug is prescribed to children and adults for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to help them focus. Ritalin stimulates the central nervous system as a dopamine reuptake inhibitor cause a sense of alertness or focus. The boost in dopamine effects memory, learning ability, and overall cognitive functioning.

It is classified as an Amphetamine and is a class II drug, which puts it in the same class as Cocaine and Opium. Ritalin is just one brand name for Methylphenidate as there are many different trade names for the drug, which has similar if not identical effects as Adderall. Just because Ritalin is a prescription drug does not mean it is not a dangerous substance. It has the potential for abuse and addiction just like Cocaine or Methamphetamine.

Some individuals don’t understand the harm Ritalin can cause their body and life. People tend to think it is just fine to take because it comes from a pharmacy and not the streets. Ritalin abuse must be taken seriously and an individual who is addicted requires treatment just as someone who has a problem with Heroin.

Click Here for a confidential benefits check to see if your insurance will cover the cost of treatment or call (866) 578-7471 to speak to a addiction specialist.

Street Names for Ritalin

If you have suspicion a loved one is using Ritalin to get high, here are some street names for the drug that may help you further identify their addiction: Kiddy Coke, Poor Man’s Cocaine, Uppers, Vitamin R, Coke Junior, Smarties, Smart Drug.

Ritalin addiction and abuse is no joke. It is important to take the measures you need to identify if your loved one has a problem Ritalin.

Ritalin Effects

Ritalin was designed to combat the symptoms of ADHD, which is characterized by a short attention span, difficulty staying still, and difficulty remembering information. When ingested, Ritalin provides people with ADHD with a sense of calm and increased concentration.

When abused, Ritalin has similar effects to Cocaine and causes an intense stimulation, increased focus, and general upper effect. Ritalin has many effects on an individual and differ from person to person.

Some of the most common effects are: suppressed appetite, increased heart-rate, insomnia, excitement or elevated mood, and concentration for extended amounts of time. There are also some signs to look out for in a loved one who may be abusing: confusion, dry mouth, paranoia, violence, and hallucination.

Warning signs of Ritalin abuse in a loved one

The use of Amphetamines by young people is becoming a national crisis. Long-term use of Amphetamines is known to cause severe physical and mental health problems. Still more concerning is the number of people who do not have ADHD and abuse Ritalin to enhance their performance. This causes an unnatural standard and the vicious cycle of drug abuse motivated by competition. If you are concerned a loved one is abusing Ritalin, here are some signs to look out for:

When your loved one takes on a new project for work or school, he or she may focus on it for days before deciding to take a break, eat, or sleep. He or she can’t help themselves, the only way he or she will stop is when he or she starts to come down from the drug.

You may start to notice the individual you feel is abusing Ritalin is starting to eat less food than normal and he or she seems to be losing an unhealthy amount of weight because of it. Also, the lack of nutrition may cause irritability and restlessness.

Ritalin causes insomnia due to its stimulating effects. Those who abuse Ritalin may feel on edge, paranoid and may even hallucinate due to the lack of sleep. When paranoid he or she may act out in violence because they feel the need to protect themselves.

Factual Dangers: Ritalin

Ritalin can be seen as harmless because it is a prescribed medication. Don’t let the pharmacy fool you, it is just as dangerous as any street drug. The effects of Ritalin are very similar to Cocaine. Just like Cocaine, Ritalin abuse can cause mental and physical health problems with prolonged abuse. People who abuse Ritalin are at risk of experiencing an overdose just like those who use street drugs. Do you think your loved one abusing Ritalin?

Best Voted Treatment Centers  stars rating

Townsend Treatment Centers - New Orleans, LA
Townsend Treatment Centers - New Orleans, LA
3600 Prytania St 70115New Orleans LA
Swedish Medical Center Addiction Recovery Services
Swedish Medical Center Addiction Recovery Services
5300 Tallman Ave NW 98107Seattle WA
Central Wyoming Counseling Center
Central Wyoming Counseling Center
1430 Wilkins Cir 82601Casper WY
The Living Center
The Living Center
416 Corson Avenue, Modesto, CA, United States 95355
A Better Today Recovery Services - Scottsdale, AZ
A Better Today Recovery Services - Scottsdale, AZ
15721 North Greenway Hayden Loop, Scottsdale, AZ, USA 85260
Milestone Foundation
Milestone Foundation
65 India St 04101Portland ME
Malibu Rehab Center
Malibu Rehab Center
33239 Mulholland Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, USA 90265
Mercy Hospital & Medical Center
Mercy Hospital & Medical Center
2525 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL, United States 60616
COPE Community Services
COPE Community Services
82 S Stone Ave 85701Tucson AZ
Center for Evaluation and Counseling Inc
Center for Evaluation and Counseling Inc
191 Woodport Road Suite 209 Sparta, NJ 07871 07871
Turning Point Counseling Services
Turning Point Counseling Services
315 5th Ave 99701Fairbanks AK
Integrity House
Integrity House
103 Lincoln Park 07102Newark NJ

True Stories of Addiction: Mareesa Overcomes Addiction

Mareesa was experimenting with drugs since a young age but it wasn’t until she tired a drug like Ritalin that she became addicted. Watch her story of hope. – View all episodes now

Ritalin Abuse Rehab Treatment

Ritalin addiction can be a symptom of another underlying issues. People use drugs and alcohol to mask and numb emotional and psychological pain. The drug becomes, in essence, an escape from reality, which has become too painful to bear sober. When you have finally found something to take you out of reality, when you have been trying to escape for so long, it is hard to stop abusing the substance because you start to feel emotion when it is not in your system.

Rehab programs focus on identifying and addressing these underlying issues so that the drug is no longer necessary. In rehab treatment, it is the staff’s job to make you feel comfortable in your own skin and live without drugs and alcohol to make you feel okay. The various therapeutic approaches will help you overcome past traumas and difficulty and learn new, better ways to cope with stress in the future.

Some common therapies you may go through in treatment are cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, and group therapy. These therapies will help and teach you ways to cope with life and be happy in the process. Coping skills and addiction education help you to be able to triumph over stressors and triggers. In rehab, the staff will also help you with creating an aftercare plan. This plan will help you find activities and groups outside of treatment to attend so your chances of relapse decrease dramatically. – Learn More

Ritalin Abuse Detox Treatment

Ritalin is an Amphetamine, which if stopped suddenly will cause withdrawal symptoms that may be both physically and emotionally unpleasant. The severity of withdrawals depends on the duration and amount of Ritalin used.

Withdrawal symptoms include fatigue, depression, irregular heart beat and seizures. In many cases a medically supervised detox is recommended to ensure not only comfort but also monitor your health during this difficult process. People who try to self-detox often have an intensely negative withdrawal experience, with the most acute symptoms lasting 3-5 days. It is highly recommended that you enter a detox or rehab facility as the withdrawal symptoms may continue for several weeks. Because seizure is possible in Ritalin detox it is a good idea to seek medical attention, especially if you mixed Ritalin with other drugs and or alcohol.

In detox treatment, you will be closely monitored by doctors and nurses. The doctor will evaluate you and prescribe you medication to alleviate your withdrawal symptoms and make the detox process more comfortable and tolerable. It is important to remember detox is not going to take away your Ritalin problem. This process will only cleanse the body from the chemicals the drug holds. In order to recover for an extended amount of time you will need to follow up your detox with Ritalin rehabilitation treatment. – Learn More

Ritalin Addiction and Abuse Overdose

Despite the fact that Ritalin is a prescription drug, an overdose can cause severe damage or fatality. An overdose can occur when someone accidentally or intentionally ingests more of the drug than the body is able to process. Too much Ritalin could easily be life-threatening, causing epileptic seizures, which lead to coma or death.

As Ritalin is a stimulant, too much of it could also cause a heart attack, stroke or severe major organ damage. An overdose is always possible, whether someone is abusing Ritalin or not. Some signs of a Ritalin overdose are but not limited to: hyperactivity, fever, body tremors, hypoventilation, headaches or pain in the chest, hallucinations, coma, and seizures. If you believe you or another is having a Ritalin overdose, call 911 immediately.

There have been many times an individual has passed away because the people he or she was with were too afraid to call emergency services because they thought they might get in trouble. This is something serious and emergency services will be more worried about saving this person that is overdosing than the people he or she is surrounded by. If anything, emergency services, the person overdosing and this person’s family will thank you for saving their life. An overdose is not something to be taken lightly. This is a life or death situation and should be handled as such. – Learn More

Ritalin Abuse Withdrawal Symptoms

Ritalin takes one to two days to leave your system, at which point withdrawal symptoms begin. Withdrawal symptoms occur after the body is deprived of a substance that it has adapted its processes to. Depending on the length of the substance abuse and the amount taken, Ritalin withdrawals can last a couple days or several months.

Considering the severity of the withdrawals, Ritalin detoxification should be monitored by professionals or in an inpatient rehabilitation facility as the damages of the withdrawals on the body can result in brain damaging seizures and cardiac arrest. If you are not sure you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms or don’t know the right time to contact a doctor, these are some signs you can look out for that indicate your body is going through withdrawal: body fatigue, irregular mood fluctuations, intense nightmares, depression, chills, flu-like symptoms, seizures, extreme hunger, irregular heartbeat, insomnia, tremors, excessive sweating, panic attacks, and paranoia.

If you have experienced even the slightest sign of withdrawal call a health care professional immediately. It is better to be safe with a doctor than sorry at home. Withdrawals are uncomfortable and when going through them it is easy to talk yourself into using Ritalin again. This is why an inpatient detox is best for you. You will be surrounded by nurses, doctors, and individuals going through the same thing as you.

Seeking help for a loved one.

  • What is Group Therapy?
    It is a form of treatment where a group of Ritalin addicted individuals meet to describe and discuss their addiction together.
  • Why Should I Go to Group Therapy for Ritalin Treatment?
    Group therapy will show you that you are not fighting Ritalin addiction alone and teach you that it is okay to open up to others on how you are feeling.

Therapy for Ritalin Drug Abuse

Everyone relies on others for support and guidance, even during the best of times. People who are learning to live without Ritalin and other addictive substances require a strong support system to overcome the cunning, baffling and powerful disease of addiction.

Group therapy is one of the best ways to combat addiction and it is a natural ally of rehab facilities. All members give and receive feedback, allowing for each person to benefit from others experience. Isolation is a common problem for someone in active addiction and, if the person doesn’t find anyone to connect with, he or she may have a hard time staying sober. Group therapy acts as a catalyst for the formation of strong bonds amongst group members. Members within the group often form life-long friendships that provide the necessary connection and support to overcome this progressive and deadly disease.

In group therapy an individual who is addicted to Ritalin will learn that it is okay to reach out and ask for help. In treatment, it is easy for he or she to ask for help because that is what staff is there for. On the other hand, when released from treatment, he or she may have a hard time asking someone for guidance and direction. Group therapy will not only teach him or her the social skills they need to stay sober in the real world but will also show them it is okay to be scared and to reach out to others for the help needed. There is many reasons group therapy is helpful. When searching for a treatment center make sure to see if group therapy is included in your daily activity.

Family Therapy and Support

When a person becomes addicted, the mind ranks the drug, in this case Ritalin, over everything else including survival. A person who is addicted will give his or her life for the drug, for the high, and for the rush. This leads to uncharacteristic and truly baffling behavior for friends and family members to deal with, they often feel helpless to stop the nightmare.

Family therapy helps educate and heal the family as a whole, and arms each member with tools to better handle situations to come. Family addiction education focuses on the disease of addiction. Everyone learns about the neurobiology of addiction and how it impacts behavior. Just as importantly, family members learn the three Cs, which are that you did not cause the addiction, you cannot control the addiction and you cannot cure the addiction. With a newfound understanding of addiction and how to avoid enabling behavior, family members are better equipped to interact with the addicted member.

Family therapy sessions focus on coming to terms and cleaning up past wreckage and working together for a brighter and healthier future. Each member is taught coping mechanisms and communication techniques that will help prevent turmoil in the years to come. It allows healing through the family for all harm caused by addicted loved one’s behavior when he or she was out abusing Ritalin, other drugs, and alcohol. For more information on treatment and family therapy feel free to give us a call. We can guide you in the right direction: (866) 578-7471

  • Is Family Therapy Helpful for Ritalin Addiction?
    Yes, as family therapy will help mend all relationships that were negatively affected by the Ritalin addiction.
  • Why Should I Attend Family Therapy?
    If you are recovering from Ritalin addiction, you may have harmed your loved ones. Going to family therapy and showing your loved ones that you are a new person can really help you gain their support.

The Rising Cost of Ritalin

Ritalin when obtained by prescription through a pharmacy, may have little to no cost for the person, if they have insurance. Without insurance, however, a Ritalin prescription of 150, 20mg pills could cost well over two hundred dollars. Street cost of Ritalin is notoriously difficult to accurately predict as prices fluctuate and vary widely, depending on location, supply and demand.

Street cost for Ritalin is approximated to be anywhere from a few dollars each to over $20 a pill. Any amount of Amphetamine use could lead to tolerance and addiction, which gets expensive at $20 per pill. The real cost of Ritalin, however, is the harm done to the mind and body of the person ingesting the drug and the unrealistic expectations those taking the drug set for everyone. If the supply is low and the price of the pills go up, it may become hard to find the means to pay for your fix. This, in turn, is what causes individuals to turn to a cheaper alternative.

Ritalin is an Amphetamine that can keep you going all night long. The cheaper alternative to Ritalin would be Methamphetamine. The effects of Ritalin are almost identical to Meth. The main difference between Methamphetamine and Ritalin is Meth is more intense, typically lasts longer, and can not only be ingested but can also be smoked and shot intravenously. Since addicted individuals are always looking for a stronger high, the chances of him or her injecting Meth are very high. At this point, he or she is in risk of contracting diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C.

Ritalin Use, Abuse and Dependency

Ritalin is a central nervous stimulant. It is usually prescribed to children and teens who are suffering from ADHD. To get a prescription for Ritalin you would need to be evaluated by a doctor and diagnosed with ADHD or have a less common problem that Ritalin could help such as Narcolepsy. The drug Ritalin comes in both time-release and sustained-release. The time-release version of Ritalin will release a certain amount of the drug after ingested at different times of the day. While the sustained-release version of Ritalin will release all at once ingested.

Ritalin is a very helpful drug for many people who need it. It can help someone with ADHD stay calm and focused- it basically makes their brain slow down so he or she can concentrate in school, work, or just life in general. However, Ritalin isn’t all butterflies and roses. Ritalin has the potential to cause addiction and abuse in someone who is taking more than prescribed or taking a friend’s prescription to study harder or simply stay up all night to party with friends.

Just like Amphetamines, such as Cocaine or Meth, Ritalin increases your ability to stay alert and focused for long periods of time. People working in a business atmosphere, college students who need an extra push, or simply people who want to stay up and party are defiantly at risk for a Ritalin addiction. There is a reason it is listed as a Schedule II controlled substance and that is because its high risk for physical and mental dependency and addiction.

The use and abuse of Ritalin is very high in the United States compared to other countries. This is most likely because Ritalin has become so available over the years. More and more teenagers feel as if they have a hard time concentrating and some doctors don’t bother to properly evaluate them and prescribe them Ritalin anyway. It is very common for these teenagers and students to sell or give away their Ritalin pills to people who need an extra boost. Other people will buy or take the drug just to simply get high and escape reality.

There are many other drugs that cause the same effect as Ritalin such as Adderall, Vyvanse, and Concerta. Ritalin is just the most common out of the three that a doctor will prescribe. The intense effect of Ritalin, the euphoric feeling, only lasts for about an hour. However, the drug will still be working but the feeling is not as intense. Of course, individuals who abuse Ritalin will take more and more until they get the desired effect they so crave. Although Ritalin is a prescription drug, people who take a higher dose than normal run the risk of attaining negative side effects such as: suppressed apatite, anxiety, confusion, hallucination, paranoia, chest pain, nausea, and head ache. The more dangerous effects of Ritalin are: heart attack, abnormally high blood pressure, stroke, and overdose. The more Ritalin you take the higher your risk of negative side effects.

Just like other stimulants, Ritalin increases the dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is known as the motivation molecule, which helps productivity, drive, and concentration. Ritalin for instance produces a much higher level of dopamine which makes it hard for the individual abusing Ritalin to focus when they are not on it, increasing the chances for more abuse and addiction.

When there is a problem, you will have the strongest desire to quit abusing Ritalin, but you can’t seem to stop no matter how hard you try. This can cause family and relationship problems because you are putting Ritalin before everything else. You will start to spend all your money on the drug, putting your need for food and water on the backline. There may come a time you completely run out of money and will steal or sell valuables to maintain your Ritalin habit. Life may become difficult, you can lose everything to the drug and feel like there is no way out. This, however, is far from the truth.

If you are willing to change your life, there is treatment available to individuals who want to stop but feel like it is impossible. Treatment for Ritalin addiction will start out with a detoxification period. In this detoxification period, you will meet with a doctor that will evaluate your symptoms and prescribe you medication to ease your withdrawal symptoms and make your detoxification more comfortable. Detoxification, however, is only the first step. You will need to follow up your detox with inpatient Ritalin Abuse treatment. In treatment, you will heal your mind, body and soul. The treatment center will help you get down to the underlying issues that caused you to abuse Ritalin and escape reality.

Detoxification and treatment is only the beginning of your recovery journey. Once you get a taste of the sober world you will not want to go back to the depths of where your addiction took you. There will be hard days, life isn’t going to be perfect. But it will be better than the life you were living addicted to Ritalin, other drugs, and alcohol.

  • Why Should I Travel for Ritalin Treatment?
    When you travel for Ritalin treatment, you will be away from familiar environments that can cause a relapse.
  • Is Traveling for Ritalin Treatment Recommended?
    It is always a great idea to be removed from comfortable environments while trying to recover from Ritalin so you have the time to really focus on yourself.

Traveling for Ritalin Treatment

Travelling for treatment is a great way to start a new life in sobriety. There are many reasons to find a treatment center located away from familiar faces and places. The most common reason relates to using acquaintances and enablers. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for using buddies, dealers, or enablers to try to entice to pull you away from treatment and a sober life. It isn’t easy trying to get sober when your Ritalin dealer lives three blocks down from your treatment facility.

It gets hard walking in the park where you and your using buddies used to meet your Ritalin dealer and pop pills. Treatment gets difficult especially when your run into some one and they ask if you have any Ritalin on you or if you know where to get any. Your mind will be racing and you will debate whether or not you want to go pick up some Ritalin and get high. There is also a chance someone in the treatment center isn’t on the right path, they know you are from the city and they may ask you to get them Ritalin or other drugs this person might need.

By choosing a treatment center away from such negative influences, you give your sobriety a better chance. As a bonus, travelling for treatment gives you the ability to go anywhere for your recovery. It is only for a certain amount of time before you will be back with your family and healthy friends. Why not choose an inpatient treatment center located in your version of paradise? You can focus on yourself and your recovery while the scenery and weather remind you of all the good things life has to offer.

Intervention for Ritalin Addiction

The disease of addiction is progressive and deadly. Often friends and family members are aware of a problem long before the person is confronted about his or her using and negative behavior. Close relations begin to feel hopeless to change the situation. Do not give up, there is hope.

An intervention is a great way to get the person headed in the right direction. An intervention is simply a conversation where the person is confronted about the abuse of Ritalin and encouraged to enter a treatment center immediately. If your loved one does not choose treatment immediately following the intervention, the event was still successful at illuminating the person to the fact that his or her loved ones are deeply concerned about the drug use. It also gives the family of the abuser a chance to voice how they feel in a safe environment. The disease of addiction not only effects the user but the family as a whole. An intervention will give everyone a chance to say what they need to say in a calm and polite manner.

A professional interventionist can help you plan and execute the event, ensuring that it goes as smoothly as possible. If you have tried approaching your addicted loved one about the problem and he or she acted in a violent manner, having an interventionist around will help make the intervention safe and calm. If you are concerned about a loved one who is abusing Ritalin, do not hesitate to get him or her the help so desperately needed and deserved. You may be saving your loved one’s life. You never know, something you say could give him or her the drive and hope needed. – Learn More

True Stories of Addiction: Getting High on Ritalin

Andrew didn’t have any traumatizing events that led him to using and abusing drugs. He didn’t feel like he fit in and wanted to be the cool kid. As soon as he started abusing and selling drugs, such as Ritalin, he was the guy he wanted to be. Andrew didn’t realize what he got himself into before it was too late. He went through many treatment programs but nothing seemed to work. It took years for Andrew to get the help he deserved but at least he got there. Watch his story, he is an example of what recovery can do in a person’s life.

Seeking help for a loved one.

  • Why Should I go to Inpatient Treatment for My Ritalin Addiction?
    When you are addicted to Ritalin, it is a good idea for you to leave the environment you are in, during your recovery, to clear your mind- inpatient rehab can do that for you.
  • Is Inpatient Rehab Successful?
    If you are going to Ritalin treatment for yourself, do what is suggested and are vigilant in staying clean, you will have a life-time of sobriety.

Inpatient Ritalin Rehab

Inpatient treatment is the preferred method of addiction treatment as it provides the most intensive and comprehensive programming. Rehab usually starts with an intake process. During this process, you will meet with people and tell them about your Ritalin addiction. You may tell them how much you used, why you felt you abused it, and the reason you want to change your life. With this information, they can plan the most effective treatment plan for you.

Everyone is different and addiction takes people different places. It is important the staff knows a little about you before they begin to treat you. Many inpatient facilities will start you off with a stabilization or detox level of care. During this stage, medical professionals will be available around the clock as you get off the drugs and alcohol and back on your feet. Detox will help your body repair from the damage you have caused it over the years. A doctor should also prescribe medication to alleviate the pains of withdrawal making your detox easier and more comfortable.

The next stage includes intensive therapies, such as individual, group and family therapy. During therapy, you will gain insight into the underlying issues that drove your addiction and learn new ways to cope with stress in the future. Remember, treatment is not a cure for your Ritalin addiction. It is meant to help show you a new way of life that doesn’t involve the use of drugs and alcohol. After treatment, you will need to keep up with your recovery by going to 12-step meetings or other support groups. – Learn More

Outpatient Rehab

If you have decided that inpatient treatment may not be for you, then your next option would be outpatient. Through this program, you are able to go about your daily life with minimal interruptions. Outpatient treatment offers similar programming to inpatient, however on a part-time basis. You are able to stay at home and travel several times a week to the treatment facility for groups. This can, however, be triggering for you.

On your way to your outpatient class it is possible you may run into someone you used to abuse Ritalin with. If you just detoxed and haven’t yet learned all the ways you can stay sober and say no to old friends and dealers, it may be hard to say no to this old friend who offers you some Ritalin. After you take the Ritalin, you are going to be upset and ask yourself, “how could this have happened?” Don’t beat yourself up too much. You just didn’t have the time you needed in treatment to learn how to avoid triggers.

The best way to utilize outpatient Ritalin rehab is by following up with a stay in an inpatient center with an outpatient program, however there are still others who start with outpatient. Because people are allowed more access to substances and are awarded more personal responsibility, outpatient treatment should only be utilized by individuals who have already detoxed. If at all possible, go to inpatient rehab and then outpatient. It will help you stay sober in the long run and be more helpful to your recovery. If inpatient is impossible, still go to outpatient. Just pair it up with the 12-step program or other support groups. – Learn More

  • Will Outpatient Help my Ritalin Addiction?
    Although it is best to attend outpatient after you have already completed a Ritalin inpatient program.
  • Will Outpatient Rehab Prevent Me from Relapsing on Ritalin?
    If you work the outpatient program and do what is suggested, you should be fine. However, it is best to pair outpatient with Ritalin support groups such as the 12-step program.