Ritalin is a popular stimulant drug prescribed for adults and children who have attention disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This drug helps the brain stay alert while improving focus and concentration. However, in recent times, it has also been prescribed for people who have severe pain and are taking opioid medication. That’s why some people now believe it’s an opioid.
Here are some important facts you should know about Ritalin and how it’s used today.
What Is Ritalin?
Ritalin is a brand name for methylphenidate, which is a type of medicine known as a stimulant. Methylphenidate can increase your ability to focus and pay attention, which is why it’s used to treat behavioral conditions like ADHD. It may also be taken to enhance listening skills and improve organization. This medicine is even used to treat a sleep disorder called narcolepsy.
While Ritalin does help people, taking high doses or taking it for a long time can cause addiction. The risk may increase if you’ve already been diagnosed with substance use disorder related to drugs or alcohol. As a result, it’s crucial to take this medication exactly the way it was prescribed by your physician.
Is Ritalin an Opioid?
Opioids are drugs that can be extracted naturally from the opium poppy plant. These medications provide pain relief by working on the brain. Opioids may be prescription drugs known as painkillers or narcotics such as heroin.
Prescription opioids block pain signals between the body and the brain. They’re used for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. Apart from controlling pain, taking opioids may make people feel happy, relaxed or “high.”
Ritalin (methylphenidate) is not an opioid. It was approved by the FDA in 1955 for the first time as a treatment for hyperactivity. Taking Ritalin can be habit-forming because users can develop a tolerance to it over time. Sometimes this medication is misused by students who want to concentrate for long periods. To stay safe, you must keep track of the medication and take only the amount that was prescribed by your doctor.
Can Ritalin Be Mixed With Opioids?
Methylphenidate is a stimulant that’s used to reduce opioid-induced sedation. When opioids are used to manage moderate to severe pain, high quantities of the drug are administered to patients, which has some drawbacks. Patients experience sedation and loss of cognitive function. In such cases, Ritalin, a nervous system stimulant, could be used to increase alertness.
A published clinical study showed that Ritalin can help treat pain, which may be the reason some physicians combine it with opioids to enhance pain management. While this drug didn’t reduce the actual intensity of the pain, combining it with opioids provided significant anti-sedation effects and enhanced the patient’s quality of life.
Contact Your Local BAART Programs Center
At BAART Programs treatment centers, we offer medication-assisted therapy for opioid use disorder. We are fully prepared to take care of you or your loved one and enable you to experience full addiction recovery and return to a fulfilling and rewarding lifestyle. Contact us now through our contact form or call us at 844.341.4040 today.