Ritalin, a commonly abused drug that is used to treat patients with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), has reached 35 million prescriptions in 2007.
Its ability to increase focus and energy has enticed individuals with no particular ailment to take advantage of the drug for personal use. It is popularly abused by college students who wish to stay up for long hours to accomplish academic responsibilities.
To experience immediate effect, some would resort to crushing and snorting the drug. With prolonged use, Ritalin could affect the normal function of the heart which can lead to a life-threatening condition.
Unfortunately, the FDA has not yet approved any medications to treat Ritalin addiction. Rehab centers rely on a taper schedule coupled with individual and group therapies to limit intense cravings for the drug and avoid relapse.
A Taper Schedule
This is the main remedy to handle withdrawal, although some medications can be prescribed to relieve patients from certain symptoms such as headache or nausea, as well as depression.
Experts highly recommend that detoxing from Ritalin must be under the supervision of a health expert. The risks that come from withdrawal can be uncertain especially when a person has an existing physical illness or a co-occurring mental disorder.
With medical care, the response of the patient during treatment is constantly monitored and vital signs are always checked to avoid potential health complications. On top of that, Ritalin doses are also programmed critically to ensure the wellness of the patient.
A tapering schedule is the best means to limit the surge of withdrawal symptoms during detox. For some individuals, this can last for a couple of days while some may continue to progress for weeks. This may vary depending on the level of addiction a patient has reached.
A tapering schedule begins by identifying the usual dose of a patient and then slowly lowering it. It can be adjusted depending on how much they can endure the effects of withdrawal. This is critical and must be done with medical supervision to ensure safety.
Quitting cold turkey on Ritalin may also result in serious health risks which is why it is strongly discouraged. As a stimulant, the drug affects the body’s cardiovascular function and this can be negatively disturbed by the drastic changes caused by quitting cold turkey.
This is the heart of addiction treatment for Ritalin. When the body has surpassed the intense stage of withdrawal, patients may now divert their focus on reflecting on the causes of their addiction and their personal triggers.
The goal of therapies, individual or group sessions, is to allow patients to deepen their understanding of their own addiction and then be able to create new ways to overcome those situations which may likely trigger it.
Unlike opioid substances where cravings can be controlled by maintenance drugs, Ritalin addiction requires strong combat of the mind. It is very important to never miss sessions for therapy.
Typically, experts recommend 90 days as ideal addiction treatment, however; with Ritalin involved, it would be likely to extend up to 6 months.
The following are the commonly applied therapies during treatment for patients suffering from Ritalin addiction. Whether inpatient or outpatient care, these can be used.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is about shaping a new behavior that can work when temptations of drug use are present. But to achieve this, one has to constantly examine what triggers their addiction. With the help of a therapist, patients can determine instances of potential relapse.
Some people have gone through painful experiences in the past that is why they use the drug to numb their pain and enjoy being high. With CBT, these feelings are evaluated until the patient reaches a positive understanding of their pain.
It is a holistic approach to recovery. It emphasizes the value of awareness of thoughts and feelings in shaping positive behavior which is relevant in overcoming cravings and temptations.
In simpler terms, it is helping one figure out that certain encounters may cause them to relapse so they evaluate the best means to take when this happens. Is it best to avoid the situation or completely walk away from it?
This is another evidence-based approach to treatment where family members are involved in the process. The goal is to patch things up among family members – reconciling their past conflicts and deepening their communication with each other.
This is highly suitable for families who have gone through loss and grief. With the aid of a therapist. members are taught to overcome stressful situations and even feelings of anger and pain positively.
They are instilled with the essence of valuing and supporting each other especially in dealing with their loved one who is in the process of recovering from Ritalin addiction. This Is a great opportunity to heal wounds caused by the family and move forward with optimism in life.
This is another helpful form of therapy where individuals recognize that they are not alone in what they are going through. There are several people they can relate to about their personal struggles and pain in addiction, and they can learn from their experiences too.
The fellowship that group therapy offers is a great advantage for the patient to feel valued despite having gone through addiction and be strengthened to look at recovery as an achievable path.
These are programs that progress after formal treatment in rehab care to prevent relapse, and that is what makes it extremely necessary. The first few days of post treatment are crucial because temptations for relapse could be typically strong.
By continuously engaging with groups in recovery meetings, for instance, patients can slowly adapt to the changes in their routine without feeling stressed. They can also strengthen the skills they learned during treatment with the aid of this group.
There are plenty more aftercare programs that are essential for patients to practice. A healthy lifestyle is also another means to help oneself sustain a sober life.