«Aside from the obvious risks that go along with Ritalin withdrawal and abuse, the side effects that are commonly reported to accompany this drug are also a cause for concern. The most reported side effects that are related to Ritalin use, include, but are not limited to: overstimulation, restlessness, insomnia, and dizziness, and headache, dry mouth, loss of appetite, erectile dysfunction, diarrhea, and constipation. Ritalin has also been reported to cause high blood pressure, but in most cases, this increase is temporary and has not commonly been reported to lead to any significant long term health problems. Some of the more serious, but much less common side effects of Ritalin may include, but are not limited to, uncontrolled motor tics and tremors, pounding and irregular heartbeat, chest pain, extreme agitation, aggression, mood swings, depression, paranoid thought patterns and difficulty urinating.
Ritalin side effects could potentially include cardiovascular problems; according to a current study that is related to stimulant drugs that are prescribed to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), these drugs could be responsible for sending thousands of people to hospital emergency rooms each year with heart related symptoms. During 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) added a “black box” warning to the labels of Ritalin and other similar ADHD drugs, which warns consumers of the cardiovascular risks that may be associated with these medications; the heart-related problems that are cited by the new warning label included sudden death in patients who have heart problems or heart defects, stroke and heart attack in adults, and increased blood pressure and heart rate.
Ritalin has a very high potential for abuse and addiction, because it is so similar to many illicit stimulant drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines. The abuse potential is increased when Ritalin tablets are crushed and snorted; additionally, when this prescription stimulant is injected, it produces effects that are almost identical to cocaine. The rate of abuse of prescription stimulants such as Ritalin is highest amongst college students, who may use the stimulant as a study aid, so that they will be able to stay awake longer.
The abuse of Ritalin is so common, that it has been listed among the top ten stolen prescription drugs in America; additionally, on the illicit drug market, it is has been given slang names, such as “kiddie coke”, “Vitamin R” and “The R Ball”. Individuals who have been prescribed Ritalin legitimately will often sell their tablets to others. Users who abuse Ritalin will often pulvarize the tablets and dissolve it (to shoot it) or snort it; both of these methods of ingestion will produce a much more rapid onset of effects than when the drug is taken orally.
Ritalin has actually been reported to be more potent than cocaine, and affects areas of the brain which produce dopamine, which is often referred to as the brains “reward” chemical. Many reputable studies have reported that Ritalin and cocaine are virtually indistinguishable, when the drugs have been administered intravenously to cocaine addicts.»