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Sounds Like: kuhn.SER.tuh

Classification: Central Nervous System (CNS) Stimulants

Controlled Substance Act Schedule: II

Other names for Concerta

  • Diet Coke
  • Jif
  • Johnny
  • Kibbles and Bits
  • Kiddie Cocaine
  • Kiddie Coke
  • MPH
  • Pineapple
  • Poor Man’s Cocaine

Concerta Addiction

What is Concerta?

Concerta is a brand-name prescription medication that belongs to a drug class called central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. Similar to Ritalin, Concerta is a treatment option for attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy (sleep disorder). The drug contains the active ingredient methylphenidate, which works by increasing the blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature of its users to make them more alert. 

The pharmacology of Concerta is closely related to cocaine, another CNS stimulant. Concerta binds to the same receptors as cocaine, releasing more dopamine in the brain and body to produce similar, short-term effects of happiness and alertness.

Concerta Addiction

Due to its short-term effects, Concerta has an increased risk for abuse and addiction. The prescription stimulant is known to improve attention and focus in its users, making it a drug of choice for students with school demands. In addition to its use as a study aid, Concerta is often taken in combination with alcohol, a CNS depressant, to help people feel more alert and less drunk in social settings like parties. It is snorted, swallowed or smoked in a white powder.

Repeated use of Concerta can lead to mental and physical dependence, especially for people who take it without a prescription or take more than what’s prescribed. Prolonged use of prescription stimulants like Concerta can cause serious side effects like sleeping and heart problems, depression, and mood swings. These are examples of physical and mental side effects, or signs that a person’s body depends on Concerta to “feel normal.” 

Many people might continue using Concerta to make their symptoms go away, despite negative physical and social consequences. Drinking alcohol while taking Concerta or combining it with other CNS stimulants like cocaine can increase the risk of serious complications like strokes, seizures or a fatal heart attack.

If you or someone you know experiences intense cravings or physical withdrawal symptoms as a result of taking Concerta, substance use experts recommended tapering your body off the drug under the supervision of trained medical staff at a drug detox center.

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Intended Use of Concerta

Intended Use of Concerta

In 2000, Alza Corporation received approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market Concerta (methylphenidate extended-release) pills to treat ADHD in children ages six and older. Concerta is also used as part of total treatment programs for ADHD patients that can include behavioral therapy and training for parents, if needed, according to the CDC. The DEA reports that some children might experience ADHD symptoms into adulthood. As a result, methylphenidate prescriptions for people 18 years of age and older are a growing market.

How Concerta Is Taken

Take Concerta exactly as directed by your doctor or pharmacist. 

Concerta is taken by mouth in many forms, including as a liquid solution, chewable tablet and capsule. The drug’s tablets are white, yellow or red in color. This medicine can be taken with or without food, but should be swallowed with eight ounces of water or another liquid. Concerta doses are based on a person’s condition and response to treatment.

Concerta use is not recommended for children under the age of six.

sober facts smiley

Side Effects of

If any of these side effects become severe, immediately call a doctor.

  • Sleeping problems
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Increased heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Mood changes
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea and vomiting

Signs of an
Addiction to Concerta

Uncontrolled cravings for Concerta

Unsuccessful attempts to stop using Concerta

Prioritizing the use of Concerta over spending time with family or friends

Legal or financial problems

Use of Concerta despite adverse or negative behaviors

Stealing money or items to pay for Concerta

Lying to doctors or therapists to get more Concerta

Inexplicable weight loss


Abuse Facts

More than five million U.S. adults reported misusing prescription stimulants like Concerta at least once

Concerta has a street value between $2 and $15 per pill

In 2016, more than 62% of children ages 12-17 were taking ADHD medication like Concerta to help manage their behavior