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Dexedrine vs. Ritalin: Differences and Similarities

dexedrine vs ritalin

Dexedrine vs. Ritalin isn’t a contest. Both are prescription drugs that doctors prescribe to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Although both drugs contain different active ingredients, both are regarded as effective for treating ADHD. Unfortunately, both drugs are also associated with high rates of prescription drug abuse. Using these drugs recreationally or using them in a way that deviates from their prescribed use is drug abuse. If you have become addicted to either of these drugs, you need substance abuse treatment. 

Resurgence Behavioral Health is a leading addiction treatment center that offers comprehensive treatment for all forms of substance abuse, including Dexedrine vs. Ritalin addiction. Our programs include inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, drug detox, and aftercare. All of our programs are led by caring, licensed clinicians who specialize in addiction treatment. Our drug addiction treatment center features a welcoming setting filled with comfortable furnishings and enjoyable amenities.
If you’re wondering is Dexedrine addictive or are worried about Ritalin misuse, prescription drug addiction can be every bit as serious and dangerous as an addiction to illicit drugs or alcohol. At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we help people overcome their dependence and develop the strategies needed to stay off drugs and alcohol for good. Our treatment programs have a strong relapse prevention core, but they are also individualized to ensure that each client gets the support they need. If you have become dependent on Dexedrine or Ritalin or suspect that dependence has crossed over to addiction, you can get help at Resurgence Behavioral Health.

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Understanding Dexedrine: Uses, Composition, and Effects

Dexedrine is a medication prescribed to treat ADHD. Its active ingredient is dextroamphetamine. Dexedrine is formulated to help reduce or eliminate ADHD symptoms such as impulsivity, hyperactivity, and difficulty maintaining focus or attention. Unfortunately, like many medications, the drug also carries a risk for some side effects, such as insomnia, loss of appetite, anxiety, irritability, and a risk for abuse and addiction. This medication is available in both short and long-acting forms. It is available in liquid or tablet form as well. 

Ritalin Explained: Purpose, Composition, and Impact

ritalin vs dexedrine

Ritalin is also a prescription medication that is prescribed to treat ADHD symptoms such as hyperactivity, impulsivity, and distractibility. It is available to patients in immediate-release and extended-release formulations. Drug manufacturers produce Ritalin in liquid and tablet forms. Ritalin is also prescribed to treat narcolepsy but is typically not prescribed to anyone with a heart problem because it can increase blood pressure. Like Dexedrine, Ritalin is associated with various unpleasant side effects that could occur for some patients. These include dry mouth, loss of appetite, insomnia, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, and irritability. Ritalin is also addictive and is associated with recreational drug abuse. 

Dexedrine vs. Ritalin: A Comprehensive Comparison

When considering Ritalin vs. Dexedrine, both are regarded as very effective for treating ADHD. One difference between the two is that Ritalin is regarded as a safer option than other similar medications for treating ADHD and sleep disorders like narcolepsy in older adults. However, Ritalin is not prescribed for individuals who have pronounced heart problems like irregular heartbeat, fast heart rate, or high blood pressure. Both drugs cause a release of dopamine in the brain, which can heighten the risk of prescription drug abuse and addiction, which is why it’s important to also understand the possible links between ADHD and substance abuse. Anyone addicted to either of these prescription medications should consider enrollment in medical detox and a rehab program at Resurgence Behavioral Health. 

Long-term Effects of Dexedrine and Ritalin Use

Long-term effects of Dexedrine and Ritalin can lead to physical changes in the brain, particularly in the brain’s reward centers. This change can leave people increasingly vulnerable to substance abuse and addiction. Prolonged use of the drug can allow patients to get used to the increase in dopamine (the feel-good chemical in the brain), causing them to want more of it. There is a risk for substance abuse problems that young people on these medications may face later in life. People can also develop a tolerance for these medications, so their current dose may prove to be less effective or ineffective for treating ADHD symptoms later on. 

Addiction and Dependency: Dexedrine and Ritalin Risks

Dexedrine and Ritalin are both common prescription drugs of abuse. People misuse these drugs for their stimulative properties, like increased energy and focus. If a patient experiences dose tolerance and establishes a pattern of tolerance and dose increase, they can become vulnerable to the development of addiction to either of these medications. As mentioned above, the drugs also release the feel-good chemical dopamine into the brain. Patients may begin to equate their medication with feel-good sensations and, as a consequence, begin to abuse the medications. Once a person develops a substance addiction, they have a chronic condition that’s separate and distinct from the disorder that they may have been prescribed Dexedrine or Ritalin. A person who uses these drugs recreationally can also develop a powerful addiction to either of them. 

Alternative Treatments to Dexedrine and Ritalin

At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we offer many therapeutic approaches to treat substance use disorders. These approaches include traditional medical therapies such as forms of psychotherapy, holistic therapies, and alternative treatments. Together, these therapies can target each aspect of the addiction. Alternative therapies like mindfulness can help clients manage their compulsion to abuse drugs. Participation in 12-step-type programming can also provide support for clients who are recovering from Dexedrine or Ritalin addiction.

Preventive Measures for Dexedrine vs. Ritalin Addiction

Clinicians who prescribe Dexedrine vs. Ritalin to patients have an obligation to monitor their use and switch patients’ medications if they suspect a problem, such as dose tolerance, is developing. Patients should speak honestly to their clinicians about their drug dependence or abuse so that they can get help. It’s important for patients to take these medications as prescribed and report any changes they may experience over time. No one should use these drugs recreationally for any reason. Misuse of these medications can result in habit-forming behaviors, addiction, and overdose.

Treatment for Dexedrine and Ritalin Addiction

At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we offer various treatment programs for people addicted to prescription medications like Ritalin or Dexedrine. We offer inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab, aftercare, and medical detox. At the time of enrollment, we can recommend the ideal course of treatment for your needs based on your evaluation. Many clients begin treatment with drug detox, which targets the physical aspect of the addiction. Then, they may enroll in an inpatient or outpatient rehab program. After completing formal substance abuse treatment programming, many clients enroll in aftercare support so that they can get help for their long-term recovery journey. 

During rehab treatment for prescription drug addiction, clients can expect to participate in both one-on-one and group counseling sessions. As their support needs change, they can transition from one treatment plan to another. We help clients form the strategies they need to stop using these drugs and prevent relapse. We’ve helped thousands of clients achieve addiction recovery, and we can help you, too. 

Contact Resurgence Behavioral Health to learn more about our comprehensive addiction treatment plans and therapeutic approaches. Our rehab accepts numerous health insurance plans, and we can help you choose the best course of treatment for your needs. We have a streamlined enrollment process and are here to answer all of your questions. Call 855-458-0050 to learn more.

Josh Chandler
Josh Chandler
After growing up in Chicago and North Carolina, Josh chose to get help with substance use disorder and mental health in California because of the state's reputation for top-tier treatment. There, he found the treatment he needed to achieve more than five years of recovery. He's been in the drug and alcohol addiction rehab industry for four years and now serves as the Director of Admissions for Resurgence Behavioral Health. Josh remains passionate about the field because he understands that one phone call can alter the course of a person's life.


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