Many people who take ADHD medication may be concerned about Concerta addiction, and what to do if they become dependent on the drug.
Concerta is a branded formulation of methylphenidate, a medication commonly indicated to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Like all stimulants that trigger euphoria and the release of dopamine in the brain, Concerta has a strong potential for abuse.
Is Concerta Addictive?
Many people who are prescribed this medication have questions like “Can you get addicted to Concerta”.
Like all Schedule II controlled substances, Concerta has recognized medical potential, but it may also triggr the development of dependence and addiction. The misuse of prescription stimulants is especially prevalent among young adults who use drugs like Concerta for their perceived study benefits. The main function of the medication is to improve focus in individuals with ADHD. These same effects are not delivered when the medication is abused by those without an ADHD diagnosis.
Concerta is chemically similar to Ritalin – another popular ADHD medication – and it has a broadly similar potential for abuse and addiction. Exceeded prescribed doses or using the medication for non-medical purposes increases the risk of addiction to Concerta. The medication is considered generally safe when used as directed to treat ADHD.
Concerta Addiction Signs
Recognizing the signs of Concerta addiction can inform prompt intervention and streamline appropriate evidence-based treatment. Here are some common early warning signs that may indicate the development of Concerta addiction:
- Increased tolerance: The need for higher doses of Concerta to achieve the desired effects is often a sign of developing addiction.
- Withdrawal symptoms: Experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, depression, and irritability when not taking Concerta may signify dependence, a phenomenon that often leads to addiction.
- Continued use despite negative consequences: Individuals struggling with Concerta addiction may persist in using the drug despite adverse effects on their health, work, or personal relationships.
- Neglecting responsibilities: Prioritizing the use of Concerta over important responsibilities, such as work, school, or family obligations, can be a sign of addiction.
- Social isolation: Withdrawal from social activities or hobbies and a preference for spending time alone to use Concerta can be an indication of growing addiction.
- Changes in physical appearance: Noticeable changes in weight, appearance, or personal grooming may be a sign that an individual is struggling with Concerta addiction.
- Financial problems: Experiencing financial difficulties due to spending excessive money on obtaining Concerta is a red flag for potential addiction.
- Mood swings: Unpredictable changes in mood, ranging from euphoria to irritability, can be indicative of Concerta addiction.
- Secrecy and deception: Engaging in secretive behaviors or lying about Concerta use may suggest that someone is trying to conceal an addiction.
- Risk-taking behavior: Engaging in risky activities or behaviors can be a sign of Concerta addiction.
- Preoccupation with obtaining and using Concerta: Spending significant time and effort obtaining and using Concerta while neglecting other aspects of life could suggest an addiction to the medication.
Concerta Addiction Symptoms
The clinical term for Concerta addiction is stimulant use disorder, and its symptoms are outlined in DSM-5-TR – the latest revised edition of American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as follows:
- Taking Concerta in larger amounts or for longer than planned.
- Trying but failing to quit using Concerta.
- Spending excessive time obtaining and using Concerta.
- Cravings for Concerta manifesting in its absence.
- Ongoing use of Concerta resulting in a failure to meet personal and professional commitments.
- Using Concerta even though it is triggering or inflaming interpersonal issues.
- Giving up or reducing activities due to stimulant use.
- Continuing to use Concerta in potentially dangerous situations.
- Taking the medication even though it’s triggering or exacerbating a health condition, whether physical or mental.
- Tolerance forming so that the effects of Concerta are diminished.
- Withdrawal symptoms presenting upon cessation.
These symptoms should be assessed by a qualified healthcare professional to determine the severity of the Concerta addiction and to plan an appropriate treatment approach.
Treatment for Concerta Addiction
Treating Concerta addiction effectively involves a comprehensive approach that addresses the physical, psychological, and behavioral aspects of the addiction. Here’s how treatment for stimulant use disorder might look.
The initial phase of treatment typically involves medically supervised detoxification to manage withdrawal symptoms safely. This process helps to rid the body of Concerta and other harmful substances.
Therapy and counseling
Behavioral therapies such as CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and CM (contingency management) can help individuals recognize and change behaviors related to Concerta addiction. Counseling also aids in addressing underlying psychological issues that may have contributed to the addiction.
MAT (medication-assisted treatment)
In some cases, medications may be used to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. However, the use of medications for Concerta addiction treatment is not as common as in the treatment of other substance use disorders. There are currently no medications with FDA approval for this purpose.
Participation in support groups, such as 12-step programs like NA (Narcotics Anonymous) or SMART Recovery, can provide people with a sense of community and understanding during the recovery process.
Dual diagnosis treatment
Addressing any co-occurring mental health disorders –depression or anxiety, for instance – is crucial in Concerta addiction treatment. Integrated treatment for both the addiction and the co-occurring disorder is much more effective than treating each condition separately.
Developing strategies to prevent relapse is an essential component of Concerta addiction treatment. This may involve identifying triggers, developing coping skills, and creating a strong support network to help individuals maintain their recovery.
Incorporating holistic therapies such as yoga, meditation, exercise, and nutrition can support overall well-being and aid in the recovery process, promoting a healthier lifestyle and improved mental health.
Continuing care and aftercare
Establishing a comprehensive continuing care plan that includes regular follow-up appointments, ongoing therapy, and support group participation can significantly improve long-term recovery outcomes.
It is essential for individuals struggling with Concerta addiction to seek professional help from addiction specialists or healthcare providers experienced in substance use disorder treatment. Tailored treatment plans can provide the best chance for a successful recovery and long-term sobriety.
Get Treatment for Prescription Drug Addiction at California Detox
Prescription drugs like Concerta can be addictive, even when used as directed. If you have become addicted to Concerta, we can help you address this issue at California Detox.
During ongoing inpatient treatment, you can access an individualized array of behavioral, pharmacological, and holistic interventions. You can also take advantage of ongoing therapy and aftercare once you complete your Concerta addiction treatment program. Call admissions today at 949.694.8305 and stop living burdened by stimulant addiction.