Many different prescription stimulant medications are abused today even though there are risks involved if they're misused. Medications like Concerta are central nervous system stimulants that are used as part of a treatment program for treating Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
People with ADHD or ADD have a problem with focus and concentration and those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder tend to be impulsive and hyperactive having a hard time sitting still.
Concerta doesn't cure ADD or ADHD but it is a stimulant medication that helps to increase a person's attention and decrease hyperactivity and impulsiveness in patients with this disorder. There are various reasons a medical professional may prescribe Concerta but the prescription stimulant medication is commonly prescribed for Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
- Narcolepsy (uncontrollable desire for sleep or sudden attacks for deep sleep)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Stimulant Medication Abuse
For years stimulant prescription medications like Concerta have been effectively used in treating attention deficit disorders but they're also frequently misused for non-medical reasons by a lot of people. Prescription medications are commonly abused recreationally today and stimulants like Concerta are a common drug of choice among people for various reasons.
Common Side Effects of Concerta
As with all medications, there are side effects that may be experienced, common side effects for Concerta are listed below.
- Decreased appetite
- Dry mouth
- Trouble sleeping
- Stomach ache
- Increased sweating
- Weight loss
Concerta Abuse Can Lead To Addiction
When Concerta is used for recreational purposes, higher doses are commonly used and abuse of this medication can lead to dependence and eventually addiction. The pharmacological makeup of Concerta is very similar to amphetamine and cocaine which makes this stimulant medication sought after by many teens and young adults.
Why Is Concerta Abused?
Euphoria: People abuse stimulants medications like Concerta for various reasons. All stimulants work by increasing dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical that's associated with pleasure, movement and attention. Some people abuse Concerta in high doses recreationally just to get high.
Study Aid: Concerta helps with focus and concentration but also increases energy and will help a person stay awake. Concerta or other psychostimulant medications like Adderall and Ritalin are often abused by students in college or universities as study aids.
Weight Loss: Stimulant medications like Concerta can also decrease a person's appetite so many people abuse the medication to lose weight.
How Is Concerta Abused?
Concerta is abused in various ways and abusers often crush the medication into a powder before they use the drug. Some users mix crushed Concerta with cocaine or other illicit drugs before they snort it. There are also people who mix the crushed powder with marijuana before they smoke the mixture. Concerta is also abused by liquefying the crushed powder before injecting the drug. All routes of administration are dangerous but people who abuse Concerta don't realize the potential risks and dangers involved with these forms of misuse.
Concerta Long-Term Abuse Effects
When a person uses Concerta in high doses over an extended period of time there are symptoms (side effects) that can be experienced that are very serious such as Paranoia, Schizophrenia and Psychosis. Below are side effects that may be experienced due to prolonged abuse of Concerta in high doses.
- Hearing voices
- Visual hallucinations
- Urges to hurt themselves
- Urges to hurt others
- Severe anxiety
- Paranoid delusions
Concerta Withdrawal Symptoms
When Concerta is used chronically and in high doses a person can become addicted to the medication and if they abruptly stop taking the drug they can experience withdrawal symptoms. It depends on how long and intense a person has abused Concerta as to how severe withdrawal symptoms may be. Longer use of Concerta at high doses will result in more intense and prolonged symptoms of withdrawal. Concerta withdrawal symptoms could go away within weeks but could go on for months. Concerta withdrawal symptoms can include:
- Panic attacks
- Psychosis (loss of contact with reality)
- Extreme hunger
- Nightmares (bad dreams)
People often think if a medication is legal and commonly prescribed to patients, especially children, it's a safer drug to misuse and not as serious or dangerous to abuse. They also don't think they'll get addicted to Concerta or other stimulant prescription medications because they feel they're in control of their use in the beginning. It's very easy for some people to start using Concerta or other stimulant medications recreationally and before they know it, their abusing them more often and in higher doses. No one sets out to become addicted to prescription drugs like Concerta but unfortunately there are many teens and young adults now that are unable to stop using them and they're in need of treatment due to addiction.