In yet another disturbing chapter in the “silent epidemic” of prescription drug abuse Ritalin and Adderall abuse is growing because of their stimulating effects. These so called “Smart drugs” are anything but.
Given the exponentially growing abuse of methamphetamines in the last 20 years combined with the prescription drug abuse epidemic that we’ve been chronicling in our blog, the abuse of drugs like Ritalin and Adderall seem to be a foregone conclusion based on the fact that they combine the sensation of being on amphetamines with the reduced stigma of using prescription medication that is legally prescribed to many.
Ritalin is a brand name for a drug called methylphenidate, and Adderall is a brand name for dextroeamphetamine. These amphetamines are prescribed to help people remain alert and focused. What is controversial about Ritalin and Adderall is that they are prescribed to young people who are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), attention deficit disorder (ADD) and narcolepsy. This means that not only are the drugs that much more de-stigmatized, but young children are exposed to the substances and the potential for the young person to become addicted to a substance at some point in their life would naturally be increased. We feel that use of these drugs can lead to abuse, physical and mental dependence, and eventually these drugs can act as gateways to the use of more sinister street drugs like cocaine, crack, ecstasy, and crystal methamphetamine.
A Customized Approach
Our network of drug treatment centers has long been aware of the prescription drug abuse phenomenon as well as the rise of amphetamine abuse in America, so we have been able to create special programs that address the needs of people who have a history of abusing these substances.
We have been treating addiction for over twenty five years in Newport Beach, CA and as a result have we become specialists in the treatment of “co-occurring” disorders. Our clinicians assess each client thoroughly to identify behavioral or mood disorders like ADHD, depression, PTSD, and others. Once properly identified, our clinical staff makes sure that the appropriate level of care is provided for the chemical dependency and the co-occurring disorder. This includes:
- ongoing psychiatric evaluations
- attendance at special workshops to learn how to cope
- monitored distribution of the appropriate medication
Sober Living by the Sea also uses esteem building physical and social activities to help offset the depression that is often experienced during recovery from amphetamines. Our treatment programs are personalized for each individual and frequently adjusted based on the assessment of the client by our team of addictions experts. Our clients participate in near constant therapeutic activities like counseling, workshops, lectures, and 12-step meetings. However there is only so much time that a person can spend in workshops and therapy sessions. For this reason, our treatment centers lots of social, cultural, spiritual and physical activities to help our clients build their strength up.
Denial is Common
People who have become mentally and physically dependent on substances are often prone to denial. Users who are only using prescription medications might be even more so prone to denial because the substance is not technically illegal (and in some cases was originally prescribed by a physician). To see a lot of information about how families can approach a loved one who might be dependent on drugs or alcohol, visit our site page created for the families of drug users.