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Concerta Abuse and Addiction
Concerta (methylphenidate) is a psycho-stimulant drug that is in a certain class of medications called central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. It works by changing the amounts of certain natural substances in the brain that affect the central nervous system.
Concerta is a type of drug that increases the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Concerta is similar to amphetamine, and its effects to the body are closely related to those of cocaine. In the United States, Concerta (methylphenidate) is classified as a controlled substance; it has a recognized medical value but also has a high likelihood for abuse because of its addictive potential.
Why Is Concerta Prescribed?
Concerta is a prescription medication used to treat Attention Deficit hyperactivity Disorder. This is a common disorder in adults and children that affects a person in a negative way. People with Attention Deficit hyperactivity disorder have difficulty focusing and remaining still for long periods of time. They also have problems controlling their actions, maintain alertness and paying attention. Concerta is also prescribed to treat narcolepsy. This is a condition in which a person has constant sleepiness during the day and will often fall asleep during the day uncontrollably. Concerta has shown some benefits as a replacement therapy for methamphetamine addiction. Concerta has been investigated as a chemical replacement for the treatment of cocaine dependence; in the same way that methadone is used as a replacement for heroin. Concerta is actually more potent than cocaine in its effect on dopamine transporters.
Statistics Related To Concerta
Concerta comes in both pill and liquid form. It it usually prescribed to be taken every 3 to four hours with or without food. The directions on the prescription given by your doctor must be followed precisely. The pill form must be swallowed whole and never crushed or chewed. The liquid form must be precisely measure with a measuring spoon specified for medical use. The liquid form must be diluted with a half glass of water because if it is taken full strength it will make your mouth numb. During treatment your doctor will closely monitor your use of this drug because the dose may need to be changed depending on your personal reaction to the drug. Concerta is shown to be habit forming in long term as well as short term patients. A person must never inject this medicine intravenously or crush up the pill into powder and snort them because taking the drug in this matter may in fact cause serious side effects and maybe even death.
How Concerta Is Abused?
Concerta may be abused in many different ways. Some people abuse this drug by simply taking the pill form while others may snort, inject or smoke it. Concerta is a stimulant drug and as a stimulant it can become habit forming. People who abuse Concerta take higher doses than recommended and use this drug over much longer periods of time. Stimulants, such as Concerta, are most commonly known by their "street names" as uppers and beanies. Concerta is abused for many reasons. The primary reason for abuse is to get high off it. It has a similar effect on the body as cocaine. Concerta can increase alertness, attention, and energy, which are accompanied by increases in blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing. Another reason Concerta is abused is for weight loss. Weight loss is a common side effect of the active ingredient in Concerta. It also sometimes abused by teens that do not have Attention Deficit hyperactivity disorder, but feel that the medication helps them perform better in school.
Some of the effects Concerta have on the body are increased blood pressure, rapid heart rate and fast or rapid breathing. It can also decrease appetite and cause rapid weight loss because of its stimulant effect. Some of the less serious side effects of this medication include:
- Extreme Calm
- Stomach Pains or Cramps
- Mood Changes
- Dry Mouth
You must contact your doctor right away if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away with time. Some of the more serious and very dangerous side effects include:
- Muscle Twitches OR Stiffening
- Slow or Difficult Breathing
- Slow, Fast, or Pounding Heartbeat
- Shaking Hands Uncontrollably
- Difficulty Urinating
These symptoms are uncommon but if they are experienced you will need a doctor's care immediately and a hospital emergency room visit is recommended.
Concerta Abuse Treatment Options
Depending on an individual's personal experience with Concerta abuse the first step in getting treatment would be to slowly decrease the dosage of the drug and attempt to treat withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms may be severe so it is highly recommended that ceasing this drug be monitored by a medical physician. The process of detoxification may be better treated at a behavioral health therapeutic facility. Therapy is also recommended in order to treat this abuse in order to teach the abuser how to avoid drug use and how to learn to cope with their problems more effectively. Recovery support groups may also be effective in conjunction with behavioral therapy.