Last edited by PHD; 29-10-2004 at 06:08.
1. What is Ritalin?
Ritalin is a name for the stimulant Methylphenidate, commonly prescribed to ADD/ADHD children and adults.Ritalin is a Schedule II narcotic, a medical drug with the highest potential for abuse and addiction. It is one of the top 10 abused prescription drugs. Also, its interesting to note that cocaine is also listed under the same Schedule II narcotics category.
Ritalin may come in either capsules or tablets, and usually in 5mg, 10mg, and 20mg sizes. The type of pill and color of the pill varies depending on the manufacturer.
Last edited by MattPD; 07-10-2004 at 01:37.
2. How is Ritalin prescribed?
In order to become prescribed to Ritalin, a person must show signs of any of the following:
* ADHD/Minimal Brain Dysfunction (MBD)
* Emotional Instability
* Behavior Problems
* Not Doing Well in School
* Bored or Restless Behavior
Currently over 17 million people in the U.S. are prescribed to Ritalin, making it the #1 commonly prescribed medication for ADD. Over 5 million of those users are children, with the other 12 million comprised of teenagers and adults.
Ritalin is commonly seen as overprescribed because many doctors are usually pressured by ill-informed schools and social workers to prescribe the drug for a variety of reasons, believing that it is a panacea for many problems. From 1997-1999, a 97% increase occured in the amount of Ritalin available for prescription.
As a sidenote, it's interesting to read that MBD was defined as "children of near average, average or above average general intelligence with certain learning or behavioural disabilities ranging from mild to severe, which are associated with deviations of function of the central nervous system. These deviations may manifest themselves by various combinations of impairment in perception, conceptualization, language, memory and control of attention, impulse or motor function...being sweet and even tempered, being cooperative and friendly, being gullible and easily led, being a light sleeper, being a heavy sleeper and so on and on"
Last edited by MattPD; 07-10-2004 at 00:39.
3. How does Ritalin affect the body?
Ritalin helps people concentrate and think clearly. Inside of your dopamine system, (the neurotic system inside of your brain the gives you feelings of pleasure and happiness) transport cells move the dopamine throughout the brain. After the transport is completed these cells are recycled back into the dopamine system to continue transporting it. While under the influence of Ritalin, nearly 70% of these transport cells are blocked, thus leading to a larger concentration of dopamine per transport cell. This results in huge euphoria and increased concentration. Cocaine blocks up to 50% of the transport cells but it takes effect immediately, whereas Ritalin reaches it's full effect slowly and may take an hour to increase the level of dopamine per transport cell. Although Ritalin's euphoria may be more potent, cocaine's appeal is it's 'instant gratification' as oppossed to waiting for the onset.
People with ADD/ADHD normally have lower dopamine levels than normal, and the Ritalin increases those levels to a regular amount. In the recreational user the dopamine levels are increased to higher than normal levels and result in the cocaine-like effects.
Last edited by MattPD; 07-10-2004 at 00:40.
4. What are the methods of administration for Ritalin?
Ritalin can be administered in 3 ways:
* Orally: The pill is either swallowed or chewed by the user. The effects are seen within a longer time period than if insufflated or injected, but the euphoria is more spread out and lasts longer.
* Insufflated: The pill is crushed up into powder and snorted. Effects may be felt instantly or within a short time after use. Euphoria lasts shorter than if taken orally but is usually stronger.
* Injected: The Ritalin is crushed up and dissolved in water, later to be placed in a syringe and injected either through the muscles or through the veins. The peak is usually felt after 8 minutes or so and is described as being much more intense than the other 2 methods, but the euphoria is seen as short-lived.
NOTE: Injecting Ritalin poses the greatest threat to danger and disease. NEVER share any used matierals, and read extensively into the procedure before attempting.
Interestingly enough, many people described injected Ritalin as very similar to injected cocaine. "The effects of Ritalin, amphetamines and cocaine, including the side effects, are, in fact, indistinguishable... It should be known that experienced addicts are unable to distinguish injected cocaine from injected Ritalin or injected amphetamines."
However, caution is advised when injecting Ritalin. The above link provides a lot of information about the effects of injected Ritalin, as well as stating "The injection of Ritalin destroys the vein at the sight of the injection and often the needle mark will become infected with sores that will not heal" among other things.
Last edited by MattPD; 07-10-2004 at 00:41.
5. How much Ritalin should I do?
Start off by taking a small dose of 20mg and work up the dose from there. Depending on the administration method, wait a little bit until you feel/don't feel the desired effects before dosing again, or increasing the dose.
Last edited by MattPD; 07-10-2004 at 00:42.
6. Can I develop a tolerance to Ritalin?
Yes, it is possible to develop a tolerance to Ritalin, but the amount of time for this to develop varies on the average dose taken and the frequency of its use. Because Ritalin is chemically similar to cocaine and other amphetamines, a Ritalin tolerance may develop into a cross tolerance of both of these other drugs. Also, once a tolerance develops, the user will have to take a higher dosage to feel the desire effects -- increasing the possibility of an overdose.
Last edited by MattPD; 07-10-2004 at 00:42.
7. What are the safety concerns while using Ritalin?
Ritalin users face many safety concerns. Abuse or long-term use can cause heart problems and possible heart attacks in people with preexisting heart conditions. One prime example of this is the death of a 14 year old boy attributed to long-term Ritalin use.
- "The Certificate of Death under, due to, (or because of) reads: "Death caused from Long Term Use of Methylphenidate, (Ritalin)." "
Larger doses of Ritalin may result in many uncomfortable side effects which include:
* High blood pressure
* Severe dry mouth
* Ability to "not sit still"
* Loss of apetite
* Mild depression
* Hard time sleeping
* "Spaced Out" feeling
* Weight loss
* Amphetamine Psychosis
* Increased risk of HIV (if injected)
* Nasal cavity deterioration (if insufflated)
Because of some of these symptoms, a 60-fold increase in emergency room visits due to Ritalin occured between 1990-1998, from 271 ER visits to 1727. Because 56% of those people were between 10-17, this suggest that an irresponsible use of the drug may be to blame.
Addiction is also a common problem of Ritalin use. In 1996 the DEA concluded that 20-30% of teenagers in drug treatment centers had abused Ritalin. Since Ritalin is also used as a study aid for high school and college students, a person may come to psychologically depend on Ritalin for studying or concentrating. Regular use can lead to brain abnormalities similar to regular cocaine use, along with the brain developing specific neuron receptors for the drug. An interesting article to check out is "US: Pay Attention - Ritalin Acts Much Like Cocaine" published by the Journal of the American Medical Association."
- "Instead of being a less potent transport inhibitor than cocaine, methylphenidate was more potent. The data clearly show that the notion that Ritalin is a weak stimulant is completely incorrect."
Ritalin addiction is very prominent in the Vancouver area, where there are "between 6,000-10,000 Ritalin addicts "shooting" Ritalin into their veins from three to 20 times per day". Injected use of Ritalin, obviously being the most addicting administration, has also influenced crime in that area.
- According to police reports from Vancouver, the city's Ritalin addicts are committing 60 to 70 percent of all the urban crime in the area. Vancouver police blame Ritalin addicts for the 105 percent increase in burglaries in a downtown portion of the city in the first six months of 1987, and a 43 percent increase in burglaries city-wide over the same period."
Last edited by MattPD; 07-10-2004 at 00:53.
8. What drug combinations should I avoid while using Ritalin?
While using Ritalin avoid:
* Other "Downers"
Because Ritalin is a stimulant, it can be dangerous to use in combination with "downers". The 2 drugs' effects are on opposite sides of the drug spectrum, and combined use may result in a 'speedball'-type of effect which may prove dangerous.
Last edited by MattPD; 07-10-2004 at 06:44.
9. Is Ritalin detectable on a drug test?
On a standard NIDA-5 drug test it isn't, although it can be tested for if use is suspected. Ritalin also stays in the urine for 1-2 days before being fully excreted.
Last edited by MattPD; 07-10-2004 at 00:46.
Very special thanks to Cronic King for creating this FAQ.