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All across this country in small towns, rural areas and cities, alcoholism and drug abuse are destroying the lives of men, women and their families. Where to turn for help? What to do when friends, dignity and perhaps employment are lost?

The answer is Palm Partners Recovery Center. It’s a proven path to getting sober and staying sober.

Palm Partners’ innovative and consistently successful treatment includes: a focus on holistic health, a multi-disciplinary approach, a 12-step recovery program and customized aftercare. Depend on us for help with:

ADHD Drug Overdoses Rising Among American Children

ADHD Drug Overdoses Rising Among American Children

Why are more kids than ever before overdosing on ADHD drugs in America?

Did you know that the number of U.S. children unnecessarily exposed to powerful medications meant to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has gone through the roof over the past few years? In fact, over a 15-year period, unnecessary exposure to ADHD drugs has increased by more than 60% according to reports!

Study on ADHD Drug Exposure

Recently there was a report published by the American Academy of Pediatrics on ADHD drug exposure and reports to poison control centers indicate:

  • In the year 2000, there were 7,018 calls to poison control centers related to an ADHD drug
  • In 2014, there were 11,486 calls to poison control centers related to an ADHD drug

The study defines “exposure” to an ADHD drug as “unnecessary ingestions, inhalation or absorption” of ADHD medications. This includes when the exposure to the drug is both accidental and on purpose.

The study examined data from approximately 156,000 poison center calls made over the course of 15 years. Another disturbing aspect of the data they collected showed:

  • 82% of the calls were “unintentional exposure”
  • 18% were “intentional exposure”

When taking a closer look at the ADHD drug exposure statistics, the researchers focused in on four of the most common medications used to treat ADHD, including:

Ritalin was the ADHD drug with the highest number of exposures.

One of the lead authors of the study is Dr. Gary Smith. When discussing the conclusions made during the study, Smith states:

“What we found is that, overall, during that 15 years, there was about a 60% increase in the number of individuals exposed and calls reported to poison control centers regarding these medications.”

Smith also concludes that one of the more troublesome findings in the study is the severity of the exposures among the adolescents due to intentional exposure. So essentially, 18% of the calls coming into poison centers concerning an ADHD drug were due to kids taking the medications on purpose.

The study also compared these medications across three different age groups:

  • 0-5 years
  • 6-12 years
  • 13-19 years

In the 0-5 year age group, they discovered that unintentional exposure was due to “exploratory behaviors”. However, with children 6-12 years old, exposure was due to:

  • “Therapeutic errors”
  • “Accidentally taking multiple pills”

Sadly, among the group 13-19 years old, more than 50% of exposures to an ADHD drug were intentional. Researchers note that many teenagers will use these stimulants because.

Even worse is, of all the poison center calls, around 10% resulted in a serious medical outcome. 10% may not seem like a lot, in regards to poisoning from medications any number is too many.

Ups and Downs

Smith did note that there were some ups and downs in the trends concerning ADHD and complications from the medications. For instance, the study notes:

  • Between 2000 and 2011- ADHD drug exposures increased by 71%
  • Between 2011 and 2014- ADHD drug exposures dropped by 6.2%

It is unclear why there was this decrease in ADHD drug exposure rates. However, some believe it may be due to the fact that warnings from the FDA about the adverse side-effects of ADHD medications could play a big part in it.

Another thing that stands out about this study is that we have also seen a steady increase in the rate of ADHD diagnosis.  Case in point, according to new reports:

  • 14% of all American children were diagnosed with ADHD in 2014
  • Between 2005 and 2014 the number of ADHD diagnoses more than doubled

While it is important to note that these medications can be helpful for some, they can also be extremely dangerous. According to Dr. Benjamin Shain of NorthShore University HealthSystem and the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine,

“Adverse effects of taking too much stimulant medication include fast heart rate, increased blood pressure, tremors, and agitation. Worse case scenarios include schizophrenic-like psychosis, heart attack, stroke, seizures and death,”

Shain adds that adverse effects are the same if you do or do not have ADHD, or if you take too much of the medication. So people who are prescribed an ADHD drug still run the risk of suffering through some of these side-effects.

Making Safer Choices

At the end of the day, it is all about making safer choices for yourself or your loved one. When it comes to treating attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, there are other important elements. Various therapies can be helpful in creating a more comprehensive treatment plan, such as:

Ironically, these same therapies are also extremely helpful for those who may find themselves abusing these kinds of prescription medications. People suffering from substance use disorder can benefit greatly from these opportunities.

Because these ADHD drugs are stimulants, they also have a tendency to be abused. Either by those with a medical prescription who use too much of the drug or by those with no medical need who use them for the feelings of energy and focus they get. Again, in the case of prescription stimulant abuse, the beginning of a path to recovery means making safer choices. One of the best choices you can make is to seek professional and effective treatment options.

Palm Partners Recovery Center believes in providing innovative and personalized treatment options to anyone battling with substance abuse or addiction. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.

CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

Substance Showdown: Ritalin vs. Meth

Substance Showdown: Ritalin vs. Meth

 

Author: Justin Mckibben

The words Crystal Meth have a pretty solid reputation as the name of a dangerous and devastating drug. The physical signs of meth due to the recent surge of TV series covering this drug both in drama shows such as “Breaking Bad” to documentary style pieces dedicated to educating the public, which quite often feature before and after pictures of people on meth, like The Meth Project.

But why Ritalin? Is that not a prescription medication for behavioral issues like ADHD? So isn’t it safe? Well this stimulant medication is quickly gaining some notoriety of its own due to the adverse health effects caused by regular abuse and misuse of this medication. So today on the substance showdown we take a look at what may seem like a one sided fight, but should be a good example of why you should not under-estimate the under-dog: Crystal Meth vs Ritalin.

This is a substance showdown: Ritalin vs Meth

The two substances, Ritalin and meth will go head to head for three rounds based on: health effects, insidiousness and legality, and withdrawal. The winner is the worst of each category and the winner will be the one who wins the most categories. Let’s see who comes out on top in today’s main event, RITALIN vs. METH!

ROUND 1: HEALTH EFFECTS

RITALIN

This amphetamine-like substance causes the same types of effects on the body as other forms of speed! Some symptoms include things like loss of appetite, insomnia, increased heart rate. When Ritalin is abused in larger doses, especially through different forms of ingestion like injection or snorting, it puts an even greater stress on the body, and as a result excessive trauma on the heart can be fatal.

SHORT-TERM EFFECTS

  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased body temperature
  • Dilation of pupils
  • Disturbed sleep patterns
  • Nausea
  • Bizarre, erratic, sometimes violent behavior
  • Hallucinations
  • Hyper-excitability
  • Irritability
  • Panic and psychosis
  • Convulsions, seizures
  • Death from high doses

LONG-TERM EFFECTS

  • Permanent damage to blood vessels of heart and brain, high blood pressure leading to heart attacks, strokes and death
  • Liver, kidney and lung damage
  • Destruction of tissues in nose if sniffed
  • Respiratory (breathing) problems if smoked
  • Infectious diseases and abscesses if injected
  • Malnutrition, weight loss
  • Disorientation, apathy, confused exhaustion
  • Strong psychological dependence
  • Psychosis
  • Depression
  • Damage to the brain including strokes and possibly epilepsy

METH:

Now, once we get into these health effects, pay really close attention to the similarities between the two, and see how many of these are the same.

SHORT-TERM EFFECTS

  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased body temperature
  • Dilation of pupils
  • Disturbed sleep patterns
  • Nausea
  • Bizarre, erratic, sometimes violent behavior
  • Hallucinations
  • Hyper-excitability
  • Irritability
  • Panic and psychosis
  • Convulsions, seizures
  • Death from high doses

LONG-TERM EFFECTS

  • Permanent damage to blood vessels of heart and brain, high blood pressure leading to heart attacks, strokes and death
  • Liver, kidney and lung damage
  • Destruction of tissues in nose if sniffed
  • Respiratory (breathing) problems if smoked
  • Infectious diseases and abscesses if injected
  • Malnutrition, weight loss
  • Severe tooth decay
  • Disorientation, apathy, confused exhaustion
  • Strong psychological dependence
  • Psychosis
  • Depression
  • Damage to the brain similar to Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and epilepsy
  • Collapse or death

ROUND 1 HEALTH EFFECTS: WINNER IS NEITHER IT IS A DRAW- In case you didn’t notice, the short-term AND long-term effects of the two are THE SAME!

ROUND 2 INSIDIOUSNESS AND LEGALITY

Meth:

Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, less abuse potential than Schedule I drugs such as marijuana, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. Meth is a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act. Meth has little to no insidiousness because it is well known in its effects and addictiveness. Most people have seen The Meth Project’s before and after photos of meth users either on TV, on billboards, on the internet or maybe even in their D.A.R.E class. Most people who end up smoking meth know the horrors and dangers of it but think either it can’t or won’t happen again. As some of us have heard before the saying “just once” is what most future meth addicts say. This doesn’t make meth insidious. Although on a little side note, I was kind of surprised to find out that Schedule II substance along with prescription narcotics. I don’t know if this is supposed to be saying meth isn’t that dangerous or that prescription narcotics are more dangerous than people like to think.

Ritalin:

Methylphenidate is a Schedule II controlled substance, and both production and distribution are designed to be tightly controlled. While Ritalin use has recently declined in the past few years, prescription patterns involving similar drugs such as Adderall have sky-rocketed, primarily due to the progression of the demand within the United States for ADD and ADHD medications. In 2005, 1.9 million U.S. prescriptions were written for Ritalin, while prescriptions for Adderall-XR and Concerta totaled out around 8.7 million and 8.2 million. During that same year, use of methylphenidate and dextroamphetamine figured into 7,873 emergency-room visits in the United States alone. The U.S. has the highest rate of both ADD diagnosis and methylphenidate use in the world, with an estimated 1.5 million U.S. children currently using some form of the drug daily, with millions more taking such other ADHD medications as Adderall and Concerta.  While there is little evidence of physical addiction to Ritalin when used under medical supervision and correctly dosed and monitored, it can produce both tolerance and physical addiction when used recreationally to get high.

THE WINNER OF ROUND 2 IS RITALIN- Ritalin takes the title as being more insidious than meth because it is legal and actually dealt out to children. The dangers of meth are well documented and meth is very illegal, while Ritalin is considered to be safe to the point you can find is in house-hold cabinets across the country, and parents giving them to their kids, often unaware of the dangerous effects that can result from the abuse of this substance.

ROUND 3 ADDICTIVENESS AND WITHDRAWAL

Meth:

Methamphetamine can be taken orally, smoked, snorted, or injected. The user will experience a sudden “rush” of pleasure directly after smoking or injecting the drug. This sensation only lasts for about a minute or two while the effects of meth can last from 30 minutes to 12 hours. Meth also has a high risk of dependency in users. If the user becomes dependent, they need more and more of the substance to feel the high. Methamphetamine withdrawal varies depending on the level of addiction and frequency of meth use.

  1. Depression

It can be very difficult to deal with the mental anguish that you obtain from meth. Withdrawal from methamphetamine has been associated with depression.

  1. Fatigue

Once an individual stops using meth they can become extremely tired. Without the artificial source of energy, the person begins to feel uncomfortable and deprived of energy.

  1. Changes in Heart Rhythm

Methamphetamine is a stimulant, and can cause irregular heartbeats. When the addict stops using the drug changes in heart rhythm may occur.

Ritalin:

Ritalin withdrawal symptoms are most likely to be felt if you are taking a large dose of this medication. If you take a low or moderate dose, you are less likely to feel withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking Ritalin. Slowly tapering off over time can reduce your symptoms. So although Ritalin withdrawal is generally not life threatening, it can be uncomfortable. It can be so uncomfortable that people may start taking the drug again in order to relieve the withdrawal symptoms. Even more terrifying is the fact that if a pregnant woman is taking Ritalin her baby may have withdrawal symptoms after it is born, and have already developed some level of physical dependency.

  1. Depression

Being without this medication after abusing it for long periods of time can create serious depression due to the lack of focus and energy, and the combination of other adverse health effects and withdrawal symptoms.

  1. Fatigue

Again, with the lack of this stimulant being present there can be a chemical imbalance created that causes discomfort and lack of energy or enthusiasm.

  1. Changes in Heart Rhythm

As mentioned in health effects of Ritalin, this stimulant effects the heart and blood pressure in the body, so when someone abusing Ritalin regularly stops abruptly their heart rhythm may change and become even more irregular.

THE WINNER OF ROUND 3 IS METH-

The reason Meth wins out on this round is because anyone using meth even on a regular basis can experience withdrawals, and they intensify depending on the frequency and the amount of usage. Ritalin has the same type of effects on the body with withdrawals, but it takes someone over-using or abusing this medication against doctors’ orders. No doctor prescribes meth for a good reason.

THE WINNER OF THE SUBSTANCE SHOWDOWN RITALIN VS. METH IS. . . (drum roll please)

!!!RITALIN!!!

Ritalin, the often under-estimated and over-looked under-dog takes this fight for one simple reason, it is LEGAL. When comparing the adverse health effects caused by these to drugs, and the withdrawal symptoms, they are practically reflections of each-other as stimulants. Ritalin may not have some of the deterioration effect on the outer appearance, or the reputation from TV and media, but the fact that when abused it does the same kind of damage as meth can on the body is relevant. Ritalin is still kept in homes everywhere while looked at as an innocent medication to aid with ADHD, and while it does help a lot of people with severe Attention Deficit, it can be easily abused. The fact alone that it can hurt people the same way meth can and yet thousands of Americans dose themselves and even their children with it every day puts it in the winner’s circle, but regardless when either drug is abused, we lose!

Check out our other Substance Showdown blogs:

Alcohol v. Marijuana

Ecstasy v. Molly

Heroin v. Prescription Painkillers

Powder Cocaine v. Crack

Many drugs have vastly different effects on the mind and the body, and some are more noticeably harmful than others, but the disease of addiction does not discriminate, no matter what the drug is! If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

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