Plugging Ritalin | Effects & Dangers Of Rectal Methylphenidate Use

Plugging Ritalin is the act of inserting crushed tablets combined with water into the rectum to achieve euphoric feelings. However, this is a serious form of drug abuse which can create dangerous side effects, including psychosis or damage to anal tissue.

Methylphenidate (brand name Ritalin) is a prescription stimulant drug used to treat symptoms associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well as certain sleeping disorders such as narcolepsy.

Considered to have high abuse potential that can lead to psychological or physical dependence, Ritalin is a Schedule II controlled substance. 

Since people may experience feelings of euphoria when Ritalin drug abuse takes place, some may partake in plugging or inserting the substance into the rectum.

Effects Of Plugging Ritalin

Ritalin is a central nervous system stimulant (CNS) that affects dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitters in the brain, stimulating the cerebral cortex. When the prescription drug is abused, some may find the feelings of euphoria pleasing.

This can lead to smoking, snorting, or plugging Ritalin in an attempt to achieve a greater high. Some may even abuse similar drugs such as Adderall or Concerta. 

When Ritalin abuse occurs, the drug enters the bloodstream much more quickly than when the medication is taken orally.

Plugging Ritalin can increase the intensity of the common side effects associated with the drug.

Increased Side Effects

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), some of the side effects of Ritalin can include:

  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • dry mouth
  • sleeping problems
  • mood swings
  • headache

Serious Side Effects

More serious side effects can take place due to plugging Ritalin, including:

  • damaged or tears of the anal tissue
  • risk of bacterial infections
  • cardiovascular and circulation problems
  • mental health issues including psychosis
  • severe withdrawal symptoms
  • increased risk of Ritalin overdose

Dangers Of Plugging Ritalin

To plug Ritalin, a person must first crush the tablets into a fine powder and then combine it with water. Once this takes place, a person can use a syringe to insert the substance into the rectum. Since the drug was not designed for this purpose, harmful effects may occur.

Damage To Rectum

When plugged, Ritalin acts as an irritant, damaging the tissue lining of the rectum. This may result in anal fissures and tears, leading to frequent bleeding or infections.

Due to the harsh insertion of the drug, a loss of tissue may occur within the anal cavity. For those partaking in this serious form of prescription drug use, syringes may be used by multiple people participating in Ritalin abuse.

Those who share drug paraphernalia such as syringes or needles may inadvertently swap fluids due to the common bleeding symptoms which take place when the lining to the anal walls are irritated from plugging Ritalin.

Withdrawal Symptoms

While plugging Ritalin may cause the drug to enter the body faster, the feelings of euphoria may dissipate quickly as well. If this occurs, or if a person stops taking Ritalin “cold turkey,” they may suffer from more severe symptoms of withdrawal, including:

  • restlessness
  • insomnia
  • mental health problems including suicidal ideations
  • drowsiness
  • cravings for Ritalin
  • weight gain

Ritalin Overdose

There is an increased risk of a Ritalin overdose in those who abuse the drug in any manner, whether it be from taking the dose in large quantities orally or resorting to substance use in the form of plugging.

Symptoms of a Ritalin overdose can include:

  • chest pain
  • seizures
  • dilated pupils
  • high blood pressure
  • confusion
  • coma
  • death
  • irregular heartbeat or heart attack
  • sweating

If a Ritalin overdose is suspected, contact 911 immediately and seek urgent medical attention.

Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse, reach out to Ohio Recovery Center. We provide a wide-range of treatment options designed to address severe prescription drug addiction.

In fact, our treatment center offers numerous treatment plans which may consist of inpatient care, medical detox, behavioral therapy in both group and individual settings, and other helpful resources. To learn more, please contact us today.

  1. Drug Enforcement Administration
  2. Food and Drug Administration
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse
  4. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus
  5. National Library of Medicine: StatPearls
  6. The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: August 16, 2023

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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