Ritalin: 10 Facts You Didn't Know About The So-Called 'Smart Drug'
Charlotte Meredith— The Huffington Post UK
Ritalin is hitting the headlines yet again, after new figures revealed the number of drugs being dished out to ADHD sufferers has increased by 56% in just six years – sparking fears students may be buying into a new 'smart-drug' craze.
Ritalin, also known as methylphenidate, is a central nervous system stimulant that affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control
If it is snorted, swallowed in high quantities or injected, the drug can have a similar effect to using cocaine or amphetamines – and can be just as addictive.
The use of methylphenidate drugs, including Ritalin, is on the rise
In the United Kingdom, methylphenidate is a controlled 'Class B' substance. Possession without prescription carries with a sentence up to five years and/or an unlimited fine, and supplying it is 14 years and/or an unlimited fine
Street names for Ritalin include: Kibbles and bits, Kiddy cocaine, Skippy, Smarties, Vitamin R and Pineapple
The side-effects and misuse of methylphenidate have been associated with an increased risk of aggression, hostile behaviour and psychosis
The effects of long-term treatment on the developing brains of children with ADHD are ongoing, but there is limited data that suggests there are benefits to long-term use
The most common side common side effects are nervousness, drowsiness, bad vision and insomnia
More than one in 100 users can suffer from depression, hair loss and problems controlling muscle movement
Other users can suffer from anorexia, meaning some use it as an appetite suppressant
Some people who take the drug can subsequently suffer from Tourette's syndrome