Due to its mild amphetamine-like qualities for people without ADHD, some people out there (And you know who you are) like to chop the pills up and snort them for a better kick. Well, it's your bodies, fine, but in the spirit of harm reduction you should realize what you're doing to yourself.

The results of amphetamine abuse are pretty well known: addiction, paranoia, brain damage. You'd have to go pretty far to have that happen on Ritalin, but still watch out. But there's another problem with snorting Ritalin. Because the pill is designed to be swallowed, they put a lot of filler in it. There's very little active ingredient, but one has to snort the entire pill to get the effects. However, all that filler really isn't good for your sinuses. Snorting anything isn't good for them, but the particulate matter that makes up the filler basically lodges in your nose if you snort it. This is a Bad Thing. So don't snort it, please?

The ability of ritalin to help hyper-people to calm down and focus, though it is actually a stimutlant, has resulted in my opinion the strangest drug myth:

snorting ritalin will allow you to study better

This idea is especially popular in the New England Bording School Circuit, probably 'cause on any given dorm you're sure to find at least three kids with a prescription.

Aside: It is actually kinda ironic to watch someone who you know (and who you know has been having a good time of it) start doing drugs to get back to a proverbial level playing field.

I actually have done this once in college... for strictly legitimate research purposes... er... you understand...

anyway, I was able to pump out a 17 page paper on Hiedegger in about six hours one night, so maybe it isn't such a myth.

Trademark for a stimulant, C14H19NO2·HCl, used to treat depression, hyperactivity in children, etc.

Here are some excerpts from a report I wrote regarding the usage of Ritalin, particularly its over-subscription and usage for recreational purposes.

2. Results
2.1 Findings
According to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, more than one in every 30 Americans between 5 and 19 years old have a prescription for Ritalin in the United States to control their behaviour (or in some cases, narcolepsy).

2.1.2 - Attitudes towards Ritalin’s usage
Some doctors and child psychologists are against the usage of the drug Ritalin, especially in less major circumstances (when the child’s behaviour is manageable by other means, for example). The opinion between parents varies, too. All parents believe their children achieving at school is a good thing, but some parents are not willing to place their children on drugs such as Ritalin. The major arguments for this are that the long-term effects of the drug are not yet known and that Ritalin, like all stimulants, can cause depression and other problems on withdrawal.
Another issue is when the person should actually be withdrawn from the drug. When they finish primary school? When they finish high school? When they finish tertiary education? The problem with all stimulants is not physical addiction, but psychological addictions that need to be treated with counselling.

2.1.4 – Misuse/abuse of Ritalin
Due to the nature of stimulants such as Ritalin, dexamphetamine, etc. they have the potential to be misused in many ways. Students are known to crush and snuff Ritalin tablets, or even form a solution with it and inject, to improve their concentration whilst studying. Also, Ritalin is used as a recreational drug and can cause euphoria and hallucinations at high dosages. The side affects of these actions are not life threatening, but can be dangerous. Placing children on Ritalin gives them the means, and may even promote, their using of stimulant drugs for recreation.

3. Conclusion
To sum up, it can be seen that Ritalin is a dangerous drug. Apart from the physical problems it has been shown to cause in the long term, such as growth suppression and weight loss, there are also psychological issues that may be introduced by placing children on the drug. The drug has been overprescribed in the United States already, according to many doctors. The usage of the drug has increased 600% in the past 5 years. Ritalin’s objective is the same as Soma’s (Reference from a Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, referred to in a part of the report I haven't included): Control. This is oppression that has been covered up by the promise of better grades. Due to this, many parents have refused to give their children the drug, and many doctors have stopped prescribing it in all but extreme cases.
With the usage of Ritalin being so high, the ease of obtaining the drug is also high. This is making it a choice for students who use the drug to study and those who use the drug for recreation alike.
These points must be addressed before the usage of this drug becomes even more of a problem.

4. Recommendations
Based on the results of this investigation, the following recommendations can be made:
  • Parents should study the physical and psychological problems the drug can cause, whether it is long term or short term effects.
  • Doctors recommend that children who need the drug go on “drug holidays”, on weekends, school holidays, etc. This helps lower the psychological dependence and show how the drug is really affecting the child (by seeing them in comparison).
  • Since the people selling Ritalin to students and recreational drug users alike are the ones who have the drug prescribed, the police cannot crack down on importers or distributors of the drug. The only way to stop the flow of the drug is to stop it being prescribed to those who do not need it, and who may otherwise sell it.

The only two URLs I referenced in my bibliography were:
  • http://www.mentalhealth.com/drug/p30-r03.html
  • http://www.indiana.edu/~engs/rbook/drug.html
Since this node seems to be lacking in use (or rather, overuse) experiences, I'll add my two cents. I will personally cause grievous harm to anyone who claims this to be a getting to know you node, whether it really is or not.

At age ten I was diagnosed with the dreaded scourge of suburbia, Attention Deficit Disorder. I was put on Ritalin and Clonidine (a depressant), both of which have the magical ability to suppress any psychological abnormality evident in a pre-teen. By age 12, I was only on Ritalin, and by age 14 I was still prescribed it, but had stopped taking it, as any sane individual would.

After a while I began to realize just how much Ritalin I was stockpiling. Though I knew there were kids who sold theirs for a good sum of money, I was still weird and zitty, and didn't exactly hang with drug dealers. I was never very inhibited, so by fifteen or so I was blowing away my spare time on 40 or 50mg doses. I think I tried snorting once, but it hurt like hell, and didn't seem to work any better than popping the pills. As is said above, it just seemed pretty damned stupid to me, considering just how much you'd have to actually snort to get 50mg of Ritalin into you.

50mg (5 pills, for me): The first thing you notice on this dosage is a mild euphoria, but a pretty calm one. Your palms get a little sweaty, usually, and you tend to be thirsty. You urinate frequently. Food seems very unappealing to you. This is the case with pretty much any stimulant. After about twenty minutes it's really started to kick in. The greatest thing you notice is the calm--you are depressive, perhaps, but very happy about it. There's a big docile fuzzy feeling in your heart, and you're finding all sorts of new and interesting things to do. You are very focused upon them, to the point that you might get a massive amount of schoolwork, artwork, or completely pointless nonsense done. This dosage was the ideal one, in my opinion, as it gave me a wonderful feeling, and allowed me to get a good deal of schoolwork done (which was nice, since I would've been failing otherwise anyway).

Effects at this dosage seemed to last between four and five hours, sometimes a bit longer.

Recommended listening:
* Placebo - Without You I'm Nothing
Deeply depressing, but beautiful. I fell in love with this album while high on Ritalin.
* The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead
* Anything by Belle and Sebastian

As time went on, I worked the doses up higher and higher, taking more pills at a time. I never noticed a significant resistance to the drug, but I am sure, as an amphetamine, that it must eventually produce resistance in users. I can only assume that it is rather mild.

90mg: Don't do this. I am possibly not the most experienced druggie, but I went absolutely insane at this level. I wrote fifteen pages of absolute nonsense about why god exists and why I am god and why there is no god... I kid you not, fifteen pages, and it was probably done in about twenty minutes. I've still got it lying around somewhere, but it's impossible to follow.

* Fifteen minutes in - The familiar buzz is starting to kick in, and it's even better than before. You're absolutely in love.
* Half an hour - You start to get a little confused, but you don't mind. It's decisive confusion, if that makes sense. You are mentally all over the place, and you aren't going anywhere in particular, but you understand and adore just about everything there is.
* 1-4 hours - You are a fucking maniac. You do everything, you do it quickly, and you do it well. And you love it. You love everything, though, but you especially love whatever it is you're doing. And it's all pure genius. After a while passes, the urge towards productivity fades, and you sit basking in your glory and the glory of everything around you, everywhere. Outrageous and then-profound philosophical notions jump in and out of your head, seeming perfectly reasonable. The thing I cannot stress enough is that you are absolutely in love--that's the only word for it. You don't need a focus for this love, it's just an outward expression. It's glorious. The happiest hour of my life was likely somewhere in here.
* 5 hours - Did you take enough? Is it dying off? What's going on? You are sweating like a hog, and you smell a hell of a lot worse. It seems like all you're doing is shaking, drinking, and urinating. Attempts at masturbation (or sex, if you're not me), feel wonderful, and get you nowhere at all (another stimulant thing). You still feel love for everything, but reality is starting to fall apart, and you're starting to wear a little thin. The effects are not unlike that of sleep deprivation.
* 6 hours - At this point, you try to sleep, because it was is pretty freaking late now, and you can hardly walk or focus your eyes upon things without feeling very strained and very confused. Your heart is racing, as it's been doing for hours, and you are drinking insane amounts of water just to piss them back out ten minutes later. You might try to read, and you are pretty interested in anything you pick up, but it's hard to keep going on it for long without feeling like there are needles jabbing your eyes. You can't sleep when you try. You sweat through the sheets pretty quickly, and whenever you close your eyes you have formless visual and aural hallucinations, often very annoying ones. I, for one, kept hearing a sound not unlike the Macintosh eep, very loud, over and over.
* 7-10 hours - If you're stupid enough to be trying to sleep, still, your head seems to be changing shape and size. You seem to be able to control this, if only slightly, and you spend most of the time doing precisely that. Your eyes ache no matter what you do, and your head feels like it's about to pop. You can lie still with your eyes closed for hours, if you'd like, but you're not going to fall asleep. Since you don't feel much better when you get up, this is what you do, until dawn comes, and you eventually pass out from exhaustion.

I had varied experiences with the 50mg, some very good, some very bad, but only did the 90mg once, for reasons you can probably understand after having read that. Ritalin brought me a lot of pleasure, and a lot of excruciating pain. Both had a tendency towards sometimes-dangerous extremes--during some of the depressive (and oddly, some of the euphoric) moments, I introduced myself to cutting, which went on for several years. I would probably still be doing Ritalin anyway, had I not exhausted my stash by the time I was sixteen and pulled off the crap (which was, for the most part, the result of my own decision anyhow).

As I said, however, I did not notice any significant addictiveness to the drug, nor any real amount of tolerance that was built up over time. From what I've heard, tests support that there is some degree of a resemblance to amphetamine use where both are concerned, but I was able to pull off the drug after relatively prolonged use with no more than what seemed a psychological attraction to it.

As a side note, the claim I’ve heard so many times that those with ADD cannot feel the effects of the drug the same way that those without it can is utter bullshit, meant to alleviate the concern of soccer moms that they’re putting their children on amphetamines. That’s precisely what they’re doing. You can cherry flavor the crap and shape it like characters from the Flintstones, if you’d like. It certainly won’t make it any better or worse for them to shove down the throats of third graders.
Ritalin, aka Methylphenidate, is a CNS Stimulant, and as stimulants go, somewhere between caffeine and amphetamine. MPD is slightly more effective than ephedrine (But without the extremely high body load of caffeine or ephedrine.)

Ritalin is usually prescribed for ADD or ADHD, because of the interesting fact that in a notable percentage of the population, stimulants increases the ability for one to concentrate for a long period. Commonly prescribed when Methylphenidate is deemed ineffective is Dexedrine or Adderall, both amphetamines.

Being stimulants, they remove desire for sleep and/or food for a time period. When one has a great deal of work to do in a short period of time, this can seemingly be a godsend-- as indicated by people who Crush up Ritalin and insuffilate it for its amphetamine-like effects. Remember, though, that all stimulants are hard on your heart and nervous system, and that regular use can make you want and need more. Drugs are bad, but the high school kid quaffing a pot of coffee to finish an essay, or the doctoral candidate half strung out on meth are unlikely to care.


By the way, if you, or anyone you know, uses Ritalin to study for tests, you might want to have a look at the psychological phenomenon known as State Dependent Learning.
Current thinking on Ritalin, based on experimental results is that the amphetamine-like effects it has are not responsible for its apparently positive affects in ADD/ADHD. It's looking at the moment as though it tends to push up dopamine levels- this chemical is connected to the reward circuits in the brain. It looks like ADD/ADHD people have somewhat lower levels of this chemical, and this drug appears to normalise them.

Still, the amphetamine-like affects are certainly there, and a reasonably good reason to avoid the drug if possible.

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