Tramadol Addiction and Abuse

Tramadol is an opioid painkiller used to treat moderate pain. While it’s considered to be less habit forming than other prescription opioids, users can still develop an addiction to tramadol.

Addiction to Tramadol

Understanding Tramadol

Tramadol is a prescription opioid painkiller for moderate pain. It’s often used for pain after surgery or for chronic pain from conditions like fibromyalgia.

Tramadol most often comes in 50 mg tablets and is taken orally. Brand names of tramadol include:

  • Ultram
  • Ultram ER
  • ConZip
  • Ryzolt

Common street names for Tramadol include trammies, chill pills, and ultras.

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Tramadol Effects and Abuse

Tramadol is often prescribed because it has less addictive potential than other opioid painkillers. While most painkillers are Schedule II substances under the Controlled Substances Act, Tramadol is a Schedule IV substance.

Tramadol is abused for its calming and euphoric effects. People who abuse Tramadol usually feel relaxed and happy. People with severe pain may also take higher doses of the drug. Individuals who take large doses of Tramadol can stop breathing and may experience a fatal overdose.

Symptoms of tramadol overdose can include:

  • Sleepiness
  • Unconsciousness
  • Coma
  • Seizures
  • Respiratory depression
  • Abnormally low blood pressure
  • Slow heart rate
  • Sweating or clammy skin
  • Weak muscles
  • Pinpoint pupils

Withdrawal symptoms associated with Tramadol addiction can be intense and sometimes dangerous. Medically assisted detoxification and treatment is the safest way to overcome a Tramadol addiction. For help finding a treatment program that fits your needs, please give us a call today.

Signs of Tramadol Abuse

As one of the least potent opioid painkillers, many people believe Tramadol is not addictive. This false sense of security can lead some people to develop an addiction without even realizing it.

It’s important to recognize the signs of Tramadol abuse as early as possible to prevent an addiction from developing. External signs of Tramadol abuse include:

  • Pinpoint (very small) pupils
  • Changes in appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Seizures (without a history of epilepsy)
  • Slurred speech
  • Headaches
  • Impaired coordination

The Dangers of Tramadol

Even when the drug is used properly and under the supervision of a doctor, Tramadol users can experience adverse reactions to it, such as nausea and dizziness. Abuse of Tramadol makes the drug more dangerous and puts the user at risk for severe side effects or overdose.

Symptoms of Tramadol abuse may include:

  • Aggression
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Panic attacks
  • Slowed thinking
  • Seizures
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
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Recognizing a Tramadol Addiction

A person who abuses Tramadol may not necessarily be addicted to the drug. The presence of both a physical and psychological dependence on Tramadol typically indicates an addiction.

The following behaviors may present in someone addicted to Tramadol:

  • Having a desire to quit taking Tramadol, but being unable to do so
  • Continuing to take the drug despite any personal problems it’s causing
  • Losing interest in things that used to be important to them
  • Spending a lot of time trying to obtain the drug
  • Putting Tramadol above responsibilities like school, work or appointments

Tramadol Withdrawal Symptoms

Once a person develops a dependence to Tramadol, quitting the drug will cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Even using Tramadol as prescribed can lead to dependence and withdrawal.

Common tramadol withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Cravings
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Restlessness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sweating
  • Muscle pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Tingling sensations
  • Diarrhea
  • Nightmares
  • Dizziness
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Tremors

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Duration of Withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms usually begin within hours of discontinuing or dramatically reducing use of Tramadol. Symptoms can linger for several weeks.

Tramadol Withdrawal Timeline

Days 1-3 Onset of general withdrawal symptoms, including feelings of pins and needles, sweating, nervousness, nausea, anxiety, palpitations, insomnia and drug cravings.
Days 4-7 Drug cravings persist, along with insomnia, disorientation and confusion, and blurred vision.
Days 8-14 Symptoms should be fairly mild by this point. Depression, anxiety, and irrational thoughts may persist.

Tramadol-specific Rehabs

When choosing a treatment center, it’s important to find a program with experience treating Tramadol addiction. Some rehabs specialize in the treatment of certain substances, as well as co-occurring disorders and polydrug use. The following rehabs specialize in the treatment of opioid painkillers:

Get Help Now

If you’re ready to kick your Tramadol habit, an inpatient or outpatient treatment program can help you do so. A program that offers medical detoxification will allow you overcome your dependence on the drug safely.

Choose sobriety today. Please call us now for help finding a treatment center for Tramadol addiction.