Is Ritalin a Gateway Drug to Coccaine?

19 03 2010

Ritalin and Cocaine are chemically similar. In fact, they even compete for the same binding sites on neurons.

Ritalin increases alertness and productivity.  It is not addictive when taken as a doctor prescribes, however,  it is currently the most abused prescription drug in the U.S.
30-50% of adolescents in drug treatment centers report abusing Ritalin.

Of the six million people that are on Ritalin in the United States, 75% of these are children. Children typically stop taking Ritalin when they reach adulthood, and interestingly, these individuals seem to be more prone to cocaine addiction. 10-30% of cocaine addicts have ADHD

Studies here been done on animals that suggest children that are mistakenly diagnosed with ADHD and treated with Ritalin are more likely to develop depression as adults.  There is much debate about whether ADHD is diagnosed too frequently. Ritalin increases dopamine levels in the brain. Perhaps an unnecessary increase in dopamine during childhood may change how the brain develops .

All stated information, facts, and pictures were derived from

Another great site to learn about this topic can be accessed by clicking here.




9 responses

27 03 2010

The misdiagnosis presents a complex issue, as ADHD is not concretely defined; a doctor cannot simply look at a patient’s statistics and determine whether or not he has ADHD. The complications that arise from misdiagnosis are unfortunate; hopefully, that issue will progress toward resolution as time goes by.

29 03 2010

I knew a lot of girls in high school who complained to their parents and told them they thought they had ADHD. Most of these girls may had minor symptoms of ADHD (personally I think a lot of society has minor symptoms) and it was outrageous how easily these girls were prescribed Ritalin or Aderol. I had no idea that it could be a gateway drug to cocaine. That is scary.

2 04 2010

Wow! I had no idea! And to think that doctors prescribe Ritalin so easy… I really hope they can keep things under control. This is really interesting!

3 04 2010

This makes sense with something that I learned in one of my classes – the teacher mentioned how some who have addictions to medications will do a lot to get them, but soon they may realize how easy it is just to buy an equivalent like cocaine on the street, for a lot less money. I can see how people could easily switch.

4 04 2010

I think that these drugs get over-prescribed. Many of my brothers have ADHD and have had been prescribed drugs earlier in their life. Recently, one of them wanted something to help him focus, not that he was having a terribly difficult time doing so, but more because he had a very heavy schedule and needed to be able to focus for many hours at a time. Simply because he had a history of being prescribed drugs, the doctor was quick to write him a prescription. To me this is evidence that these can be easily accessed.

4 04 2010

I don’t know if it is or not…. But sometimes around finals etc. I sure wish I had some. I can see how many people become addicted or do anything to get it, especially in college or high school. Scary thought to think it might be tied with Cocaine.

8 04 2010

My sister has ADD and ADHD. She was on ritalin during most of her childhood and has recently changed to a new medication. It really helped her focus in school- which was a big deal. However, there are many adverse symptoms of ritalin. I know she did not enjoy taking this medication because it not only supressed her hyperactivity but it also supressed her hunger and personality. I do think that this medication is over-perscribed and that it, as with all medications children ar put on, should be carefully examined and thought through before administering to a child.

9 04 2010

Wow! I had never heard this! It’s startling to know that there is such a relationship because so many are diagnosed with ADHD and given ritalin.

11 04 2010

This is crazy…I had no idea ritalin had the potential to be a gateway drug to cocaine. Hopefully those who use riatlin will realize what it can lead to and practice using it safely.

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