Focalin abuse must be taken seriously by those taking it because Focalin can be habit forming when used at higher than recommended doses or when used for long periods of time.
What Is Focalin?
Focalin is a stimulant prescription medication that is used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, otherwise known as ADHD or ADD.
At levels prescribed by a doctor it is generally safe, but all stimulants cause a "high" at higher doses which makes them prone to abuse and possible addiction.
As a result, users of Focalin must be cognizant of the following potential risks when taking this medication.
Possible signs of Focalin intoxication can include rapid pulse or irregular heartbeat, fever, dangerously high body temperatures, difficult respiration, seizures, and possible cardiovascular failure.
Furthermore, consuming high doses of stimulants can lead to irritability, agitation, aggression, hallucinations, and feelings of paranoia in some individuals.
According to a 1996 Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) study, roughly 30-50% of adolescents in drug treatment centers reported "non-medical" use of stimulants such as Focalin and Ritalin.
A 1998 Indiana University study of 44,232 students found that 6.8 percent of ninth-graders surveyed reported using Focalin or Ritalin, either snorted or injected, at least once. Of those students, 2.5 percent reported Focalin/Ritalin abuse monthly or more often. In addition, some adolescents abuse Focalin for it's contribution toward weight loss.
The Pattern Of Abuse
Addiction is rarely intentional, rather it occurs when an individual begins to depend on the immediate and predictable high Focalin provides. Addiction is characterized by increasing dosages and frequent episodes of use, followed by an enormous “low” in the form of depression. Severe Focalin side effects, including death, have been reported with Focalin abuse and addiction.
Over time, drugs can derail motivation to perform everyday life demands. Activities or relationships that were previously enjoyable go largely ignored in favor of drug use and recovery time.
Focalin tablets are either abused orally, or crushed and snorted. It can also be dissolved in water and injected, but this is more rare. A popular means of dispersal is adolescents giving or selling their Focalin medication to their peers.
Crushing the tablets and snorting the powder like cocaine is popular. Another form of abusing Focalin is through dissolving Focalin in water and injecting the fluid.
Focalin should not be mixed with other medications without the approval of a doctor, especially antidepressants or over-the-counter cold medicines.
Antidepressants may enhance the effects of Focalin, and Focalin in combination with decongestants may cause blood pressure to become dangerously high or lead to irregular heart rhythms.
Make sure Focalin is only taken as directed, and inform children to never share pills with friends. Avoid problems by dispensing all medication to your child yourself in order to make sure it is not abused. Keep all medications out of reach. If medication is needed during the school day, it should be administered by the school nurse.
Treatment for Focalin addiction, depending on the severity, often combines an initial detoxification and a course of behavioral therapy.