About Prescription Stimulants (Ritalin)

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How can prescription stimulants affect your work or daily activities?

People may think that because prescription stimulants can enhance concentration, they will not cause impairment. However, these drugs can cause impairment in many ways, especially at higher doses. The effects of prescription stimulants can last for around 3-8 hours. These drugs can cause impairment even after this period as some people experience ‘hypersomnolence’, also known as ‘excessive tiredness’, as they wear off.

Prescription stimulants especially at higher doses can cause psychomotor agitation (excessive movement), impaired judgement, confusion, and psychosis. When they wear off, they can make you very drowsy. It can be dangerous to operate heavy machinery, drive a car, or do other tasks that require sound judgement or fine motor skills.

Prescription stimulants can also affect your emotions and your behavior. This can make it hard to engage in normal social interactions. People using prescription amphetamines often find they can focus intensely on one task but have difficulty concentrating on anything else.

If these drugs have been prescribed to you by a doctor it is best to speak with them about what impairment you may experience.  

When it comes to work, different jobs require different skills. Have a think about what you might need to perform well at your job, and what steps you might need to take to make sure you are not impaired if you are using prescription stimulants.


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