It is described as a central nervous system stimulant. However, even its manufacturer, in the drug’s package insert, admits that no one really knows how it affects the human body: “The mode of action in man is not completely understood.”
Abusers grind the tablets into a powder and snort it. The drug is water-soluble, making it easy to convert into a liquid which can be injected.
As noted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, “pharmaceutical products diverted from legitimate channels are the only sources of methylphenidate available for abuse.” In other words, every tablet of the drug that is abused, either in its original form or ground into a powder or dissolved with water, originated from the manufacturer. None of it is manufactured on the streets.
“Now I have built up a tolerance to taking two to three 20 mg pills to get the high. I recognize my dependence....I have become ‘cracked-out’ or zombie-like." —Alex