Ritalin is a prescription nervous system stimulant most commonly prescribed for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is a brand-name drug for methylphenidate, and it works by targeting the dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain to reduce the symptoms of ADHD. Ritalin works specifically by increasing the action of these neurotransmitters by blocking their ability to reabsorb into the brain’s neurons. The levels will increase slowly, so you will likely be prescribed a low dose at first, followed by a steady increase in small increments. It helps most with fidgeting, concentration, attention, listening skills, and impulsivity.
When Do You Know Ritalin is Working?
Just like any other stimulant medication, Ritalin can be habit-forming. If you were to take too large of a dose, the intense rush of dopamine in the brain could cause feelings of euphoria. If this is done regularly and stopped abruptly, you can even experience Ritalin withdrawal. The symptoms of withdrawal can be sleep disturbances, depression, and fatigue. It is never recommended to stop taking it quickly, but rather taper off slowly under your doctor’s instructions.
More About How Does a Ritalin Work
When Ritalin is misused, it can also cause feelings of hostility and paranoia. When it is abused in high enough doses, it can also lead to extreme mood changes, shakiness and severe twitching, confusion, hallucinations, delusions, and even seizures. Nevertheless, Ritalin is a very useful medication when taken correctly and as prescribed. Ritalin use does not come without its side effects, but it can also show that the drug is affecting the body. The side effects may impact each person a little differently.
The Most Common Side Effects of Ritalin Addiction
The side effects should mostly be manageable and fade away after a few weeks as your body gets used to it, but you should talk with your doctor if things become too difficult. The most common side effects for Ritalin are:
- An increase in blood pressure or heart rate
- Trouble with falling asleep or staying asleep
- Decrease in appetite
- Feeling irritable as the drug is wearing off
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Mood swings
What is the Purpose of Ritalin?
This medication is very helpful in controlling the symptoms of ADHD that otherwise would interrupt everyday life. But sometimes it can be difficult to tell whether or not it is actually working. For example, when symptoms of ADHD start to ease down, it is not always an obvious thing to see. Some common, but small, things to tell whether or not it is working include:
- Waking up and leaving for the day on time more regularly
- Completing small or boring tasks easier
- Quickly and easily recalling small details from conversations
- Cleaning up after yourself
- Going to sleep on time
- Completing work or school assignments easier
- The ability to avoid distractions like television or social media
- Seeing fewer mood swings
- They are consciously controlling their impulsive behaviors.
- Feeling less anxious
When just a few symptoms improve, that is a great indication that the medication is working for you. To understand how it is effective for treatment, you must understand what it has been designed to do. Ritalin is prescribed and used to help a person focus better, balance their emotions, even out daily energy levels, and reduce any impulsive behaviors. It is not likely that all of these symptoms will disappear altogether, but Ritalin can help make the physical and mental symptoms a whole lot more manageable. On the flip side of this, it can worsen these symptoms if you are already an anxious or agitated individual.
Ritalin Addiction Treatment Program at Evoke Wellness at Cohasset
If you or a loved one have an addiction to Ritalin, Evoke Wellness at Cohasset is here to help you get on the path to sobriety and free from addiction. Our addiction specialists will help you find the best treatment programs that work for you and answer any questions you have. It is time to take that leap to your sobriety; you will live a much happier and healthier life free from addiction.