Some people may believe that Ritalin use is safe because it is a prescribed drug. This is not always the case, though. Even when it is taken as prescribed, pairing it with alcohol can be dangerous. The effects of mixing Ritalin and alcohol are generally far more negative than positive, and either substance can be addictive. People who are concerned about Ritalin and alcohol use can call us for themselves or loved ones to get confidential help and support.
The Effects of Ritalin and Alcohol
Although Ritalin can have a calming effect on people who suffer from hyperactivity, inattention, and other symptoms of ADHD, the drug’s effects are similar to those of speed when it is taken by people who do not medically need it. Because Ritalin is a stimulant, it can give people more energy, decrease their appetite, and improve their concentration. However, it can also increase their heartbeat and respiratory rate, cause sleep disturbances, trigger anxiety, delusions, and paranoia, and even cause strokes, among other effects.
When Ritalin is mixed with alcohol, these effects are intensified. Ritalin and other stimulants also mask the effects of alcohol, which makes it a dangerous combination. People who are on Ritalin may feel alert and energetic after drinking substantial amounts of alcohol, so they do not always realize just how intoxicated they are. They continue to drink, and this can result in blackouts, alcohol poisoning, or worse. The mixture also strains and confuses the body. Alcohol is a depressant, or a “downer,” whereas Ritalin is an “upper.” People might think they balance each other out, but they do not.
The Issues of Mixing Alcohol with Methylphenidate and Other Stimulants
Signs of Addiction to Ritalin and Alcohol
People who are addicted to Ritalin and alcohol typically experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using the substances. They may feel severely depressed or irritable and suffer from headaches. They may need higher doses or more drinks to feel the same effects as they once did, because frequent use increases a person’s tolerance.
People who are addicted to Ritalin may seem vacant or confused, and they can have trouble concentrating without it. Abuse of alcohol and Ritalin can lead to other difficulties, such as financial problems and conflicts in relationships. With addiction, the substances often take a higher priority than anything or anyone else.
Ritalin addiction is not limited to people who use it illegally or recreationally. Some people take much larger doses than prescribed to feel its stimulating effects, and others have managed to obtain prescriptions when they did not actually need it for a medical or psychological condition. People who need help with Ritalin and alcohol abuse can call us to learn more about your rehabilitation options.
Treatment for Addiction to Ritalin and Alcohol
The treatment for addiction to Ritalin and alcohol can partly depend on whether Ritalin was prescribed to the person or if it was used illegally for recreation. People with ADD or ADHD have a higher risk of becoming dependent on alcohol, according to the University of Notre Dame. If they abuse Ritalin prescriptions in addition to alcohol, treatment may include a switch to non stimulant medications. If they take Ritalin as prescribed but abuse alcohol, treatment may primarily focus on alcohol recovery and the management of any mental health symptoms that contribute to their alcohol use.
With or without a mental health diagnosis, treatment will likely include therapy. For people who first started using Ritalin to stay focused and energized throughout long hours of work or school, therapy might include help with time management, stress management, proper nutrition, and other healthy means of coping with strict schedules. Group therapy and support groups can also help people identify and work on issues that contribute to substance abuse.
Group Alcohol Addiction Counseling
Group alcohol addiction counseling allows people suffering from similar ailments to come together and gain strength through shared experiences and support. Many detoxification centers and treatment programs include group alcohol abuse counseling as part of their overall treatment goals, and the benefits gained from working towards shared goals in a group can have lasting effects on those suffering from abuse and addiction.
The effects of mixing Ritalin and alcohol are harmful, and the combination can lead to a dependency on one or both substances. People who need help with overcoming addictions to Ritalin and alcohol should call us to learn more about available treatment programs.