Drug and Alcohol

Concerta: Abuse, Addiction, Overdose, and More About This ADHD Drug

What is Concerta Abuse?

Concerta, an ADHD medication, is safe to use as prescribed...but when it's abused, it can be dangerous and addictive .Learn more in our blog.

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Drug and Alcohol

May 30, 2024

Concerta, a medication primarily prescribed for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), has the potential for abuse which can lead to serious health risks. This article aims to shed light on the misuse of Concerta, delineating the dangers associated with its non-prescribed use and the pathways to addiction.

The focus will be on identifying the signs of Concerta abuse, understanding its implications, and discussing effective strategies for prevention and intervention. By comprehensively examining these aspects, the article seeks to inform and educate individuals about the risks of Concerta abuse and support those who may be struggling with dependency.

What Is Concerta?

Concerta is a prescription medication known generically as methylphenidate. It belongs to a class of drugs called stimulants, which are commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in both children and adults. Concerta is designed to enhance focus and decrease impulsivity and hyperactivity in patients with ADHD.

The medication works by influencing the levels of certain natural substances in the brain—namely dopamine and norepinephrine—which help regulate attention and behavior. Concerta is formulated as an extended-release tablet, meaning it gradually releases the medication into the body over a period of time, providing a consistent effect that can last throughout the day.

Is Concerta a Scheduled Drug?

Due to its stimulant properties and potential for abuse, Concerta is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance in the United States. This designation underscores the need for careful prescription and monitoring by healthcare professionals.

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What Are the Other Brand Names for Concerta?

Concerta is often prescribed under the brand name Ritalin. It’s also prescribed as:

  • Daytrana

  • Quilivant XR

  • QuiliChew ER

  • Aptensio XR

  • Metadate ER

  • Concerta

  • Cotempla XR_ODT

  • Methylin

  • Ritalin LA

What Is Concerta Used For?

Concerta is a medication widely used to manage certain conditions, offering various benefits that could be significant in improving your daily life. Here's a concise rundown on how it might be utilized:

Improves Attention Span

If you're struggling with ADHD, Concerta can help sharpen your focus, allowing you to concentrate better on the tasks at hand.

Controls Hyperactivity

By stabilizing your neural activity, it can reduce feelings of restlessness, making you feel more composed.

Enhances Impulse Control

It aids in managing impulsive behavior, which means you might find it easier to think before acting, improving your decision-making.

Supports Emotional Regulation

It may help smooth out emotional highs and lows, making it easier for you to navigate your day with a more balanced mood.

While Concerta can provide these advantages, it's crucial to consult with your healthcare provider to determine if it's suitable for you.

Bear and mind that Concerta only benefits people with medical conditions. When abused, it's an addictive and dangerous drug.

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Side Effects of Concerta

When it comes to Concerta, it's essential to be aware of potential side effects so you can stay informed and take care of yourself. Here are some important points to keep in mind:

  • Insomnia: You might find it harder to fall asleep or stay asleep, especially if you take Concerta later in the day.

  • Loss of Appetite: You might notice a decrease in your hunger, which can lead to weight loss if not managed.

  • Nervousness: Some people experience increased feelings of nervousness or anxiety, so it's crucial to monitor your mood.

  • Headaches: Headaches can occur as a side effect of Concerta, especially during the adjustment period.

  • Increased Heart Rate: Your heart rate might go up temporarily after taking Concerta, but it should return to normal. If it persists, consult your doctor.

  • Stomach Pain: You might experience stomach discomfort or pain as your body adjusts to the medication.

  • Irritability: Feeling more irritable than usual is another possible side effect, so be mindful of how you're feeling.

Everyone reacts differently to medications like Concerta, so what you experience may vary. If you have any concerns or notice severe side effects, don't hesitate to reach out to us at The Edge Treatment Center. We will help you manage these side effects, so you regain your normal health.

Factors That Influence Concerta Addiction

An effective medication like Concerta can unfortunately become a substance of addiction for some. Understanding the factors that influence this risk can help you navigate its use more safely. Let’s break them down:

Dosage and Duration of Concerta Use

The higher the dose and the longer you've been taking Concerta, the more your body may become accustomed to it, potentially leading to dependency.

How a Person Uses Concerta

Altering the medication's form or taking it in a way not prescribed, such as snorting, increases the risk of addiction. It delivers the drug to your system more rapidly, which can be more addictive.

History of Substance Abuse

If you've had issues with drugs or alcohol in the past, your risk of becoming addicted to Concerta might be higher. It's crucial to be honest with your healthcare provider about your history.

Mental Health Conditions

Those with untreated or undiagnosed mental health issues, like depression or anxiety, might use Concerta in ways it wasn’t intended for, seeking to self-medicate rather than treat ADHD symptoms.

Lack of Supervision

Not having a healthcare professional closely monitor your Concerta use can lead to misuse. Regular check-ins ensure the medication is working as intended without fostering dependency.

Stay informed about these factors and engage in open conversations, reach out to The Edge Treatment Centre for assistance or advice on how to reduce the risk of addiction and maintain Concerta.

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Symptoms of Concerta Abuse and Overdose

Recognizing the signs of Concerta abuse and overdose is crucial for timely intervention and preventing serious health risks. Some of the signs are:

Increased Heart Rate

You might notice that your heart is racing faster than usual, even when you're not doing anything strenuous. This could be a sign that you've taken too much Concerta.

Difficulty Sleeping

If you find yourself tossing and turning at night, unable to get a good night's rest, it could be because of Concerta abuse. Your body might be on overdrive, making it hard to wind down.

Nervousness and Anxiety

Feeling more jittery or anxious than normal can be another symptom of Concerta abuse. You might find yourself constantly on edge, even in situations where you would normally feel calm.

Increased Blood Pressure

Keep an eye on your blood pressure. Abuse of Concerta can lead to spikes in blood pressure, which can be dangerous, especially if you already have hypertension.


Experiencing frequent headaches, especially ones that seem to come on suddenly, could be a sign of Concerta abuse. It's your body's way of telling you that something isn't right.

It's important to use Concerta only as prescribed by a healthcare professional. If you're experiencing any of these symptoms or are concerned about your use of Concerta, talk to your doctor right away.

Concerta Interactions With Other Substances

Concerta can interact with various substances in ways that might affect you personally. It's crucial to be aware of these interactions to manage your health effectively. Here are some key points:


Mixing Concerta with alcohol can increase the side effects of the medication, such as heart problems and nervousness. It might also impair your judgment more than alcohol alone.


Your daily coffee or energy drink can enhance the side effects of Concerta, like jitteriness and insomnia. So, you might want to cut back on caffeine if you're taking Concerta.

Prescription Medications

Certain medications, especially those for depression, anxiety, or seizures, can interact negatively with Concerta. Always let your healthcare provider know about any medications you're taking.

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medications

Even common OTC drugs, like cold and allergy medications, can increase Concerta's side effects. It's a good idea to check with a pharmacist or doctor before mixing these.

Street Drugs

The use of street drugs while on Concerta can be especially risky, leading to serious heart problems or mental health issues. Always steer clear of these.

Being informed about how different substances interact with Concerta can help you make safer choices for your health and well-being.

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Concerta Taking Over Your Life? We Can Help

Concerta abuse and addiction are serious issues that can lead to overdose and severe health complications. If you or someone you love is struggling, you're not alone. Your well-being is important, and it's okay to seek help.

Concerta, like any medication, needs to be used responsibly. If you find yourself or a loved one in need of support regarding abuse of Concerta, The Edge Treatment Center is here for you. Our compassionate team is dedicated to providing personalized care plans to help you reclaim your health and happiness. Don't hesitate to reach out; we're here to support you every step of the way.

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If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there is hope. Our team can guide you on your journey to recovery. Call us today.


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