How Does Methylphenidate Affect Behavior?

Methylphenidate is the generic name for the brand name drug Ritalin, a medication most commonly prescribed for the treatment of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder.

Methylphenidate is effective when it is taken as prescribed, unfortunately, it is one of the most commonly abused prescription medications in the U.S. When taken as directed by a medical professional the drug works by increasing focus and ability to concentrate.

Range Behavioral Side Effects After Methylphenidate Use

People who legitimately struggle with ADHD are able to focus on the task at hand, which dramatically improves their productivity and focus at school or in the workplace. However, methylphenidate can also lead to a range of behavioral side effects, including:

  • Hyperexcitability – If a person has been abusing prescription stimulants, they might seem to be a little too full of energy at times. 
  • Irritability. People who abuse stimulant drugs of any kind often seem to be on edge all of the time, even if they seemingly have no reason to be upset or agitated. 
  • Violence and anger – A person who has been abusing a drug like a methylphenidate is likely going to be more reactionary, and could potentially snap for no apparent reason. There has been a heavily researched coordination between stimulant abuse and violence. 
  • Anxiety and panic – People who abuse stimulant drugs often develop anxiety, leading to panic attacks when left untreated. In many cases, this anxiety subsides after medical detox and residential rehab, but it can sometimes persist for months as a symptom of post-acute withdrawal. However, this is usually only the case if the methylphenidate abuse disorder was particularly severe and lasted for years. 
  • Disorientation and confusion – People who abuse methylphenidate for a prolonged period often have difficulty keeping their wits about them, and they tend to get confused easily. 

How Does Methylphenidate Affect Behavior?

Are Behavioral Changes Permanent?

If a person abuses methylphenidate and experiences behavioral changes, will these changes be permanent or will they resolve when drug abuse is addressed?

The answer to this question depends on several factors, including how severe the substance abuse disorder has become, whether or not there are any underlying mental illnesses present, and what kind of treatment is sought.

Multi-Phased Program of Methylphenidate Recovery

Therefore, at Allure Detox, we recommend that a person suffering from a moderate or severe substance abuse disorder of any kind enter into a multi-phased program of recovery, one that consists of the following stages: 

  • Medically monitored detox – During this stage of the recovery program, the person undergoes methylphenidate withdrawal in a safe and supportive – and medically monitored – environment. 
  • Residential rehab – It is recommended that anyone who has been struggling with a prescription stimulant addiction enters into a rehab program for at least one full month, seeing as it takes 30 days to break a habit. 
  • Intensive outpatient treatment or outpatient treatment – These levels of care serve as a step down from inpatient rehab and allow clients to continue with therapy. 
  • Sober living housing – It is recommended that a person transitions into sober living directly after rehab for added accountability. 
  • Aftercare – This level of care is basically a continuation of things like 12 step meetings and individual therapy. 

Because methylphenidate is a prescription medication and prescription medications are relatively easy to obtain, going through a multi-phased recovery program is especially important when it comes to avoiding relapse long-term. 

Allure Detox and Methylphenidate Withdrawal

At Allure Detox, we specialize in treating all symptoms associated with methylphenidate withdrawal, regardless of whether those symptoms are physical or psychological. Most state-funded detox centers address the physical symptoms of stimulant withdrawal, treating them with a variety of medications before sending their clients on their way within a short week or two. 

Get Help From Methylphenidate Abuse at Allure Detox

One of the many factors that set Allure Detox apart is our whole-person approach to medical detox. We don’t simply treat the physical symptoms of stimulant withdrawal. We also address the psychological and emotional symptoms, offering psychiatric care and intensive therapy.

In addition, we work to prepare our clients for the next step in their recovery journeys. Contact us today to learn more about methylphenidate addiction and recovery.