Concerta (methylphenidate) is a prescription stimulant in the same class as Ritalin. In fact, Concerta and Ritalin have essentially the same chemical make-up, but Concerta is the extended-release version, lasting up to 12 hours. The chemical makeup of Concerta is similar to other stimulants like cocaine and amphetamine, and the drug is similarly addictive.
Concerta pills possess a cylindrical shape and are gray, red, yellow, or white, depending on the potency. They are formulated in strengths of 18 mg, 27 mg, 36 mg, and 54 mg. Some people abuse Concerta by taking more pills than prescribed, or by crushing and snorting large doses of it for a more potent high; this drug can also be abused intravenously.
Concerta Abuse and Its Effects
Obtaining or using Concerta without a prescription is considered abuse of the drug. For those with a prescription, increasing the frequency of use or dosage without the prescribing doctor’s recommendation is also considered Concerta abuse.
Concerta affects chemicals in the brain and nervous system that contribute to impulse control and hyperactivity. It is often prescribed to treat narcolepsy and ADHD. Although many people use Concerta to treat these conditions, others take the drug for its stimulant properties.
People typically abuse Concerta as a means of:
- Improving academic performance – Due to being a stimulant, Concerta increases concentration and focus, along with energy levels and alertness. It is common for college students to abuse stimulants as study aids.
- Losing weight – Stimulants suppress your appetite, therefore many people abuse Concerta in order to lose weight.
- Getting high – Concerta activates the reward system in the brain, so the drug is able to produce a high when used by someone who isn’t being treated for ADHD. Heightened levels of dopamine are associated with attention and pleasure.
Using an excessive amount of Concerta can lead to an overdose, which can be life-threatening. A Concerta overdose may affect the user both physically and psychologically. Physical symptoms of a Concerta overdose include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Uncontrollable tremors
- Dry mouth
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Increased blood pressure
- Sinus arrhythmia
- Flushed skin
- Overactive reflexes
- Rapid breathing
Psychological symptoms of Concerta overdose include:
- Aggressive behavior
- Compulsive behaviors
- Panic attacks
At Asana Recovery, we understand how difficult recovering from these addictions through our daily work to help those struggling most from this disease. While some may believe they can make it alone, rehabilitation programs are essential in the fight to break the dependency. The road ahead is not a smooth or easy one, but you can traverse it if done so with the support of the right team. Counseling and aftercare processes can assist you by addressing the psychological facets that led you to addiction and help you build a structure from which to better cope with life without succumbing to addiction.
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