The abuse of prescription drugs is a serious problem in the U.S, where 52 million people over the age of 12 have abused prescription medications in their lifetime. Over one million Americans abuse prescription central nervous system stimulants like Concerta, which is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.
How Concerta Works
It may seem strange that a stimulant drug can treat hyperactivity, but Concerta has a focusing and calming effect on people with ADHD. The active ingredient is methylphenidate, which slowly and steadily increases the brain’s level of dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with movement, pleasure and attention.
When it’s taken in doses higher than prescribed or by someone who doesn’t have ADHD, Concerta increases dopamine levels very quickly, which produces a feeling of euphoria and results in a high level of wakefulness and talkativeness.
How Concerta is Abused
Concerta is often abused by adolescents and young adults for the purpose of enhancing the ability to learn and think. However, the idea that Concerta enhances cognitive abilities is misguided. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse points to research that shows that those who abuse Concerta and other stimulant medications have lower GPAs than their non-using counterparts.
Some people use Concerta as a weight loss tool, since stimulants suppress the appetite, while others may use it to experience the feelings of euphoria produced by higher doses.
Dangers of Concerta Abuse
Taking stimulant drugs leads to an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature, which can be dangerous or even fatal for those with heart problems. Concerta abuse has the potential to cause stroke and heart attack, and it can worsen mental illnesses like anxiety and depression or even cause the onset of certain mental conditions. Serious abuse can lead to psychosis, bipolar disorder and suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
Addiction and dependence are also serious consequences of abuse. Addiction is characterized by compulsive drug use despite negative consequences to health, finances, relationships and legal status, while dependence is characterized by changes in brain function that cause the brain to operate more “normally” when the drug is in the system than when it’s not. Both addiction and dependence typically require professional intervention for long-term recovery.
Treating Concerta Addiction and Dependence
If you’ve developed an addiction to or dependence on Concerta, a high-quality treatment program can help you end the addiction and dependence and maintain long-term sobriety. Treatment starts with medical detox, which ends the physical dependence and involves administering various medications as needed to alleviate withdrawal symptoms, which may include agitation, irritability, deep depression and insomnia.
Once the physical dependence is broken, various research-based therapies will be used to address the more complex issues behind the addiction. Through therapy, you’ll learn to identify and replace self-destructive thoughts and behaviors, and you’ll develop a toolkit of strategies for coping with cravings, stress and other triggers. Therapy will also help you develop a higher level of self-awareness, improve your self-esteem and help you identify a higher purpose in life.
Chances are, your sense of well-being and feelings of good health have been dramatically reduced as a result of your addiction, but through treatment, you’ll improve your physical and mental health and vastly increase your quality of life.
Give us a call or come visit our Detox Treatment Center In Los Angles California