They call it Vitamin R. They call it R-ball, the smart drug. That's how the prescription drug Ritalin (methylphenidate) is known on the streets and in our schools. Abusers of the drug say the high it creates is similar to what can be achieved with cocaine and methamphetamines.
"Ritalin is a stimulant drug, it's an emphedamine, and it speeds up the central nervous system. Stimulant is the key word." Says drug counselor Tom Green. "Methelphenidate and enphedamines are exactly like cocaine," says Terrance Woodward at the Drug Enforcement Administration. "Neither animals nor humans can tell the difference. They have the same exact effect on you as a person like cocaine does."
"I know people that stay up for days off Adderall or Ritalin, and it does
the same thing as coke," said Abby Neff, another Sobriety High student
who abused Ritalin.
One student at Boston University recalled how classmates would use the drug before a night on the town. "A lot of people snorted it - to sort of keep them awake," the student, who didn't want her name used said. "It was sort of for endurance - for drinking, going out."
In a growing trend, some kids snort crushed tablets to get a cocaine-like rush. Or they dissolve tablets in water, "cook it" and inject it intravenously like heroin to get high. Or they swallow the tablets whole to help them stay focused and to study better.