Can Ritalin Abuse Cause Withdrawal Symptoms?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health disorder that can cause above-normal levels of hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. People with ADHD may also have trouble focusing their attention on a single task or sitting still for long periods. Both adults and children can have ADHD. It’s a diagnosis for the American.

Can Ritalin Abuse Cause Withdrawal Symptoms?

What is ADHD and What are the Symptoms?

A wide range of behaviors is associated with ADHD. Some of the more common ones include:

  • Having trouble focusing or concentrating on tasks
  • Being forgetful about completing tasks
  • Being easily distracted
  • Having difficulty sitting still
  • Interrupting people while they’re talking

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Trusted Source, about 6.1 million U.S. children ages 2 to 17 (or 9.4 percent of children) were diagnosed with ADHD as of 2016.

What Are Stimulants Like Ritalin?

Stimulants are the most common type of medicine used to treat ADHD. They work by increasing the availability of certain chemicals in the brain, therefore making the pathways in the brain work more effectively. It is reported that stimulants lessen ADHD symptoms in 70% to 80% of people who take them.

Ritalin (methylphenidate) is one of the many popular nervous system stimulants that are commonly used to treat ADHD in adults and children. It’s a brand-name prescription medication that targets dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain to reduce common ADHD symptoms. Though Ritalin is a stimulant, when used in ADHD treatment, it may help with concentration, fidgeting, attention, and listening skills.

Ritalin, like other central nervous system stimulants, may be habit-forming. When Ritalin is taken as directed by your doctor, it is an effective way to treat conditions like ADHD and narcolepsy because it can produce a calming effect while also increasing alertness and concentration. However, when it is abused and taken recreationally, Ritalin can produce side effects similar to amphetamines and cocaine. Taking Ritalin in high doses or for a long time can be habit-forming. And just like any other medication, if you stop taking it abruptly, you may experience withdrawal.

Symptoms of Ritalin Abuse and Addiction

Ritalin, like other stimulants, often causes psychological symptoms during withdrawal. Since Ritalin primarily works by influencing dopamine in the brain, withdrawal symptoms will be related to reward, emotion, and energy levels. You may feel apathetic, depressed, anxious, irritable, and tired.

You may also feel rebounding symptoms if you took the drug as a prescription to treat narcolepsy or ADHD. In that case, you might experience hypersomnia or difficulty concentrating. The severity of your symptoms will depend on the length of time you were dependent on the drug and the size of your normal dose. Symptoms are generally worse if you quit suddenly in a “cold turkey” fashion.

Other Symptoms Include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Loss of focus
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Hyperactivity
  • Mood swings
  • Dizziness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Changes in heart rate
  • Changes in blood pressure

Ritalin Withdrawal Timeline

72 hours: After your last dose of Ritalin, your first symptoms may show up within 72 hours. If you were used to a high dose for a long time, you might feel symptoms after 24 hours. Early symptoms may include sleep issues, anxiety, and irritability. You may also start to crave the drug.
7 days: Symptoms will increase in intensity over the first week, and they will likely reach their peak within the first seven days. Peak symptoms are when the withdrawal period is at its most uncomfortable. Symptoms can include depression, insomnia, nausea, and fatigue.
2 weeks: By the second week, your symptoms will start to subside. Psychological symptoms tend to linger longer than physical ones; you may continue to experience anxiety and depression. Cravings also last longer than other acute symptoms.
1 month: In some cases, certain symptoms like anxiety may continue for a month or more. You may need to attend addiction treatment to address issues like drug cravings and psychological symptoms. Treatment can help you learn how to cope with ongoing issues without relapse.

High-level detoxification isn’t usually necessary but stimulants like Ritalin can cause changes in heart rate and blood pressure that can be risky for people with heart conditions. Detox involves 24-hour medically managed services that usually lasts for about a week to 10 days, depending on your needs, and Allure Detox can help.

Ritalin Addiction Help at Allure Detox

We are a comfortable and evidence-based drug and alcohol detox in West Palm Beach, Florida. We can free you or your loved one from the physical symptoms of addiction and start you on the path to recovery. We offer detox from drugs and alcohol on a medical basis so that you can safely resume the life you once lived, the life you thought was lost forever. Addicts emerge from Allure Detox healthy, sane, and prepared for a lifetime of recovery. Please contact us today if you or someone you love is suffering the pain of addiction.