Its use began in the early 1980s (Iversen 46). Not only does Ritalin treat ADHD, but it also treats narcolepsy. Ritalin works by activating the brainstem in charge of arousal increasing the level of dopamine in the frontal lobe where regulation of impulsive and attention actions take place. Patients experience stimulating effects when they take Ritalin even as prescribed by a doctor. This raises a great deal of concern over it adverse effects and its addictive qualities (Iversen 56). Researchers classify Ritalin as a Schedule II controlled substance, meaning it is as strong as drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamines and methadone. The adverse side effects of Ritalin include insomnia, vomiting, nervousness, heart palpitations, psychotic episodes, severe abdominal and depression among others. Manufactures issue caution on the effects of Ritalin to doctors. Still, some doctors hand this drug freely to children despite the dangerous side effects. Some parents have taken matters on their own hand by reducing the monthly visits to doctors to lessen the effects of the stimulant on their children.
Ritalin is a drug designed to stimulate but its constant use can lead to addiction. Most individuals worry about the non-medical use of the drug. Moreover, the availability of Ritalin in the black market has escalated it abuse among high school and college students. Ritalin keeps students awake for long study periods hence its popularity (Diller 23). Illegal users of Ritalin consume it in a crashed form. They snort it into the bloodstream for quick absorption in the system. As soon as Ritalin enters an individual’s system, it causes a rush, a feeling similar to what users experience when they abuse cocaine (Beal 66). Once addicted to Ritalin, withdrawing is extremely difficult. Withdrawal side effects can be life threatening. They include irregular respiration and heartbeat, lack of appetite, which may lead malnutrition, headaches, tremors