What is Concerta Addiction? – Concerta (methylphenidate) is a prescription stimulant in the same drug class as Ritalin and Adderall. Concerta is primarily used for the treatment of Attention-Hyperactivity Deficit Disorder (ADHD). The chemical makeup of Concerta is very similar to both cocaine and amphetamine, making it highly addictive. People who use the drug for non-medical purposes (without a prescription) and those who misuse their prescribed medication are at a heightened risk for developing an addiction to Concerta. A person with a dependence on Concerta will experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation of the drug, such as fatigue and depression. Other signs of Concerta addiction include:
- Tolerance – needing increasingly higher doses to experience the drug’s desired effects
- Feeling strong urges/cravings to use Concerta
- Finding new means to obtain the drug (whether legal or not) in order to misuse it
- Continuing to abuse Concerta despite its adverse physical, emotional, legal, social, or financial consequences
Those grappling with a Concerta addiction are advised not to discontinue using the drug without supervision from a health care provider who can devise a tapering program. A doctor can also help users manage withdrawal symptoms while he or she continues to administer the drug in increasingly smaller doses. When abused by older adolescents and adults – especially if it’s crushed/ removed from capsules then snorted or injected – effects of the drug may resemble other more addictive forms of amphetamine, including methamphetamine, and may cause additional damage both physically and emotionally.
What is Concerta?
Concerta pills are cylindrical and are formulated in 18 mg, 27 mg, 36 mg, and 54 mg dosages. They are either red, gray, yellow or white, depending on the strength. Other brand names of methylphenidate include:
- Aptensio XR
- Metadate CD
- Metadate ER
- Ritalin LA
- Ritalin SR
Concerta is a Schedule II stimulant that elevates dopamine levels in the brain, increasing focus in those with ADHD, and also produces additional therapeutic effects.
Concerta Effects and Abuse
Obtaining and using Concerta without a prescription is considered drug abuse. For those with a prescription, misuse or abuse consists of increasing the dose and/or frequency without a doctor’s recommendation. Some people misuse Concerta by crushing and snorting large doses of it for a more intense high. Less commonly, the drug is administered by injection. Concerta is often prescribed to treat ADHD and, on occasion, narcolepsy. These treatments work because of the drug’s impact on chemicals in the central nervous system that contributes to hyperactivity and impulse control. Although many people use Concerta as directed to treat these conditions, others abuse the drug for its recreational effects. People may abuse Concerta for the following reasons: To Enhance Academic or Work Performance Because Concerta increases focus and concentration as well as alertness and energy levels, college students commonly abuse it as a study aid. Others who work very long hours, such as truck drivers or nurses, may also abuse stimulants such as Concerta to help them stay awake and alert. Weight Loss Stimulants are also appetite suppressants, so some people abuse Concerta to lose weight or prevent weight gain. To Get High Because Concerta affects the brain’s reward system, the drug can produce a high when it’s used by someone who does not have ADHD. The increase in dopamine levels that Concerta produces is also strongly associated with pleasurable feelings. Taking an excessive amount of Concerta can result in an overdose, which can be life-threatening. A Concerta overdose can impact the individual both physically and psychologically. Physical Concerta overdose symptoms include:
- Twitching and Convulsions
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Heart arrhythmia
- Dry mouth
Psychological symptoms of Concerta overdose include:
- Compulsive behaviors
- Hallucinations and Delusions
Drug and Alcohol Combinations
Concerta is also sometimes used in conjunction with other drugs or alcohol, which can have dangerous and life-threatening consequences. Concerta’s stimulant properties can cancel out the depressant effects of alcohol, so the user may not experience the effects of alcohol that he or she usually would. This increases the risk of alcohol poisoning as the user continues to drink more, which can lead to hospitalization, coma, or death. Combining Concerta with alcohol can also increase the adverse side effects of the medication, such as nausea, headaches, and dizziness. It can also lead to anxiety and impaired concentration.
Treatment for Concerta Addiction
People who are struggling with an addiction to Concerta should seek substance abuse treatment immediately to avoid incurring additional negative consequences. Treatment usually begins with a medical detox and is closely followed by a transition to inpatient addiction treatment in a specialized facility, such as our center. Our comprehensive, integrated approach includes behavioral therapy, individual and group counseling, and group support. Our services are delivered by caring, addiction-certified professional staff who provide clients with the skills they need to recover from drug addiction and sustain long-lasting wellness and sobriety. We can help you reclaim your life! Please contact us as soon as possible to begin your journey!