As one of the oldest ADHD treatment medications on the market, Ritalin, an amphetamine-like stimulant-based drug carries a considerable risk for abuse and addiction, especially when misused. Not unlike the effects of cocaine, Ritalin’s effects can take over the brain’s chemical system within a fairly short period of time when abused.
In effect, the same mechanisms that correct for ADHD brain abnormalities can work against normal brain functioning with excess use. As stimulant-based drugs in general tend to have a forceful impact on the body’s central nervous system, someone who’s abused Ritalin on a long-term basis stands to develop a severe addiction problem that breeds medical and psychological disorders.
After a certain point, the effects of long-term Ritalin abuse warrant a more aggressive treatment approach. Inpatient Ritalin rehab centers specialize in treating the range of complications that can develop out of long-term Ritalin abuse. Under these conditions, choosing the best inpatient Ritalin rehab center is essential to helping you take back control of your life from addiction’s hold.
Ritalin Addiction’s Effects
According to the University of Maryland, Ritalin works by stimulating the production of dopamine, an essential neurotransmitter chemical produced in the brain. Dopamine regulates pain and pleasure sensations on both a physical and emotional level.
Changes in dopamine production rates can have harmful effects on the brain’s functional capacity over time when abusing Ritalin. Since brain cells have to work that much harder to produce excess amounts, these cells grow weak from overuse, which leaves them unable to maintain normal levels of dopamine in the absence of the drug’s effects.
Ritalin abuse practices often entail crushing up pills and inhaling it in powder form or injecting it in solution form. When abused in this way, Ritalin’s effects are comparable to those of cocaine and the rate at which an addiction develops increases exponentially.
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With frequent or chronic Ritalin abuse, it doesn’t take very long at all before rampant chemical imbalances start to disrupt the brain’s reward system functions, a region that relies heavily on stable dopamine levels to function normally. Once reward system functions start to suffer, the effects of the drug become the sole focus and motivation in a person’s life, according to the University of Utah Health Services.
In essence, the psychological effects of Ritalin abuse drive the compulsive drug-using behaviors that most characterize addiction. When compulsive drug use persists over the course of months or years, the body’s major systems start to breakdown due to the brain’s inability to regulate bodily processes as normal.
Before long, serious medical conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes develop. Likewise, full-blown psychological disorders, such as depression and anxiety can develop just as easily.
Choosing the Best Inpatient Ritalin Rehab Centers
Assessment & Treatment Planning
When serious medical and/or psychological disorders take shape as a result of drug use, these conditions make it that much more difficult to treat the addiction problem. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, inpatient programs treat the worst of the worst as far as addiction severity goes.
A quality inpatient Ritalin rehab center should address both the addiction as well as any conditions that develop during the course of drug use. In order to do this, these programs implement an extensive assessment and treatment planning process to determine the extent of addiction’s effects and devise a plan that meets a person’s individual treatment needs.
Treatment interventions commonly used by the best inpatient Ritalin rehab centers include:
- Drug education and counseling
- Medical care
- Treatment for psychological disorders
- Nutrition counseling
- One-on-one psychotherapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Support group work
- Relapse prevention training
Each one of these interventions works to address a different aspect of addiction. In this respect, inpatient Ritalin rehab centers take a comprehensive approach to treating the addiction problem as well as any conditions that compromise a person’s efforts in recovery.
Treatment for Dual Diagnosis Conditions
Long-term drug abuse in any form takes a tremendous toll on a person’s emotional well-being. Ritalin’s effects on the brain’s chemical system not only impairs the regions that regulate emotions, but also breeds severe withdrawal effects that include frequent bouts of depression- and anxiety-based symptoms, according to Case Western Reserve University.
In effect, the emotional turmoil wrought by chronic Ritalin abuse drives a person to use the drug to gain relief during periods of emotional distress. This practice further aggravates the addiction problem by reinforcing compulsive drug using behaviors.
When mental illness and drug addiction co-occur, a person has developed a dual diagnosis condition. Over time, the overall effect only works to entrench a person inside the addiction cycle.
As dual diagnosis conditions are common with long-term Ritalin abuse, the best inpatient Ritalin rehab centers use an integrated treatment approach where mental illness and addiction are treated together rather than as separate disorders.
Severe Ritalin addictions can take many different forms depending on how the drug interacts with a person’s physiological makeup. Whereas some people may only struggle with the addiction problem, others have to contend serious medical conditions and/or mental health problems as well.
Choosing the best inpatient Ritalin rehab center has as much to do with treatment duration as the quality of care offered by any one program. This means, someone who’s dealing with a serious medical or psychological disorder on top of addiction will require a longer treatment duration than someone who struggles with addiction alone. Rather than the standard 30-day program, the most severe forms of Ritalin addiction warrant a 60- or even 90-day stay.
Considering how Ritalin effects are comparable to those of cocaine when abused, the importance of choosing the best inpatient Ritalin rehab center cannot be overlooked as Ritalin addictions can all but destroy a person’s life within a short period of time. If you’ve gone through traditional drug treatment in the past to no avail, inpatient care may well be needed to address the range of harmful effects that result from long-term Ritalin addiction.
If you or someone you know are considering inpatient Ritalin rehab center treatment and need help finding a program that meets your needs, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-654-0987 to speak with one of our addiction specialists.