A growing number of young people are snorting Ritalin; a glorified drug for hyperactive children. They are doing it to lose weight, study for exams and in some cases, just to get high, according to some drug experts.
Ritalin consists primarily of the chemical methylphenidate, which is really an "upper" much like the chemicals found in amphetamines or in those over the counter pills with mega doses of caffeine. The dangerous aspect of Ritalin is the easy accessibility of this potentially harmful medication. Without proper medical supervision and use, Ritalin can kill. This is especially true on college and high school campuses, where very often drugs are misused and experimented with in a careless manner.
These students are taking the tablets, crushing them into a fine powder and snorting it. This is why the illegal use of Ritalin is so dangerous. This drug was never intended to be used this way. Snorting this drug sends a sudden rush of the chemical into the central nervous system. The result can be stroke, seizures, and even psychosis. Heart arrhythmia is also associated with the illegal use of this drug due to the increased heart rate during use. Officials are not overly concerned because the drug was not concocted in a dark alley, but in professional drug labs. There is very little risk of it being laced with other dangerous chemicals or improperly made, but ultimately, the result of illegal use by snorting Ritalin can even be death.
Jacob Stone, a high school student, began misusing Ritalin after being diagnosed with ADHD as a sixth-grader, and later sold the prescription drug to fellow high school students, charging $5 for three blue 10-milligram pills or one orange 30-milligram pill.
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. It was sort of for endurance - for drinking, going out."
Drug experts say that Ritalin is becoming a "gateway drug," the first drug a child tries. As the child grows to become a teenager they begin to snort the drug for a quick, cheap (but dangerous) high.
Quick? Yes, because Ritalin is a stimulant.
Cheap? Yes, because parents and health insurance companies pay the bill.
Dangerous? Yes, powerful enough to kill.