Concerta Addiction | Abuse, Effects, Signs, & Treatment

Concerta addiction is a mental health condition where you cannot stop taking Concerta, even if it is hurting your health or life. Abusing Concerta by taking the drug in high doses or taking it without a prescription increases your risk of developing an addiction.

When taken as directed, Concerta can treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Like other prescription stimulant medications, Concerta can be abused to improve energy and productivity.

Concerta addiction is a type of substance use disorder that can be difficult to treat without professional help.

Concerta and methylphenidate are Schedule II controlled substances with a high potential for drug abuse. In 2020, about 15 million methylphenidate prescriptions were filled in the United States. These numbers may suggest methylphenidate products are widely available for abuse.

Concerta Abuse

Forms of improper drug use involving Concerta may include:

  • taking Concerta without a prescription
  • taking Concerta to improve energy or productivity
  • taking higher doses of Concerta than your doctor prescribed
  • taking Concerta in unapproved ways, such as snorting, injecting, or inhaling Concerta tablets

Concerta is habit-forming. If you abuse Concerta, your doses may not be regulated by a doctor. This can increase your risk of Concerta affecting your body and mental health.

Side Effects Of Concerta Addiction

If you are addicted to Concerta, you may feel common side effects of the drug, such as:

  • headache
  • stomach pain
  • vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • sleeping problems

The positive effects of Concerta can also decrease with long-term use. This condition is known as tolerance. You may need higher doses of Concerta to feel the same positive effects, which can be dangerous to your health.

Psychosis & Heart Attack

Concerta use has been linked to an increased risk of psychosis and heart attack. If you have a medical history of bipolar disorder or cardiovascular problems, abusing Concerta can make these symptoms worse.

Physical Dependence & Withdrawal

Long-term use of Concerta can lead to physical dependence, a state where your body needs methylphenidate to function normally.

Quitting Concerta while you are dependent can cause withdrawal symptoms, such as drug cravings and depressed mood. Withdrawal symptoms can be painful, making quitting difficult.


If you take high doses of Concerta, you may suffer a life-threatening Concerta overdose.

A Concerta overdose can cause high blood pressure, irregular heart rate, high body temperature, hallucinations, excessive sweating, and other symptoms. If you feel these effects or see them in a loved one, call for help right away.

Signs Of Concerta Addiction

If a family member or loved one lives with Concerta addiction, their addiction can complicate their daily life. Signs of a substance use disorder that you can see in a loved one may include:

  • complaining about side effects, such as trouble sleeping or stomach pain
  • sudden weight loss
  • worsening productivity at school or work
  • doctor shopping, or seeing multiple doctors to fill a prescription
  • finding drug paraphernalia, such as spoons, syringes, and other materials

If you see these signs in someone close to you, you can talk to them about getting help.

Concerta Addiction Treatment Options

Drug addiction treatment programs for Concerta can involve improving your health and reducing your risk of relapse in the long term.

Medical Detox

A medical detox can be the first step in quitting Concerta. Professional detox programs can manage your withdrawal symptoms with medical help. Behavioral therapy can help patients understand and manage patterns of substance abuse.

Other Treatment Options

Other common treatment options may include attending support group meetings and seeing a nutritionist.

After finishing an inpatient or outpatient treatment program, aftercare options such as long-term counseling and moving into sober living housing can keep you from turning to drug abuse in the long term.

Bedrock Recovery Center

Prescription stimulants and amphetamines such as Concerta, Ritalin, and Adderall can be harmful to your health when improperly used. However, Concerta withdrawal symptoms can make it difficult to quit on your own.

At Bedrock Recovery Center, we provide the treatment services you need to stop taking stimulants. To find out if our prescription drug addiction treatment program fits the needs of you or your loved one, please contact us today.

  1. ClinCalc Drug Stats Database - Methylphenidate - Drug Usage Statistics
  2. Food and Drug Administration - CONCERTA® (methylphenidate HCl) Extended-release Tablets
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse - Prescription Stimulants DrugFacts

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: August 22, 2023

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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