Ritalin is a stimulant drug prescribed for individuals suffering from ADHD, narcolepsy, or hypersomnia. The drug’s effect is to increase your levels of focus, wakefulness, and alertness.
Some people misuse the drug, though, because of how it makes them more alert and focused. Some professionals, for instance, use Ritalin as performance-enhancing drugs to help them become more productive. Also, some students use the drug as a study aid, helping them concentrate for longer hours. Other people even use the drug recreationally just to get a euphoric “high” from the drug’s effects.
If you happen to have an addiction to Ritalin, it would be wise to go through detox. Normally, this is done in a rehab center, but you might be wondering if you can detox at home. Read on to find out more.
Why do I need Ritalin detox?
When you have an addiction to Ritalin, you will find that you can no longer function normally without taking the drug. If you try to go even a day without Ritalin, you will feel very uncomfortable and intense drug cravings will take over. What you feel are symptoms of withdrawal, which are signs that your body is scrambling to adjust to the absence of Ritalin.
Here are some examples of those withdrawal symptoms:
- Sleep disturbances
- Changes in heart rate
- Panic attacks
- Chest pain
- Loss of focus
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Respiratory depression
- Changes in blood pressure
- Mood swings
- Suppressed appetite
- Weight loss
You may experience any combination of these withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit Ritalin. The symptoms can get more severe if you have been addicted for a long time. Also, if you have been taking Ritalin in large doses or quite frequently, you will experience more intense withdrawal symptoms as well.
Withdrawal makes it very hard to quit Ritalin on your own. Once these symptoms become too uncomfortable, you may not be able to bear the pain. Your only recourse may be to take the drug again.
But if you are in a medically-assisted detox program, your chances of overcoming your addiction are greater.
What happens during Ritalin detox?
Formal detox programs often happen in a hospital or a rehab facility. There, a medical team will always be at the ready to help you whenever it’s necessary. If you develop a life-threatening complication while detoxing, you will get immediate medical attention.
Medically-assisted detox is not guaranteed to make quitting the drug painless, but the medical staff will ensure that the process is as tolerable for you as possible. If you develop any severe discomfort from withdrawal, doctors may give you medications to ease the pain.
Doctors will closely monitor you if they put you under medication. If you develop complications or any sort of discomfort, they can easily adjust the medications or put you off them entirely.
Detoxing from Ritalin is often done gradually. Suddenly stopping taking the drug is not recommended. If you do, you may develop more severe withdrawal symptoms.
“Tapering off,” or slowly reducing your dose of Ritalin, is the best method for detoxing. Tapering off gives your body time to adjust to decreasing amounts of the drug. This way, your withdrawal symptoms will be milder and more easily manageable.
If your body responds well to the taper, doctors may adjust your tapering schedule so you can complete the detox faster. But if any adverse effects arise, your tapering schedule may be more consistent yet take a little more time.
How much does detox cost?
Ritalin detox may cost a lot. Normally, drug detox programs can set you back $1,000 to $1,500 for the entire procedure. The cost alone is a huge barrier for many drug dependents to seek treatment.
The huge cost may make you consider doing detox at home instead. Let’s have a look if this is safe and will give a good recovery outcome.
How can I detox from Ritalin at home?
The most important thing when detoxing from Ritalin is a gradual reduction of your dose (tapering off). This is the safest and most effective way to quit the drug.
It’s possible to do this on your own at home, but it does carry some risks. First of all, there are no medical personnel ready to assist you at any time at home. If you get any adverse reactions while detoxing, you need to call for medical help and wait for them to come to your home. Those few minutes can sometimes spell the difference between life and death.
It is possible, though, to get medical assistance close by. You may hire a doctor or nurse to stay with you while detoxing at home. This is better than doing it entirely on your own. If any of your family members are medical practitioners, you may ask for their help. The point is you should have medical staff nearby as much as possible.
Detoxing at home may also be a risk for your family members. Mood and behavior changes are always possible while detoxing, and if you inadvertently become violent or verbally abusive, your family members will be at the receiving end of your outbursts. In turn, you may unintentionally cause trauma for members of your family, especially children.
If you are able to manage these risks, home detox does have benefits. For instance, home is a familiar environment to you, so it is a lot less stressful than an unfamiliar place like a hospital or rehab center. Being more relaxed will help improve your recovery outcome.
Also, detoxing at home is less costly, and you do not have to change locations often. Additionally, if your family members are trained to help in addiction recovery, they can be the best people to assist you in your ultimate goal of a sober life.
Once you are done detoxing, make sure that you enroll in behavioral therapies as well. These will further help you recover from the psychological damage done by the addiction.