While the destructive power of hard street drugs like heroin and methamphetamine has been apparent to the masses forever, the public stigmas behind legal prescriptions are less negative. The problem with this is that marijuana is not the only gateway drug and often big problems can come in small bottles with legal labels.
One of these prescriptions that sees a lot of use and abuse amongst teens and young adults is Concerta (or drugs similar to it like Adderall, Ritalin, or Vyvanse). One of the reasons that abuse is so rampant is that the drug is widely prescribed to those with a legitimate need for the drug, then distributed amongst the friends and acquaintances of the patient. Anyone who has been to college knows that these drugs are pretty easy to find.
What is Concerta?
Concerta is a prescription drug used for the treatment of attention deficit disorder and a stimulant affecting the central nervous system. Used correctly as a therapy for ADHD, the drug increases ability to focus or control certain behaviors. But, with an active ingredient molecule that is very close to that of amphetamines, the pills found in these containers can pack a powerful punch especially for those already prone to addiction.
What Are the Effects of Concerta on the Body?
We’ve all seen the photos of the devastating effects that street meth has on the bodies of addicts shown in the widely circulated mugshot photos from jails and institutions. These photos show the process of deterioration over time and the images are harrowing. Although the abuse of legal prescriptions takes less of a negative toll on the body, the danger is that these pills can lead to street meth over time. Here are some of the effects that Concerta can have when abused:
- Weight loss/loss of appetite
- Vision Problems
- Decreased libido
Concerta can also affect the behavior of a user. According to the National Institute of Health:
Patients on Concerta are more prone to become easily agitated, irritable, or depressed and go through mood swings. (NIH)
In the most severe cases methylphenidate (the active chemical in Concerta), stroke, and even death have been reported in patients with heart problems.
Can You Overdose on Concerta?
Overdose is possible on any amphetamine although severe adverse effects from the drug are usually from being coupled with another substance such as alcohol. Symptoms of an overdose include convulsions and tremors but can be treated with appropriate medications in an ER or poison control center.
What Happens When You Stop Taking Concerta?
Although the comedown from Concerta (or similar drugs), when used correctly, is nearly non-existent when abused the withdrawals can have a profound effect on the body. Prolonged exposure creates a dependency in the brain and without the chemical, depression can occur. Of course, depression can evolve into a seemingly endless struggle when coupled with a dependency on a chemical. Because the drug in question relieves the symptoms of depression for a short while, the cycle of high highs and low lows can be devastating to personal or professional lives.
Another common problem with a dependency on a stimulant is an inability to keep up with their normal workload without their substance. This is commonly rough for students when dealing with the stresses of schoolwork. Unfortunately, there are no proven drugs that can help with the comedown from legal stimulants but detoxing in a medical center is always recommended. Getting help is essential for anyone dealing with stimulant dependency because addiction only worsens with time. We can help you at Allure Detox with your Concerta addiction problem.