Ritalin Being Studied for Addiction Treatment


Mark Probert



A study underway in Switzerland will test the effectiveness of using
Ritalin to treat individuals addicted to drugs, the Neue Zurcher
Zeitung reported Sept. 8.

Ritalin is generally prescribed to treat Attention-Deficit
Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children. However, researchers want
to study Ritalin's affect on individuals addicted to both cocaine and

"If we talk about street drug use, we don't see anyone who just
consumes heroin anymore. The normal pattern today is the consumption
of heroin and cocaine in the form of a cocktail," said Christopher
Burki of Bern's Koda heroin prescription clinic. "Some studies have
been done with Ritalin for cocaine addiction but it has never been
done in this framework with patients in heroin-assisted treatment."

For the study, 60 heroin and cocaine users in Basel and Bern will be
given Ritalin over a three-month period.

"Cocaine and Ritalin are both stimulants and although they don't work
in the same way, they function in similar regions of the brain," said

If Ritalin shows positive results, the study would proceed to a second
phase of treatment that includes group therapy.