If you currently use or plan to use Ritalin to work overtime then you are taking or intend to take this prescription medication for a purpose other than prescribed.
Non-prescriptive use of prescription drugs is one of the leading causes of drug addiction. Ritalin is among the popular drugs misused at work and school among adults and teens. Ritalin is addictive, and using it to work overtime can come with some serious consequences.
What is Ritalin?
Ritalin, also known as Methylphenidate, is one of the Central Nervous System (CNS) medications used for treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children and adults. It is also used to treat narcolepsy. Ritalin comes as a pill or tablet that should be swallowed whole.
This stimulant, similar to Adderall, is one that many people use illicitly, illegally or in an unprescribed way to increase energy for working longer hours. Nicknamed, ‘speed’, it speeds up brain activity leading to a boost in physical performance and improved mental alertness. But there is a backlash from abusing Ritalin, as explained in the following 8 reasons why you should not use this drug to work overtime.
1. It is Prescription Drug Misuse
When used to treat ADHD or narcolepsy, Ritalin is taken by mouth in pill or tablet form. Taking it in any form purely for pleasure or to work overtime is considered prescription drug misuse. This is often the beginning of Ritalin abuse and abuse of street drugs, e.g., cocaine or heroin. When used illicitly, the drug may be crushed into a powder and snorted or dissolved in water and then injected into a vein.
2. There is a Risk of Addiction
This stimulant affects the brain the same way cocaine does. It makes you feel good, ‘hook’ you, and make you crave for more. Therefore, the risk of addiction is high if the drug is persistently misused or used in larger doses than prescribed. A person may start using it in small doses and gradually increase to larger doses. Cravings for more of the drug and an increase in dosage are marked signs of addiction.
3. It Increases Impulsivity
Working overtime on Ritalin can increase impulsivity and recklessness. The stimulant affects the brain by speeding up brain activity which increases physical and mental responsiveness. After the spike in energy, you can act impulsively, recklessly or make poor decisions as you begin to withdraw from the ‘fix’.
4. Your Behavior Changes
Signs and symptoms of Ritalin misuse or abuse include both physical and behavioral changes. You may suffer from chronic fatigue, mood swings, irritability, anxiety or panic attacks. Some people become hostile, aggressive or violent. These behavioral changes can affect your ability to interact in a professional manner at work.
5. You Can Develop Health Problems
Stimulants, such as Ritalin, cause rapid breathing, heart palpitations, increase in heart rate, and rise in blood pressure when used in large or unprescribed doses. These increase the risk of cardiovascular problems such as a heart attack, brain hemorrhage or stroke.
6. Risk of Errors or Accidents
During Ritalin withdrawal, people become fatigued, sleepy, or restless as brain activity slows. Headaches and nervousness are also common withdrawal symptoms. Errors in judgment is higher during this time. Factory workers and those who handle heavy or dangerous machinery have a higher chance of causing accidents or injuring themselves or others.
7. You May Lose Your Job
The physical and mental effects of using Ritalin to work overtime can jeopardize your job or career. Displaying poor or unusual behavior can result in disciplinary actions against you, e.g., warning, suspension, or loss of job. Even getting caught using stimulants at work can attract serious disciplinary consequences.
8. It Can Tarnish Your Reputation
You may have the type of job, e.g., company manager, that requires an upstanding reputation. Getting discovered abusing Ritalin, acting irresponsibly at work, having disciplinary actions taken against you, or getting fired can cause embarrassment or destroy your reputation or career for good.
Now, think of the domino effect. You may have difficulty finding or keeping a new job or lose income or employment benefits. This downward spiral can eventually take a toll on your quality of life.
Working overtime means more money in your pocket. But it is your responsibility to ask yourself whether the long-term consequences are worth the risk of taking Ritalin to work longer hours. It can affect your physical and mental health, tarnish your reputation, and destroy your career!