Methylphenidate Abuse and Addiction Treatment Options
Methylphenidate is a prescription drug used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. ADHD is a disorder that makes it difficult to focus, control impulsive behavior, and stay still. Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that causes excessive daytime sleepiness and can lead to falling asleep suddenly during the day.
Methylphenidate is a stimulant that impacts the central nervous system (CNS), and it works by increasing the activity of certain chemicals. It can be addictive if not taken as prescribed, and withdrawal symptoms can occur when the drug is discontinued.
What Is Methylphenidate?
Methylphenidate is a psychostimulant primarily used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adults. Methylphenidate, also known as Methylin, is given to those with narcolepsy to keep them awake. A sleep disorder where one experiences excessive daytime sleepiness and sometimes sudden attacks of sleep—narcolepsy interrupts a person’s REM cycle. Methylphenidate works by changing the levels of certain chemicals found naturally in the brain, and these changes allow narcolepsy patients’ minds to stay stimulated and focused throughout their day. If you or someone you know needs Ritalin addiction treatment, Zinnia Healing is here to help you on your road to recovery.
Methylphenidate Brand Names
Methylphenidate has many different brand names. Some of these include:
- Aptensio XR
- Metadate CD
- Methylin ER
- Quillivant XR
- Ritalin LA
- Ritalin SR
The difference in these drugs is usually the amount of time they are effective. For example, Ritalin is immediate release while Ritalin LA is extended-release.
Why Is Methylphenidate Prescribed?
Methylphenidate is a drug that is only available through prescription for individuals suffering from ADHD or narcolepsy. Methylphenidate is sometimes prescribed for other reasons as well. It is most commonly prescribed to children and young adults as Ritalin and Concerta. Since this is a stimulant medication, Ritalin abuse is common and can lead to many mental health problems.
How Should Methylphenidate Be Used?
Methylphenidate comes in various forms. These include:
- Chewable pill
- Solution (liquid)
- Extended-release tablet
- Extended-release capsule
Always take methylphenidate precisely as prescribed by your doctor. The doctor will decide what form of the drug is best for you based on your medical condition. You can take methylphenidate with or without food. If you have trouble swallowing capsules, tell your doctor so that they can prescribe a different form of the drug for you.
Your doctor may start you on a low dose of methylphenidate and gradually increase your dose since substance abuse is common. If someone is taking higher doses of Ritalin or another brand of methylphenidate than recommended, they could be experiencing substance use disorders, which can be detrimental to their health.
What Are the Side Effects of Taking Methylphenidate?
While methylphenidate is a common prescription drug, many side effects may occur. These include but are not limited to:
- Insomnia (trouble sleeping)
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss
- Increased blood pressure
- Dry mouth
- Stomach pain
- Decreased sex drive
If you experience any of these side effects, contact your doctor. Some side effects may go away on their own after a few days. However, if they persist or worsen, call your doctor.
Is Methylphenidate Addictive?
Methylphenidate is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant and is considered a Schedule II substance, meaning it has a high potential for abuse and addiction. It works by increasing the activity of certain chemicals in the brain and releasing the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is directly related to happiness. This increase can lead to feelings of euphoria, increased alertness, and improved focus. These effects can make methylphenidate addictive if it is not taken as prescribed.
Methylphenidates have similar effects on the body as amphetamines such as cocaine and Adderall. When used as prescribed, methylphenidate is typically at low risk for addiction. However, if it is misused or abused, it can lead to various substance use disorders.
Signs of Methylphenidate Addiction
Because of its positive effect on focus and alertness, Ritalin use and other methylphenidate versions are becoming increasingly popular as study drugs and recreational drugs. When used recreationally, it can be addictive. Some signs that someone may be addicted to methylphenidate include:
- Low appetite
- Craving more methylphenidate
- Mood changes
- Taking more than prescribed
- Combining methylphenidate with other drugs or alcohol
- Needing more of the drug to get the same effect
Overcoming methylphenidate addiction can be challenging, but Zinnia Healing‘s treatment facilities have licensed providers who are experienced in helping people get sober. If you or someone you know is struggling with methylphenidate addiction, please reach out for help.
Signs of Methylphenidate Overdose
When continual abuse or misuse occurs, an overdose is possible. An overdose is a medical emergency and can be life-threatening. Signs of a methylphenidate overdose include:
- Severe chest pain
- Fainting, dizziness, and blurred vision
- Twitching muscles
- Rapid breathing and increased heart rate
- Uncontrollable shaking
- Loss of consciousness
If you believe someone has overdosed on methylphenidate, call 911 immediately.
How To Get Help for Methylphenidate Addiction
There are many different ways to get help for methylphenidate addiction. You can start by talking to your doctor about getting a referral to a treatment facility. There are also hotlines available, such as the SAMHSA National Helpline, which can help you to find a treatment facility or treatment provider near you. Addiction can lead to stimulant use disorders that can harm one’s health.
Here are some common treatment options for methylphenidate addiction:
Inpatient treatment is where you stay at a facility for a period of time to receive 24-hour care. Inpatient treatment is designed for individuals with severe drug addiction or lack of support in their home environment. You receive intensive therapy and counseling with inpatient treatment to help you through detox and early recovery.
Outpatient treatment is when you live at home and go to the facility for treatments and therapy sessions. Outpatient treatment is less intensive than inpatient treatment and is designed for individuals with mild to moderate drug addiction.
What Are the Primary Steps To Overcoming Methylphenidate Addiction?
When looking to overcome methylphenidate addiction, a few primary steps should be taken. The first step is to reach out for help and get into a rehab center.
For instance, here is the typical client journey at Zinnia Healing:
Step 1 – Admittance
The first step to recovering from methylphenidate abuse is admittance into an addiction center. This involves a phone call where we will ask questions about the client’s addiction. Each person’s journey to recovery is different, so understanding the situation can allow us to create a unique treatment plan.
Step 2 – Detoxification
After admittance, the client will go through a detoxification process. This is important to rid the body of methylphenidate and any other substances. Withdrawal symptoms can be difficult, so this step is crucial to have medical professionals on hand to help make the process as seamless as possible. When going through detoxification, withdrawal symptoms will be monitored and managed.
Step 3 – Rehabilitation
After detoxification is complete, the client will work with counselors to start rehabilitation. This is where the client will begin to understand the root cause of their addiction and develop tools to manage it.
Step 4 – Aftercare
Facing addiction is a lifelong journey, so it’s essential to have a support system in place even after treatment is complete. We offer aftercare services such as relapse prevention planning and alumni support groups. Our goal is to help our clients stay sober for the long term.
Methylphenidate addiction can be challenging to overcome, but it is possible with the help of a treatment facility like Zinnia Healing.
Therapy Options for Methylphenidate Addiction Treatment
One of the most common fears before starting the therapy is that it won’t work. You might think, “I’ve tried everything else, and what makes this different?” But the truth is that therapy has a high success rate when treating addiction. In fact, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), behavioral therapies are some of the most effective treatments for drug addiction.
There are many types of therapy, and the type that’s right for you depends on your individual needs. Here are some common types of treatment used to treat methylphenidate addiction:
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps you identify and change negative thinking and behaviors. CBT is an effective treatment for drug addiction, as it can help change the way you think about drugs and reduce your cravings.
Dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT) is a type of therapy that helps you understand and manage your emotions. DBT is an effective treatment for drug addiction, as it can help you deal with the stress and emotions that trigger your drug use.
Motivational interviewing (MI) allows you to explore your motivation for change. MI is an effective treatment for drug addiction, as it can help you to identify your reasons for wanting to change and develop a plan to make change happen.
Contingency management (CM) is a type of therapy that uses rewards to help you stay motivated. The way that CM therapy works is that you earn rewards for abstaining from drug use. For example, you might earn points that can be exchanged for gift cards or other prizes.
Group therapy is when you meet with a group of people going through similar issues. This can provide support and allow you to share your experiences with others.
Family therapy brings your family and loved ones into therapy sessions to help you talk through the addiction process. Knowing that you have a strong support team that understands what you are going through can provide tremendous value in recovery. Being able to openly communicate with family members under the guidance of a professional can help everyone understand the situation from a new perspective.
What Happens During Detox From Methylphenidate Addiction
Detox is one of the most challenging parts when overcoming stimulant drug addictions. During the detox process, your body will go through withdrawal symptoms as it adjusts to the absence of the drug. These withdrawal symptoms can be challenging to manage on your own, so it’s important to detox under the supervision of a medical professional.
The reason that withdrawal occurs is that your body develops a physical dependence on the drug. When you stop using, your body is no longer receiving the drug, which can cause withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can vary in intensity, but they usually peak within a few days and then start to improve.
Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms associated with methylphenidate addiction include:
- Muscle aches and pains
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal cramps
Detoxing from methylphenidate addiction can be a difficult process, but with the help of a professional, it is possible.
Medications for Methylphenidate Addiction Treatment
While medications are primarily used for extreme cases of addiction, they can help manage withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse. The most common drugs used for methylphenidate addiction treatment include:
Antidepressants: Antidepressants can help to manage withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
Anti-anxiety medication: Anti-anxiety medication can help to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
Anti-psychotic medication: Anti-psychotic medication can help to reduce hallucinations and delusions.
Stimulant medication: Stimulant medication can help to reduce cravings and promote abstinence.
If you or someone you know is struggling with methylphenidate addiction, don’t hesitate to seek help. There are many resources available to assist you in overcoming this disease.
Aftercare for Methylphenidate Addiction
Aftercare is an important part of methylphenidate addiction treatment. Aftercare programs provide you with resources and support to help you stay on track in your recovery. There are many different types of aftercare programs, but some common ones include:
- 12-step programs: Twelve-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous can provide you with support and accountability in your recovery.
- Sober living homes: Sober living homes provide a safe and supportive environment for you to live in while you recover from addiction.
- Outpatient treatment: Outpatient treatment can provide you with flexible treatment options to fit your needs. The most common outpatient treatment is group therapy, which can provide you with support and accountability in your recovery.
- Therapy: Therapy can help you to address the underlying issues that led to your addiction and can help you talk through your experiences in recovery.
Relapse prevention is an essential part of aftercare. Relapse prevention programs help you to identify triggers and develop coping skills to prevent relapse. There are many different types of relapse prevention programs, but some common ones include:
Identifying triggers: You will learn how to identify your triggers and develop a plan for avoiding them.
Coping skills: You will learn how to deal with cravings and stress without using methylphenidate.
Relapse prevention planning: You will develop a plan for what to do if you feel like you are about to relapse. This plan may include contact information for your support system, places to go, and things to do.
Home and family support: You will learn to talk to your family and friends about your recovery and how they can help you stay on track.
Getting Help for Methylphenidate Addiction
If you or someone you know is struggling with methylphenidate addiction, the first step is asking for help. Zinnia Healing can provide you with the resources and support you need to overcome addiction. We offer a variety of treatment options that are tailored to your unique needs. Contact us today to learn more about our program and how we can help you recover.