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What is Ritalin and methylphenidate? – Crime


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Methylphenidate is illegal in New South Wales, unless you have a
prescription. It carries penalties ranging from 2 years to life
imprisonment. Methylphenidate is a drug commonly branded as
“Ritalin” or “Concerta” and is commonly used to
treat symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
to help become calm and focused. It is a central nervous system and
psychostimulant medication that can help with increased
productivity. In NSW, Australia, it is a schedule 8 drug of
addiction or controlled drug, and a prohibited drug in NSW.

This article written by our own
drug lawyers Sydney
team is a guide, not legal advice. For
legal advice please get in touch with our Sydney office.


Methylphenidate is a drug utilized to treat symptoms of
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (‘ADHD’), such as
difficulty focusing and hyperactive behaviour.

It is also, albeit less commonly, utilised to treat narcolepsy
due its effect within providing alertness.

Methylphenidate is a central nervous system and psychostimulant


Methylphenidate is sold under various recognisable brand names
such as ‘Ritalin’ and ‘Concerta’.

When it is taken as prescribed, it has a calming effect on
individuals who have ADHD, helping them focus on completing

However, methylphenidate has experienced a rise in abuse by
users during recent years, due to being used recreationally.

As it provides users with the ability to concentrate better, it
is often abused by students and professionals, without ADHD, to
increase their productivity. Here is more on the
smart drug modafinil

It is also susceptible to abuse due to how it increases levels
of dopamine, which can create a sensation of euphoria.

Side Effects of Methylphenidate

Common side effects include elevated heartbeat, loss of
appetite, insomnia, and less commonly, chest pain, fever, joint
pain, skin rashes, panic attacks and nausea.

Whilst there is an absence of recent studies, it has been found
that total psychostimulant consumption increases by an average 12%
per year.

Australia and New Zealand were ranked third in total
psychostimulant use, after the United States and Canada, at levels
significantly higher than the United Kingdom, Sweden, the
Netherlands, or

Buying Ritalin Methylphenidate in Australia

In NSW, methylphenidate is a
schedule 8 ‘drug of addiction’ or ‘controlled
, among other drugs such as buprenorphine,
dexamphetamine, opium, and morphine.

Prescribing a schedule 8 medication, such as methylphenidate,
requires authorisation from the Pharmaceutical Regulatory Unit of
the NSW Ministry of Health.

Authorisation is generally restricted to specialists such as
paediatricians and psychiatrists.


Ritalin can be purchased over the counter in Australia if you
have a valid doctor’s prescription. Getting or possessing
Ritalin without a prescription amounts to a criminal offence
attracting heavy penalties including a criminal conviction, as
outlined further below in this article.

Where to Buy Ritalin Online in Australia | Ritalin

Ritalin is available to buy online or over the counter at any of
the authorised pharmacy stores in Australia. For example,
Chemist Warehouse
website sell Ritalin 10mg tablets 100 online
if you first sent via post an Australian authority prescription
before the Ritalin can be shipped.

Costs of Ritalin are about the $17 to $20 range for a packet of
100 Ritalin tablets containing 10mg of methylphenidate in each

Can a GP prescribe Ritalin in Australia?

A GP doctor can prescribe their patient Ritalin in Australia.
However, it must be done so legitimately otherwise the doctor can
face criminal prosecution and also have their practicing
certificate taken away preventing them from ever practising as a
doctor again.


Methylphenidate is considered a ‘type A’ drug of
addiction, and is also considered a prohibited drug, as per
schedule 1 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (

Schedule 1 prescribes labels for various amounts of prohibited

For methylphenidate, 1 gram is considered a ‘small
quantity’, 3 grams is considered a ‘traffickable
quantity’, 5 grams is considered an ‘indictable quantity,
0.5kg is considered ‘commercial quantity’ and 2kg is
considered a ‘large commercial quantity’.

Drug possession
of methylphenidate, without a prescription,
carries a maximum penalty of up to 2-years imprisonment and/or a
$2,200 fine, as per section 21 of the Act.

However, a majority of those who plead guilty to the offence
receive a
Conditional Release Order
, without conviction, or a fine only
with a conviction.

A person who supplies, or who knowingly takes part in the
drug supply
of, methylphenidate is guilty of an offence,
pursuant to section 25(1) of the Drugs Misuse and Trafficking
Act 1985

If the offence involves less than a commercial quantity, the
matter can be dealt with summarily, and involves a maximum penalty
of $5,500 fine and/or 2 years imprisonment.

Where it involves an amount which is not less than a
‘commercial’ quantity, the offence carries an applicable
maximum penalty of a fine of $385,000 and/or 20 years

If the quantity involved is not less than the large commercial
quantity, the maximum penalty rises to a $550,000 fine and/or life

Offences involving commercial and large commercial quantities
are ‘strictly indictable’, means that they cannot be dealt
with in the Local Court and therefore will be heard before the
District Court.


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