The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-28-2003, 06:54 PM
kanicbird kanicbird is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 1999
What would happen if someone without AD/HD takes Ritalin?

Would there be a difference in the effects? Would it 'help' the non AD/HD person focus on a task? Also many people with AD/HD have reported something along the lines of a vail being removed from their vision and being able to see clearly for the 1st time in their life the 1st time they try Ritalin, is this also the case with non AD/HD people?


I am talking about doses that would be perscribed to someone with AD/HD.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 06-28-2003, 07:06 PM
Panzerfaust Panzerfaust is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Basically, you get spun out, as if you took amphetamines. Try it, see what happens. Enjoy!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-28-2003, 07:06 PM
teleute12 teleute12 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
I expect that it would have the normal effect of a stimulant - make them jittery, awake, etc. I don't know why stimulants work so well to help AD(H)D people concentrate - although I have my own theories based on personal experience - but I don't think it would have the same effect on someone without AD(H)D.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-28-2003, 07:09 PM
yabob yabob is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 7,241
Probably the opposite effect. Ritalin is a stimulant, which has a mechanism very similar to amphetamines. Indeed, amphetamines are sometimes also used to tread AD/HD. For this reason, ritalin has a definite abuse potential. One of the oddities of ADD or AD/HD is that normally stimulant drugs actually treat the "hyperactivity".
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-28-2003, 07:19 PM
Panzerfaust Panzerfaust is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Well, as far as the "Attention Deficit" portion of the treatment, I know I concentrate a lot more when I'm spun out on serious stimulants. Details become more important, etc. So that might be the idea there.

As for the hyperactivity, I have no idea.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-28-2003, 07:58 PM
kanicbird kanicbird is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 1999
Quote:
As for the hyperactivity, I have no idea
From what I know hyperactivity is a form of self medication of sorts, an attempt to focus on what is going on around you by creating a situation that holds ones interests. So if true, someone who can concentrate (due to Ritalin) doesn't need to 'act out'.

Panzerfaust you seem to indicate that you have tryed other stimulants (ok outright say you have), if you don't mind, which ones and have you ever been screened for AD/HD (your answer might cause other questions)
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-28-2003, 08:08 PM
Paranoid Randroid Paranoid Randroid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
At one time I was diagnosed with non-hyperactive ADHD and prescribed the stimulant Adderall. In retrospect I think the diagnosis was somewhat hasty, as I'm generally able to concentrate and focus quite well - the psychiatrist changed the diagnosis to that of mild anxiety.

When I took Adderall, I became ... well, productive. I was quite a lot more active than what was normal for me. I cleaned a lot more, read faster, didn't watch as much TV, certainly wasn't very tired most of the time. I really wasn't very jittery (the psychiatrist told me that amphetimine-style drugs don't cause those side effects as much as stimulants like caffeine).
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-28-2003, 08:18 PM
kanicbird kanicbird is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 1999
Ok to be fair - anyone posting personal experence is subject to follow up questioning.


Quote:
When I took Adderall, I became ... well, productive
But you had no problem concentrating before? did you just have more energy to do the things or did your 'drive' to do them increase? When you say you can focus quite well, I assume this applies to things you don't want to be doing as well as things you love to do.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-28-2003, 08:25 PM
Paranoid Randroid Paranoid Randroid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Quote:
Ok to be fair - anyone posting personal experence is subject to follow up questioning.
I don't mind, but I'm afraid I won't be particularly helpful.

Quote:
But you had no problem concentrating before? did you just have more energy to do the things or did your 'drive' to do them increase?
I don't have any real problem concentrating, but I should say that the Adderall did make me focus better on those tasks I didn't want to do. (Nobody's got a perfect attention span.) I suppose I felt like I had more energy - as well as being more compulsed to do stuff. I just didn't feel like sitting there as much. I wanted to get stuff done.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-28-2003, 08:28 PM
Mirror Image egamI rorriM Mirror Image egamI rorriM is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
My best friend was mis-diagnosed as being ADHD, and she was prescribed Ritalin--it gave her very intense hallucinations. She said she saw people walking through walls and cars everywhere.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-28-2003, 10:19 PM
Mirage Mirage is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Ritalin is a psychoactive stimulant similar in structure to amphetamines and cocaine. In fact I have a few friends who started out using it recreationally and moved on to coke. The effects are similar, if somewhat less intense.

Ritalin is a dopamine reuptake inhibitor (just like cocaine), meaning that it prevents dopamine from going back into the signaling cell after transmission, increasing the sensitivity of the next transmission. This ‘hotwires’ the brain in certain ways.

Since the dopamine receptors in the medial forebrain bundle are excited, there is a strong feeling of pleasure and well-being. As well as an intense feeling of focus and competency. You feel like you can take on the world (note that these dosages are more in the 40 – 60mg range where the usual prescribed dose is in the 10 – 20mg range). Of course as the dopamine supply gets exhausted because it can’t be recycled, you fall into a depressive hangover afterwards, for which the only real cure is more Ritalin (and such begins the addiction).

It is a controlled substance for a reason and in many high schools there is an underground Ritalin market where the ADD kids are selling them for the money and to get rid of them because of the side effects; which include loss of appetite, inability to sleep, and as my brother (ADHD) described, a ‘flattening’ of the personality. Of course there are plenty of kids ready to forgo the side-effects for a night of social or academic bliss.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06-28-2003, 11:02 PM
Panzerfaust Panzerfaust is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Quote:
Originally posted by kanicbird
Panzerfaust you seem to indicate that you have tryed other stimulants (ok outright say you have), if you don't mind, which ones and have you ever been screened for AD/HD (your answer might cause other questions)
The list of stimulants I've partaken of is too extensive to be written here, as I'm a firm believer in trying everything once, or at least a dozen times. Given that for many years, extremely powerful central nervous system stimulants were my drug of choice, I've pretty much tried them all.

As far as the ADHD goes, while I've never been formally tested for it or anything, but I've never had any problems with hyperactivity, nor a diminutive attention span. My previous comment about amphetamines increasing my focus is the difference between reading half a textbook on probability theory at a sitting (normal) and meticulously counting every vowel in said textbook for four hours straight (spun out).
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06-28-2003, 11:14 PM
gjbq8 gjbq8 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Men's health article

Men's health did an article less than a year ago about non-prescription use of Ritalin, generally in colleges, where it is called 'vitamin R' or 'ritty'. One guy said it helped him concentrate a lot better, no matter what he was concentrating on. Another fellow apparently wrote a play in 18 hours on Ritalin, and the author wrote a few journal entries while he was experimenting with working under the influence of ritty.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06-29-2003, 12:26 AM
Derleth Derleth is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
kanicbird: Why do you type it `AD/HD'? That isn't the correct spelling, as I'm sure you must have noticed by now. The correct spelling is ADHD or AD(H)D for Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder (the Hyperactivity qualifier is optional).

I'm honestly curious as to whether you have a reason.
__________________
"Ridicule is the only weapon that can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them."
If you don't stop to analyze the snot spray, you are missing that which is best in life. - Miller
I'm not sure why this is, but I actually find this idea grosser than cannibalism. - Excalibre, after reading one of my surefire million-seller business plans.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 06-29-2003, 01:34 AM
bibliophage bibliophage is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Maine
Posts: 9,418
Quote:
Originally posted by Panzerfaust
Try it, see what happens. Enjoy!
No, don't. Taking prescription drugs not prescribed to you is illegal. We do not permit encouraging people to break the law here. Don't do that again.

Let's stick to discussing the physiological effects, preferably based on clinical data rather than personal experience.

bibliophage
moderator GQ
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 06-29-2003, 08:40 AM
kanicbird kanicbird is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 1999
Quote:
kanicbird: Why do you type it `AD/HD'? That isn't the correct spelling, as I'm sure you must have noticed by now. The correct spelling is ADHD or AD(H)D for Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder (the Hyperactivity qualifier is optional).
ADD has gone through many spelling changes over the years, the one used now, as I understand it, is AD/HD which is some combination of ADD and AD(H)D. See:
http://www.chadd.org/webpage.cfm?cat_id=7&subcat_id=35

To see someone else use the /. I did read why it was now AD/HD but don't recall where. It is far easier to type then AD(H)D too.


gjbq8 now that your mentioned it I did hear it being called Vit-R. For many with AD/HD taking Ritalin has made such a differnece in that it allowed them to do things they actually could not w/o Ritalin, would this be the case for a non AD/HD person? Is the improvement as profound and how does it differ?
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 06-29-2003, 10:11 AM
bibliophage bibliophage is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Maine
Posts: 9,418
Quote:
Let's stick to discussing the physiological effects, preferably based on clinical data rather than personal experience.
Let me clarify my position. If you were prescribed Ritalin and turned out not to have ADHD, you are free to discuss your experiences. If you took Ritalin recreationally, it's best if you not discuss it here. If you have knowledge about another person's experiences using Ritalin recreationally, you may post about it, but only within reason. Encouraging or glorifying the recreational use of Ritalin is definitely out.

As usual in GQ, I would rather see verifiable facts than personal anecdotes, but the latter are not forbidden.

bibliophage
moderator GQ

Last edited by bibliophage; 06-29-2003 at 10:17 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 06-29-2003, 05:37 PM
kanicbird kanicbird is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 1999
Quote:
Encouraging or glorifying the recreational use of Ritalin is definitely out.
Also I want to clarify my position, I am interested in the doses used to treat AD/HD. I really have no interest in the recreational doses that appear to be 2-4 times that of the prescribed doses. I am somewhat supprized that the doses for recreational use and treatment for AD/HD are so close.

If you have any personal experence that would qualify as 'glorifying the recreationaly use of Ritalin' and it is the only way you can describe it, please email me with the details as bibliophage has forbiden posting it here. Let me add that I have absolutly no intention of illegally using Ritalin, just trying to understand it's effects and want to know if such effects are universal or different for people w/ and w/o AD/HD.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 06-29-2003, 06:25 PM
oldman_withers oldman_withers is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Dose Proximity

Quote:
Originally posted by kanicbird
I am somewhat supprized that the doses for recreational use and treatment for AD/HD are so close.
I think I may be able to offer some sort of explanation for this phenomenon. I'm an avid non-drug user, but many of my close friends are very expirimental. They have informed me that most of the time (at least locally where I live, near Atlanta, GA) ritalin is ground into a powder and snorted like cocaine, which would make sense since it is chemically related. Apparently this not only quickens the rate at which your blood absorbs the drug (thus getting you high faster) but the high is also more intense and therefore less of the drug is needed. Hope that explains at least a little bit about why the doses are so close. What's the saying, "A little dab 'ill do ya'?"
__________________
Moe: It's Pomo.
Homer: Whaaa?
Moe: Post modern.
Homer: Huh?
Moe: Weird for the sake of weird.

~The Simpsons
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 06-29-2003, 06:35 PM
kanicbird kanicbird is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 1999
Thanks oldman_withers, I have heard of that practice along with others but as not to incure the wrath of the mods, lets not go into how to use Ritalin recreationally, just it's effect at doses usually perscribbed to those w/ AD/HD.

It does make more sense as to why the recreational dose and perscribbed dose is so close though.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 06-29-2003, 11:51 PM
Cerowyn Cerowyn is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Quote:
Originally posted by Derleth
Why do you type it `AD/HD'? That isn't the correct spelling, as I'm sure you must have noticed by now. The correct spelling is ADHD or AD(H)D for Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder (the Hyperactivity qualifier is optional).
"AD/HD" is an accepted spelling in a vast amount of current medical literature. Perhaps your knowledge is simply out-dated.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 06-30-2003, 07:21 AM
ticker ticker is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
One theory as to why a stimulant such as Ritalin is effective treatment for ADHD (I got this from my brother who does research on this sort of thing - I hpe I remember it right):

The brain contains 'executive' centers which oversee the activity of cognitive centers. They do this by inhibiting the cognitive functions. In ADHD it is believed that these executive centers are not functioning fully so that the cognitive functions are running at full tilt all the time. This makes it difficult to concentrate as attention is constantly being re-directed by new stimuli. Ritalin acts by stimulating the executive centers, thus allowing them to exercise control.

I hope that makes sense.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 06-30-2003, 08:55 AM
Aro Aro is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Can I ask a further question about Ritalin:

My GF works in a special-needs school with PMLD, ADHD and autistic children. Some of these kids have been proscribed Ritalin from a very young age (4 or 5) due to serious behavioural difficulties. Several of the children (now aged about 7 or 8) are finding the Ritalin has little or no effect, even at its highest recommended dosage (which is really for adults).

What is the alternative treatment for a child who has passed through the usefulness of high dosages of Ritalin? What further treatment is available for child put in this position by (perhaps) poor judgement earlier in their lives? I realise all cases are different, but is there a possible hierarchy of drug treatment which these unfortunate kids could move on up? Or is Ritalin considered the last option in the scale?

Thanks for any insight.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 06-30-2003, 09:13 AM
PublicBlast PublicBlast is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Interesting thread, this. My high school girlfriend (we'll call her Fluffy) was doped up on Ritalin. Not because she had ADHD, mind you, but because Fluffy's mother disapproved of her not spending 60+ hours per week on homework and school projects. Imagine, a 16 year old girl needing a few hours of sleep, or wanting to watch some TV or just chill now and then! Fluffy's dad was a (crazy) doctor, so it was easy to get some ritty.

Result? Fluffy didn't act like a regular teenage girl, she acted like a machine--couldn't sleep, didn't eat, became boring and unemotional. Also refused to listen to my best efforts to talk her out of taking the stuff. But she sure did get a lot of homework done, hell of a lot more than I did. She even suggested I take the stuff, but I never did.

Result for me? I'm a lazy-ass mofo, with mediocre grades all around, but at least my brain is clear. Fluffy did okay for herself and quit taking the stuff in college.

Here's my question: are there any old folks on Ritalin? I mean, if a kid/teen/college student isn't focusing academically, it makes sense for them to take Ritalin regardless of AD/HD diagnosis, since performance is improved absent horrific side effects. But do old, retired people with AD/HD--who have nothing better to do with their time--require and take Ritalin?
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 06-30-2003, 06:24 PM
kanicbird kanicbird is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 1999
Quote:
. In ADHD it is believed that these executive centers are not functioning fully so that the cognitive functions are running at full tilt all the time.
This is along the lines of my understanding of the disorder, even though I didn't hear it in terms of executive centers, something to look into.

Quote:
What is the alternative treatment for a child who has passed through the usefulness of high dosages of Ritalin?
I don't know but there are amphemide salts that work a little differently as well s some non-stimulant treatments. It's a tough call for a parent to hav etheir child take strong drugs to be able to function knowing that them taking this drug might prevent drug therapy from being effective in the future. There is some evidence that drug therapy has a chance of curing AD/HD but once doses get that high any possibility of it curing it is nil.

Quote:
. But do old, retired people with AD/HD--who have nothing better to do with their time--require and take Ritalin?
I was wondering that myself, once work is not an issue anymore, it just might be better to fall back inot ADD mode, which will almost certainly be inattentive by that age.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 06-30-2003, 08:38 PM
jjpet jjpet is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
I'm in my early 40's and take Ritalin. It does lose its effect though. The best solution my doc and I have found is to take it for a few weeks and then switch to methamphetamine. When the methamphetamine becomes useless, we go back to Ritalin or Concerta. The act of switching somehow makes a difference - a sort of tolerance.

Even then, sometimes it helps me and sometimes it doesn't. They are working on new drugs, so hopefully someday there will be one that I don't develop a tolerance to.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 07-03-2003, 04:06 PM
Themis00 Themis00 is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 276
I have ADHD and used to take Ritalin, which reallllly helped me.

My mother does NOT have ADHD, however, out of curiousity she once took a dose of my meds. She said it had NO effect on her. Keep in mind that she is almost twice my size, so maybe if she took twice the dose i did maybe it would've had some kind of effect on her.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:24 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.