Substance Use Disorders

Understanding Methylphenidate Addiction: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment

Prescription medications can be very effective when used as directed. However, some also
carry the risk of misuse or addiction and should be carefully monitored. This includes drugs that are considered stimulants, such as methylphenidate. Methylphenidate addiction can decrease the effectiveness of the drug in treating certain conditions and also lead to serious health risks.

Methylphenidate Addiction Treatment

Methylphenidate is a drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well
as narcolepsy. Some common brand names include Ritalin, Concerta, Metadate, Methylin, and
Quillivant. Individuals with ADHD often have difficulty concentrating or focusing and may be
prone to impulsive behavior. Methylphenidate increases the amount of dopamine produced by the brain which can in turn help to counteract some of these symptoms. With the correct dosage, individuals often find it easier to stay on task and engaged with what they are doing.

Some people use these medications as a way to improve their alertness and focus even if they do not have ADHD or narcolepsy. This is often seen among college students. However, the drugs do not always have the same effect because individuals without ADHD do not have the same chemical imbalances in their brain. Misuse of the drug also greatly increases the risk of methylphenidate addiction.

Signs and Symptoms of Methylphenidate Addiction

When misused, methylphenidate can cause similar effects as cocaine. Individuals often
experience an intense euphoria and excitement. However, it can also cause hallucinations,
paranoia, aggressiveness, depression, and anxiety, especially as the effects wear off. Other
effects may include:

  • Agitation
  • Breathing problems
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Obsessive-compulsive behaviors
  • Suicidal thoughts

Recognizing the signs of misuse or addiction is essential in getting help for recovery. Without
methylphenidate addiction treatment, individuals increase their risk of overdosing or suffering
from serious physical and mental health problems. Fortunately, effective treatment is available.

Methylphenidate Detox & Rehab

Addiction to stimulants is a very real problem, and one that requires professional treatment.
Trying to detox on one’s own can be dangerous and uncomfortable. In addition, it can increase risk for relapse because it only focuses on stopping physical use of the drug and does not address the physical, mental, and emotional effects that are associated with addiction as well. The detox period of methylphenidate addiction treatment can be challenging. The body goes through many changes as it rids itself of the drugs. Withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Changes in appetite
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Mood swings
  • Paranoia

A professional rehab and treatment center like Crossroads can provide clients with the care and support they need to overcome withdrawal symptoms and move forward in recovery. Medically supervised detox can help clients feel more comfortable and can alleviate some of the symptoms of withdrawal. Clients are able to begin their recovery in a safe and supportive environment while also receiving comprehensive care.

For clients struggling with methylphenidate addiction as well as mental health disorders such as depression or anxiety, dual diagnosis treatment is available. While mental health is a part of every client’s treatment, this program focuses more specifically on the challenges of dealing
with mental health disorders and addiction together. Understanding how they impact one
another and learning how to manage both conditions can enhance recovery.

Methylphenidate Recovery at Crossroads

At Crossroads, clients receive the individualized care they need to overcome methylphenidate addiction. Treatment programs support individuals along each step of the way from detox and residential care through outpatient treatment and aftercare. Engaging in a comprehensive addiction program allows clients to begin rebuilding their lives in sobriety and developing healthier routines for a substance-free lifestyle. Clients can remember who they wanted to be at Crossroads and feel more confident in their ability to overcome methylphenidate addiction.

Thank You

This was definitely a life changing experience. The staff was wonderful and I am leaving here sober, happy and healthy. I thank everyone for their love and care.”
– Back Cove Women’s Residential Program Client

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