How long does Ritalin last

Ritalin in law school

Interesting facts about the mode of action, benefits and problems of the drug Ritalin for law students with ADHD.

Hardly a term is with the Attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) connected as much as Ritalin. This drug contains the active ingredient methylphenidate and is the proverbial antidote to ADHD. What is easy to say to outsiders can be a real blessing for those affected and make a significant difference in many situations. It is therefore advisable to take a closer look at the drug with regard to studies in general and law school in particular.

I. Basics

First a few facts. Methylphenidate was first synthesized in 1944 and is known by many trade names, one of which Ritalin, Medicinet and Concerta the best known in this country. It is a reuptake inhibitor of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine, i.e. after it has been taken, more of both substances is available to the central nervous system, which usually has a stimulating and stimulating effect and also reduces the feeling of pain, hunger and thirst. In fact, the principle of action of methylphenidate is similar to that of cocaine, but less pronounced.

For ADHD patients, however, it is not this property of the substance that is decisive, but rather the effect it unfolds in their specific case. The main problem with the many manifestations of ADHD is the difficulty in staying alert and focused for long periods of time, often associated with physical restlessness and increased impulsiveness. When taking methylphenidate, however, in contrast to the expected stimulating effect, on the contrary, exactly these symptoms decrease, hence the name paradoxical effect. In fact, the sedative effects are sometimes so powerful that some ADHD patients take methylphenidate to help them fall asleep. The triggering mechanism has still not been researched in detail, but it is often compared with the effect that a low vision aid has on remedying poor eyesight.

The dosage is usually between 5 and 20 mg of the active ingredient per intake and the effect lasts between three and five hours. In addition to the standard tablet form, there are also retarded capsules that release an overall higher amount of active ingredient with a delay and thus ensure a long-lasting effect, which is particularly advantageous in the case of more severe impairments due to ADHD. The maximum dose is around 1 mg / kg body weight per day.

One can easily imagine the value such a drug can have for ADHD students in general. For example, one of the more common effects of the disorder is a tendency to be forgetful or get bogged down in countless activities, often without ever satisfactorily completing them. Eliminating this and other weaknesses associated with ADHD, at least temporarily, is a godsend for students who cannot actually afford this.

1. For use

Methylphenidate is a powerful and useful drug for the symptoms of ADHD, but it is far from being a panacea. Since ADHD has a high comorbidity with other psychological abnormalities, disorders and even illnesses and because ADHD sufferers sometimes have social difficulties due to their differences, accompanying psychotherapy is often appropriate, especially in the case of moderate and severe manifestations. In addition, ADHD was previously traded as a fashion diagnosis and had to serve as a stopgap for unrecognized other problems or an explanation for otherwise inexplicable abnormalities.

Furthermore, the side effects are to be considered. In many cases, especially at the beginning of the treatment, there are gastrointestinal and cardiovascular problems as well as a multitude of possible neurological symptoms. To dampen appetite, thirst and feeling of pain, insomnia, headaches, dry mouth, nervousness and nausea as well as a multitude of other neurological problems, which fortunately rarely occur, often occur at the beginning of the application. Due to its stimulating effect in non-ADHD sufferers, methylphenidate is misused and popular with some students as a means of increasing performance and is considered a kind of "cocaine for the poor". Studies assume that between three and 19% of students take the active ingredient to improve performance.

Last but not least: taking methylphenidate alone does not solve any problems for people with ADHD - the user must continue to address all problems that non-users also face. It just becomes a little easier, as the ADHD-typical difficulties are alleviated or completely eliminated, nothing else.

2. The rebound effect

Towards the end of the duration of action, it can be observed in many affected people that the ADHD symptoms suppressed by the drug intensify beyond the normal level for a short time. This so-called rebound The (rebound or rebound) effect can be quite a hindrance if it catches you at the wrong moment, but can be quickly turned off by taking methylphenidate again.

II. Specifics about law studies

To get started: The effects of the active ingredient read like a magic bullet for improving performance in law studies and for ADHD patients you can actually speak of a small miracle. However, it should be clear that misuse of the drug by non-ADHD patients does not lead to comparable effects, but rather resembles a cocaine high with all its advantages and disadvantages, including longer-term harmful effects on the psyche and the central nervous system. In addition, methylphenidate falls under the Narcotics Act, in particular trade and commercial trade are subject to imprisonment.

1. The application in studies

While ADHD has a wide variety of severities and manifestations, a few simple rules can be established for its use.

  • The duration of action as well as the maximum daily dose are limited, so it should be taken sparingly.
  • A common problem for people with ADHD is the difficulty of establishing a useful day and work organization. In this respect, taking methylphenidate at fixed times as a daily structuring measure to create favorable conditions for working and learning, which should be used as long as the effect lasts.
  • Methylphenidate is particularly useful for exams. Precisely because ADHD patients are particularly affected by the problems that many law students have with learning how to write exams and developing the necessary stamina, it is recommended to use it in the exam. In particular, because of the often insufficient duration of action in advanced and exam exams, more than one dose may sometimes be required to keep the rebound effect expected towards the end in check.
  • Since methylphenidate can have a disruptive effect on rest and relaxation, it may be advisable to omit it in the evening - unless you belong to the "owl" type and work better at night. Even in this case, however, despite all resistance, it can be advantageous to move to the morning, since lectures, exercises and especially exams unfortunately do not take this into account.
  • Methylphenidate doesn't make you a high-flyer, it just creates something like equality of arms with non-ADHD sufferers.

2. The application in the exam

The same applies to the exam as to the course. However, the use of methylphenidate is even more important here, because it is about everything - and one should not accept disadvantages in this crucial situation, especially since fears and, last but not least, exam fears are not uncommon in ADHD sufferers due to previous experience. In this case in particular, it definitely strengthens your back if you can reliably keep the typical ADHD symptoms off your neck at the crucial moment.

III. Result

Correct use of methylphenidate can make a significant difference for people with ADHD. Despite possible side effects and risks, it frees the user from the mostly extremely hindering effects of ADHD during learning and exams and creates something like equality of arms with "normal" fellow students. By carefully planning the intake, work and examination phases can be prepared and controlled without impairment. However, one should not indulge in the fallacy that just taking a small tablet solves all study problems on your own! It only helps to be able to solve the tasks and problems without interference.

IV. Notes

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