Ritalin is a common drug used mostly for the treatment of ADHD in children but also for narcolepsy and ADHD in adults. However, Ritalin is often abused, leading to overdose.
Recent findings from The National Drug Intelligence Center shed light on the prevalence of Ritalin abuse. While initially associated with young people, Ritalin misuse now affects a broader demographic, including adults undergoing ADHD evaluations and treatment.
This demographic shift emphasizes the importance of recognizing the signs of Ritalin overdose. By being informed and observant, individuals can prevent overdose and even save lives.
Recognizing the signs of Ritalin overdose is vital, especially for individuals taking this medication for ADHD. Overdosing on Ritalin can happen unintentionally due to various reasons, such as misunderstanding the dosage or a child taking the medication unsupervised.
What is Ritalin?
Methylphenidate, or Ritalin, is prescribed for those who have ADHD. There are two types of ADHD presenting as different behavioral issues. One is inattentiveness, which causes difficulties in focus and concentration. The second type is hyperactivity and impulsive behaviors, causing life-altering problems. While some people experience symptoms from both types, it’s not uncommon for the opposite to occur. Therefore, when taking Ritalin, it is essential to learn the signs of Ritalin overdose and the side effects of the drug.
Ritalin works to affect chemicals in the brain that control impulsiveness and hyperactivity. It is essential to understand the signs of Ritalin overdose because it can unintentionally occur if more than the recommended dosage is taken. Narcolepsy is also an illness that can be treated with Ritalin. The two types of Ritalin commonly prescribed are immediate-release and extended-release forms. This medication can be habit-forming and, if misused, can lead to addiction.
Side Effects of Ritalin Use
Ritalin can cause short-term side effects that can look like overdose symptoms. Of course, side effects are expected with any medication. However, monitoring the side effects and knowing the signs of Ritalin overdose can be challenging to distinguish. Communicating with your provider is a good idea to determine the correct dosage. The side effects of Ritalin use may include any of the following:
- Stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting
- Decreased appetite
- Vision problems or dizziness
- Mild headache
- Skin rash
- Numbness, coldness, or tingling in hands or feet
- Feeling nervous
- Weight loss
Abusing or misusing Ritalin, like other stimulants, can lead to tolerance and psychological dependence. In addition, long-term abuse could lead to psychotic symptoms. If side effects from Ritalin continue or become severe, it could indicate an allergy to the drug. Contacting your physician would be advisable, but knowing the signs of Ritalin overdose can be helpful.
Misuse or abuse of Ritalin can occur when the patient tries to self-medicate and take Ritalin without a diagnosis of ADHD or a prescription from a doctor. Taking the medication under this pretense and not knowing the signs of Ritalin overdose is dangerous. In addition, students may believe that Ritalin is a study drug to help them focus and concentrate. Others who misuse or abuse Ritalin just take it for the euphoric effects the drug can offer.
Ritalin Overdose Signs
Ritalin, a stimulant, poses a real threat to the body if Ritalin overdose symptoms are present. An overdose of Ritalin can affect life-support systems such as blood pressure, breathing, heart rate, and body temperature. Primary organ functions can be affected when life-support systems are negatively affected. In other words, Ritalin overdose can result in death. Ritalin overdose symptoms include any of the following:
- Abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
- Agitation, feeling panicky, rapid breathing, restlessness
- Aggression, delirium, or overactive reflexes
- Muscle twitching, confusion, fast heartbeat
- Fever or highly elevated body temperature
- Hallucinations, or tremors
- Muscle pains and weakness
- Dry mouth or nose
- Blurred vision
Accidental Ritalin overdose can range from moderate to severe symptoms. In addition, those misusing the prescribed amount of medication can easily overdose. In comparison, those taking unprescribed Ritalin run an increased risk of overdose. Understanding the signs of Ritalin overdose can lead to a quick treatment response. Stimulants cause strain on the cardiovascular system, and those with pre-existing heart problems could be at greater risk.
Treatment of Ritalin Overdose
By now, it’s clear. Can you overdose on Ritalin? The answer is yes. If you believe you or another person are experiencing Ritalin overdose signs, head straight to the emergency room. Taking the prescription bottle with you is an excellent way to aid treatment and determine how much of the drug could be in your system. The most common treatment approach is stomach pumping, also referred to as gastric lavage. Knowing the signs of Ritalin overdose can help when you need to make quick decisions for treatment.
Stomach pumping is not pleasant. However, this process can remove unabsorbed medications; the treatment team can then watch the patient for organ damage. Learning the signs of Ritalin overdose could prevent heart attack, stroke, circulation difficulties or failure, seizure, coma, convulsions, or fatal drug poisoning. Meanwhile, drug addiction treatment may be needed following a Ritalin overdose.
Find Ritalin Overdose Help in Tennessee
If you are concerned about your dependence on Ritalin or know someone who is misusing or abusing Ritalin in Tennessee, contact us for help. Our staff is familiar with Ritalin overdose and addiction problems. It is crucial to find help now before an overdose occurs.
Contact us today.