Concerta is the brand name of a drug that is prescribed to treat ADHD and it’s very commonly used for this purpose. The actual name of this medication is methylphenidate; it’s a long-acting stimulant that helps people increase their focus and attention levels. However, because this drug also has euphoric effects, it has a high potential for misuse, abuse, and addiction.

Over a million Americans over the age of 12 are diagnosed with a prescription stimulant use disorder in our nation each year; not all of these people misuse and abuse Concerta specifically, but some do. If you’ve been prescribed Concerta or use it recreationally, you must learn all you can about this pharmaceutical medication.

Read on to learn more about Concerta including its use, withdrawal from it, and treatment options if you are struggling with Concerta dependency.

What is Concerta?

Similar to Ritalin and Adderall, Concerta is an oral medication that helps treat symptoms of ADHD. When this drug is taken as prescribed, it can help to decrease impulsivity and hyperactive behavior, thereby allowing individuals with ADHD to focus and function in a more normal and productive way.

Methylphenidate works by blocking transporters of dopamine and norepinephrine. When this transport is blocked, increased concentrations of these body chemicals build in the space between neurons, resulting in the drug’s stimulant effects.

Concerta has a high potential for abuse and also for dependence, which is why it’s listed as a Schedule II drug by the DEA.

Concerta Abuse

Concerta abuse is common. This drug seems to be so helpful at first for both people with ADHD and for people who do not have this condition. Due to its ability to help people focus, individuals using Concerta find that they can be productive when using this drug and therefore can find feelings of great success at work or at school. This feeling can be addictive in itself; it’s quite satisfying to feel like you are achieving all your goals with ease.

Furthermore, Concerta also has other effects like feelings of euphoria, high energy, and talkativeness, which many people seek out and enjoy.  It’s no surprise that people who use this drug want to experience these feelings on an ongoing and continuing basis.

Over time, however, Concerta tolerance arises and then more is needed for the same effect. Increased dosage will likely result in greater negative side effects, and continued excessive use of Concerta can be damaging to the body and mind.

Some users not only increase their dosage as they become addicted to Concerta, but they may also begin crushing up the pills and snorting them for a more intense and immediate effect. This, too, can be quite dangerous for the user.

Concerta Withdrawal Symptoms

People who take Concerta as directed may find that this drug is quite helpful to them. Over time, tolerance may increase, but individuals who are prescribed Concerta should speak to their doctors about increasing dosage instead of trying to do so themselves. The fact of the matter is that Concerta – and other similar stimulants – can be highly addictive. Even when taken as directed, individuals taking Concerta may experience side effects like decreased appetite, headaches, nausea, sleep difficulties, anxiety, irritability, and dizziness.

If someone has become dependent on Concerta – either at the prescribed level or at a higher dosage – that person may experience withdrawal symptoms when cutting back or trying to quit, and these symptoms can be rather intense. Concerta withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, irritability, insomnia, elevated blood pressure, and severe depression. Other common symptoms of withdrawal from Concerta may also include difficulty sleeping, feelings of fatigue, and psychomotor agitation. Some of these symptoms, when experienced simultaneously, can quickly compound and become dangerous.

Concerta Withdrawal Timeline

When stopping Concerta use, there’s a predictable timeline of withdrawal. After Concerta discontinuation, withdrawal symptoms from methylphenidate will begin to appear between twelve hours to several days. Initial and early side effects of stopping Concerta include increased appetite, lethargy, and mood swings, as well as irritability, anxiety, and depression in some individuals. Even in this beginning phase, cravings for the drug may arise.

Within three to seven days, these symptoms will peak. Individuals stopping Concerta suddenly will continue to feel the same symptoms described able, plus they may sweat, have an irregular heartbeat, and feel nauseous. They’ll also likely have a hard time concentrating as the drug wears off during this period.

After a week, these withdrawal symptoms will begin to subside. However, the individual stopping Concerta may still experience mood swings and lack of motivation on an ongoing basis, in some cases for several weeks.

Managing Concerta Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal from Concerta is not dangerous in most cases, but individuals who are otherwise mentally unstable may struggle when stopping Concerta use. The best way to stop using Concerta is with a doctor’s assistance. If you are using Concerta and would like to stop, speak to your doctor about helping you taper off gradually from the drug for best results.

Preventing Concerta Withdrawal

Further, the best way to prevent Concerta withdrawal altogether is to take it as directed, and only as directed. If you want to stop using it, follow your doctor’s instructions to decrease your dosage until you aren’t taking it anymore.

Treatment Options for Concerta Withdrawal

If you find that you are unable to stop using Concerta, even with your doctor’s help, or if you feel that you are taking too much independently and have become dependent on it, treatment options are available. At Clear Sky Recovery, we can help you break free from your dependency on or addiction to Concerta. Our innovative ibogaine treatment will not only help you avoid painful withdrawal symptoms, but it will also help you get to the root of your issue and help you determine why you became dependent on this drug in the first place. Our experienced staff is standing by at our facility in Cancun, Mexico to answer any questions you may have about our program and methods. We look forward to hearing from you and to helping you. Please contact us today.