Nearly 6.4 million American children between the ages of 4-17 have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). About six percent of them are taking medication for this problem.
Concerta is a commonly used drug for treating ADHD. Despite its therapeutic properties, people may develop an addiction to it.
Do you believe a loved one is addicted to Concerta? Keep reading to learn more about Concerta symptoms and warning signs of Concerta addiction.
Symptoms of Addiction to Concerta
Concerta, also known by its generic name methylphenidate, is a drug that treats ADHD. Those suffering from this disorder may find it difficult to focus for long periods of time or pay attention. They may also have trouble with impulse control.
The drug affects certain areas of your brain, improving concentration and mental focus. It can also help manage behavioral issues.
Someone who is abusing Concerta may experience the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rash on the skin
- Problems with vision
- Weight loss
- Sleep problems
Someone may have a physical dependence on the drug, but the psychological dependence is even worse.
A person addicted to Concerta may experience psychological effects like agitation, irritability, mood swings, and paranoia. Anxiety is common, too.
Warning Signs a Loved One May Be Abusing Concerta
Do you think a loved one is addicted to Concerta? There are warning signs to look out for in addition to the symptoms above.
A person addicted to this drug may:
- Spend a lot of time trying to get more Concerta
- Neglect their responsibilities and obligations because of the drug
- Experience problems in their personal and work life
- Lose control and become unable to stop using the drug
- Use the drug in larger doses than needed
- Use Concerta for recreational purposes
- Obsess over their next Concerta high
- Take the drug before any important event, such as an exam or project
An addiction to Concerta will end up affecting every aspect of a person’s life. They will not be able to stop taking the drug and may continue to use it even if they know about its side effects.
Eventually, the addict will build up a tolerance to the drug. This means they will need to take larger doses in order to experience a euphoric effect. When they stop using the drug, they will experience symptoms of withdrawal.
Is My Child Using Concerta?
Among adolescents between the ages of 12-17, nearly 4.9 percent have used prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes.
Research shows that teens who abuse prescription drugs are more likely to use other drugs. In fact, there’s an association between prescription drug abuse and cigarette smoking, marijuana use, cocaine use, and binge drinking.
Can your child be addicted to Concerta? Do they show a sudden lack of interest in their school work? Are they missing out on social events and extracurricular activities?
People who misuse Concerta may crush the tablets and either inject them or snort them for an instant high. Another form of misuse is when teens with prescription Concerta share it with their friends.
Stimulants are often abused by being used as a study drug. Teens may take them in order to stay up throughout the night to study for a test.
Is My Parent Using Concerta?
More than 80 percent of older adults aged 57-85 take at least one prescription drug. And nearly half of them take five or more prescription drugs or supplements. This can increase the chance of unintended drug interactions.
Do you see the above Concerta symptoms and warning signs in your parent and believe they may be abusing the drug?
A Concerta overdose can result in toxic psychosis. This leads to hallucinations and extreme paranoia. A user may lash out in a violent way and be unaware of their surroundings.
Taking too much of this drug can also result in death.
Intervention for Concerta Abuse
Do you see your loved one struggling with Concerta addiction, and you feel helpless? There is something you can do to help. You can have an intervention.
Interventions are a difficult, delicate process. If you stage one the wrong way, the addict may decide to cut ties with you.
However, if done right, an intervention can help the addict recognize their problem and seek help. When you hold an intervention, you will explain to your loved one how their addiction has affected your life.
You should also offer treatment to the addict. Depending on the severity of their symptoms, the treatment may be counseling or they may have to go to an inpatient facility.
Before you hold the intervention, you should carefully plan it. Assemble a team of friends and other people who have a strong relationship with the addict. You should each plan what you will say.
You can hold one or two practice sessions so that you don’t fumble or forget what you’re going to say. You should also research treatment options and find a treatment center where your loved one can go to.
You can hire an intervention specialist to help you hold the intervention. An expert can help guide this process and be an unbiased presence. You can also choose to hold the intervention in their office.
When you do the intervention, prepare for the addict to get upset, unreasonable, or angry. You should choose a time when they’re sober to minimize these possibilities.
The addict may not accept the terms of the intervention at first. In that case, you may need to hold another intervention in the future.
Learn More About Concerta Symptoms and Warning Signs
Addiction is destructive to those who abuse drugs and to their loved ones. Now that you know the Concerta symptoms and warning signs, you can offer an addict the help they need.
Ready to help your loved one? Learn more about Concerta addiction and treatment options.