Methylphenidate is a nervous stimulant most commonly used to treat ADHD, and is also sometimes prescribed to treat narcolepsy – a sleep disorder. The stimulant is also used by school students to keep them awake, help them learn for exams, and to suppress appetite in order to lose weight.
Methylphenidate is found in Ritalin, and is also known as MPH, R-ball and vitamin R. It can be fatal if mixed with cocaine or any other stimulants. It is also dangerous to combine it with cold medications antidepressants or heart disease medicine.
MPH is usually taken orally, although some people will crush it and inhale it like cocaine. Others dissolve the tablets in water, and then use it as an intravenous drug. This is highly dangerous because the fillers in the tablets are insoluble and can cause blockages in the small blood vessels.
According to the National Survey on Health and the use of drugs, from 2004, conducted by the Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, there were over 6.3 million Americans abusing prescription drugs in 2003. Of that number, just over one percent of users were using stimulants for non-medical purposes.
The most common use of the drug, according to the report, was by students who believed it would increase their ability to concentrate, and to retain information during their studies. Those who were aged younger, reported that they used the stimulants as appetite suppressants, in order to lose weight, or just to get high.
The effects of stimulants like MPH include a raised or lowered blood pressure, and psychotic episodes. High doses are highly dangerous and can result in an irregular heartbeat, and a dangerously high temperature. It also carries the risk of seizures and heart failure. Any recreational use of MPH should be immediately stopped and checked with a doctor.