Ritalin is used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), which is also known as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). When taken according to usual prescription instructions it has a calming effect and can help the person focus. Since Ritalin is a stimulant and works on the neurotransmitter dopamine, when taken unprescribed it can lead to a strong stimulant effect similar to cocaine.

Some negative consequences associated with using Ritalin include the following:

  • nervousness and insomnia;

  • loss of appetite;

  • tremors, convulsions, and headaches;

  • irregular heartbeat and respirations;

  • anxiety, depression, and restlessness;

  • paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions;

  • excessive repetition of movements and meaningless tasks; and

  • formicaton (sensation of bugs or worms crawling under the skin).


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.