Ritalin Withdrawal and Addiction: Recovery Tips

Prescription drug abuse can be a tricky situation. You’ve been prescribed a drug to help you with one issue and now that you’re dependent on the drug, there are a plethora of new issues. 

This can be very challenging to overcome. 

Ritalin is used for a variety of conditions but it is most commonly used to treat those with symptoms of ADHD. If you are struggling with Ritalin withdrawal or addiction, it is important to know the signs and symptoms. According to research, up to 5% of adults in America have ADHD with the majority who are undiagnosed.   

Although Ritalin can be effective in certain situations, it can become problematic if you become addicted to its effects. 

Keep reading to find out more about Ritalin and treatment options for recovery. 

What Is ADHD? 

ADHD is also known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is a disorder that causes hyperactive and impulsive behavior. It is most commonly diagnosed in childhood and while most children outgrow this disorder, some carry it into adulthood.

As a child, ADHD can affect your ability to concentrate, follow instructions, and behave in a classroom setting. As an adult, it can cause mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, impulsiveness, addiction, and low self-esteem.

What Is Ritalin? 

Ritalin is a medication that treats certain disorders including ADHD. Ritalin is part of the stimulant class of drugs and is also known as Methylphenidate. 

One of the main goals of this drug is to help you pay attention. For children, it helps with behavioral issues as well. For adults, it helps with staying on task, allowing for organization and focus on a particular activity.

Proponents of Ritalin say that the drug will: 

  • Improve your concentration 
  • Aid in weight loss
  • Improve mental sharpness
  • Help organize a busy workload 
  • Calm hyperactive behavior

While there are therapeutic uses for this drug, it has been known to be abused. University students have used it to study and others have used it for a personal high, without ADHD symptoms. 

Is Ritalin Addictive? 

Now that we know the effects of Ritalin and how it can be used, we can look for possible addictive qualities of Ritalin use. Most drugs have side effects which can be amplified if the drug is not taken correctly. You must follow the doctor’s prescription and discuss with your physician before deviating from their instructions. 

The following are common symptoms of Ritalin addiction: 

  • Increase your dose of Ritalin without the doctor’s approval 
  • Inability to cut down on the drug even though you want to
  • Lack of engagement in activities 
  • Lack of social life and family engagement 
  • Cravings to use Ritalin 
  • Spending time to procure more Ritalin 
  • Mixing Ritalin with alcohol or street drugs 
  • Needing more Ritalin to produce the same effect 
  • Using Ritalin even though it has negatively affected your health
  • Continuing with Ritalin use after it has affected your relationships 
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using Ritalin

These are just some of the common signs that you might have a Ritalin addiction. In addition to these symptoms, you also want to know what the physical and mental withdrawal symptoms of Ritalin are. 

What Are Ritalin Withdrawal Symptoms?

Ritalin has many effects on the body. 

It affects the central nervous system by changing the activity of norepinephrine and dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of pleasure while norepinephrine acts as a stimulant.

For someone abusing this medication, there will be an unnatural increase of activity in these two neurotransmitters. It can lead to changes in mood, twitching, seizures, and hallucinations. Withdrawal symptoms can include depression, irritability, and feelings of apathy.

It also affects the circulation in your body and your digestive system. 

Ritalin increases your blood pressure and body temperature. An irregular heartbeat can mean that your blood vessels are blocked and are also a sign of withdrawal. 

Having trouble sleeping is also a sign of withdrawal. This can mean extreme fatigue and sleeping too much, or insomnia. 

Like other stimulants, once your body is used to the presence of the drug, withdrawal symptoms will present themselves when use stops. 

Your withdrawal symptoms will vary depending on your use. The longer you use the drug and the higher the dose, the more difficult it will be to cease use. Talk to your doctor if you want to stop taking this medication. 

Types of Ritalin Addiction Treatments 

For many types of drug withdrawal, it is important to take steps towards recovery. Treatment will look different for everyone, and you and a supportive medical staff must take the time to create a treatment plan that’s right for you. 


Detoxification is the first step in any addiction treatment.

It is important to get the drug out of your system, to make rational decisions about your treatment plan. Withdrawal can be physically and emotionally painful but a supportive drug detox center will make it more comfortable for you. 

Residential Treatment 

Residential or inpatient treatment involves a physical stay at a drug treatment center. This allows you to stay in a safe environment and teaches you how to live without Ritalin. This treatment is intense and requires a commitment to a specific duration. 

Residential treatment at Inland Detox offers 24-hour support from medical staff, along with a variety of treatment modalities. 

Outpatient Treatment 

Outpatient treatment is for those who cannot commit to a residential treatment setting.

There are many options for outpatient treatment including individual counseling, group therapy, and 12-step programs, just to name a few. 

Consider Other ADHD Treatment 

If you were using Ritalin for an ADHD diagnosis, you will want to find other options. Although your Ritalin use has become problematic, you still want to help treat the original problem. Consider different treatment styles that don’t involve prescription medication.

Recovering From Ritalin Withdrawal and Addiction

Dealing with addiction can be challenging. It is important to remember the signs of Ritalin addiction, and the symptoms of Ritalin withdrawal. There are treatment options available to help you recover, including detox, residential treatment, and outpatient care.If you or someone you love is suffering from Ritalin addiction, get help now by reaching out to us at Inland Detox.