What is Concerta?

Concerta methylphenidate is a prescription medication that is mainly used as a stimulant medication to increase attention span and reduce impulsive and hyperactive behavior. This prescription medication is used to treat attention deficit disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and narcolepsy. It is similar to Ritalin, which some people may abuse in the same manner. Methylphenidate comes in tablet form to be taken orally. Those who abuse stimulants will crush the pills to snort or inject. Some Brand Names of Concerta Include:

  • Metadate CD
  • Metadate ER
  • Aptensio XR
  • Ritalin
  • Ritalin LA
  • Ritalin SR

Street names for Concerta include Kiddy Cocaine, Pineapple, Kiddie Coke, Smarties, Kibble & Bits, and Skittles.

Concerta Effects

Effects of Concerta include producing calmness and increasing focus in individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD. However, methylphenidate abuse (which is using Concerta outside of a prescription) from individuals who do not have these disorders, the drug increases energy, euphoria, and excitement. Concerta slowly raises the user’s dopamine levels in the brain and affects the central nervous system. Some of the more common side effects of Concerta include:

  • Dizziness
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurry vision
  • Anxiety or irritability
  • Seizures
  • Psychotic symptoms, including hallucinations
  • Loss of appetite

Signs of Concerta Abuse and Addiction

People will commonly abuse stimulants like Concerta for various reasons, including to improve academic performance, lose weight, get high, or as a way to stay up, usually to work. Some working professionals also abuse Concerta as a way to improve their job performance. Signs of Concerta abuse and addiction include:

  • Taking more than the prescribed amount
  • Altering the way of taking the medication, such as crushing it to snort or inject
  • Alternating periods of extreme wakefulness and excitement, with “crash” periods of fatigue and depression
  • Mood swings
  • Inability to consistently fulfill regular obligations
  • No longer participating in activities once enjoyed
  • A decline in school or work performance
  • Tolerance, needing more of the drug to get the same effect
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Aggression
  • Hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia
  • Withdrawals when not taking the drug

Concerta Withdrawal Symptoms

Concerta abuse and addiction can cause dependence which leads to withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop taking the medication. Medical detox at a treatment center may be a good idea when attempting to come off Concerta after an extended amount of abuse because it can help with withdrawal symptoms. Some people may quickly relapse when attempting to go cold turkey on their own because Concerta withdrawals can be so uncomfortable, that they quickly start taking it again to stop the negative symptoms. Some symptoms from Concerta withdrawals include:

  • Fatigue
  • Vivid dreams and nightmares
  • Insomnia and difficulty sleeping
  • Dysphoria
  • Significantly increased appetite
  • Psychomotor agitation

The withdrawal timeline may look like this: onset of symptoms within 12 hours to several days after they stop taking it, the peak of withdrawal symptoms 3 to 7 days later, after 7 days most individuals feel back to normal, however, some more mild symptoms can persist for weeks later.

Long-Term Side Effects of Concerta Abuse

When Concerta is prescribed by a doctor and used as prescribed, it is fairly safe to use long-term. However, Concerta abuse and addiction can cause several long-term health effects including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Decreased appetite leading to malnutrition
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety and paranoia
  • Loss of ability to feel pleasure

Concerta Addiction Treatment

Treatment for Concerta addiction is available through drug rehab treatment centers. Professional treatment can help address the various aspects of Concerta addiction and abuse through evidence-based treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy. Other forms of addiction treatment include individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy, 12-step programming, and holistic treatments. Medical detox may be necessary at the beginning of treatment programs to help you go through Concerta withdrawal safely and comfortably. Various levels of care are available to help with any severity of addiction and abuse including inpatient treatment, intensive outpatient program, partial hospitalization program, and outpatient rehab. Inpatient Outpatient programs are a good fit for those with less severe addictions or who need to continue working, going to school, or staying at home during their addiction treatment. Treatment for Concerta can include dual diagnosis programs to help treat co-occurring disorders such as anxiety, depression, and panic attacks that may have been brought on by substance abuse.

If you or someone you love is struggling with Concerta addiction and abuse, treatment is available and our addiction specialists at DayBreak Treatment Solutions are available to answer your questions about rehab.

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