Concerta is the brand name of a prescription drug called Methylphenidate, which is most commonly used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). Concerta is classified as a stimulant (a CNS stimulant, more specifically). While the medication can be extremely effective when taken as directed, it does have a high propensity for abuse and addiction. Concerta directly affects the release of dopamine within the brain, providing those that take the medication with the stimulation needed to facilitate increased focus and awareness (which is why it is most commonly used to treat children struggling with ADHD).
However, in recent years, this prescription medication has fallen into the hands of those who never struggled with attention-related disorders, and rates of prescription stimulant abuse have been on the steady and consistent rise. Most of the individuals that begin abusing prescription medications will initially receive them from a friend or family member. The high rates of Concerta prescriptions are linked to the high rates of abuse. In fact, according to a 1996 Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) study, somewhere between 30 and 50 percent of American youth currently in treatment for substance abuse reported that they had experimented with or abused a prescription stimulant at least once in their lifetimes.
Concerta Addiction Signs and Symptoms
Concerta is a habit-forming medication, and experimentation often leads to abuse, which ultimately develops into a full-fledged addiction. Those who develop a dependency on this prescription medication will often present a host of signs and symptoms. If you believe that you or someone close to you is struggling with Concerta addiction, look for the following symptoms:
- Increased agitation and irritability.
- Anxiety and panic attacks.
- Rapid heart rate.
- Decreased appetite, which leads to weight loss.
- Chronic dehydration.
- Paranoia and suspiciousness.
- Doctor shopping – attempting to obtain a Concerta prescription from more than one doctor.
- Purchasing pills from other people with prescriptions.
- Ingesting the drug nasally (crushing and snorting pills rather than ingesting them orally).
People abuse this drug for a variety of reasons. Below are some of the most common reasons for Concerta abuse:
- Increased concentration. Concerta is often described as a “study drug” and is abused by students looking for increased alertness and an increased capacity to retain information.
- Increased propensity to stay awake. Those who are working long hours are working night shifts might abuse this specific medication to stay awake. Those in the healthcare professional – namely doctors and nurses – actually have high rates of Concerta abuse for this very reason.
- Weight loss. It is not uncommon for those struggling with eating disorders to turn to prescription stimulants to suppress their appetites and lose weight.
If you or someone close to you has been abusing Concerta for any reason, seeking professional medical help is essential. Prescription stimulant abuse and addiction can be difficult to overcome for multiple reasons. First of all, the addictive nature of the substance itself is undeniable. Secondly, Concerta is widely accessible, seeing as it is so commonly prescribed. Attempting to quit on your own will almost always prove unsuccessful.
Garden State Treatment Center and Concerta Addiction Recovery
At Garden State Treatment Center, we are available to help those who have been struggling with a Concerta addiction and may feel as if they have no way out. We understand that struggling with a prescription stimulant addiction can seem like a problem that is impossible to conquer – the good news is, no matter how severe your addictive order has become, recovery is always possible. Please give us a call today for more information on our comprehensive program of addiction treatment and Concerta addiction recovery.