Can You Get Addicted to Tramadol?

tramadol addiction

Opioid addiction is a serious problem in the United States, with 80,411 opioid-related deaths occurring in 2021.[1] While you have probably heard of opioid drugs like fentanyl, heroin, and oxycodone, there are other opioid substances you should be careful with.

One of the lesser-known opioid drugs is tramadol. Tramadol may be sold under the brand names Ultram and ConZip. This opioid medication is prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain in adults and children over the age of 12.[2] While tramadol is effective in treating pain, it also poses a risk of dependency and addiction.

 

Tramadol

 

The Effects of Tramadol

Tramadol is used to treat the symptoms of pain after surgery or an injury. It is usually used instead of more potent opioids like oxycodone to lessen the risk of dependency. Unfortunately, people still abuse tramadol because it can cause euphoric effects.

The effects of tramadol include:[2]

  • Pain relief
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness or drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Sweating
  • Fatigue or sleepiness

More often than not, doctors only prescribe tramadol for a short period to ensure that you do not become dependent on it. If any of the side effects you experience become worrisome, contact your doctor for further advice.

Is Tramadol Addictive?

While tramadol was introduced as a less-addictive alternative than other opioid pain relievers, it still poses a risk of addiction and dependency. If you take tramadol for a long period, your body will begin to rely on it to function properly.

Some individuals may experience a rush of euphoria when they take tramadol, causing them to begin misusing the substance or taking it in larger doses to experience a greater effect. Tramadol abuse will eventually lead to a substance use disorder, otherwise known as an addiction.

Tramadol addiction is more common among individuals who have a history of substance abuse, as this medication is not as potent as other opioids. However, anyone using tramadol should be careful and only take it as directed by their doctor.

What are the Signs of Tramadol Addiction?

Tramadol addiction can be harmful to your mind and body, so it’s important to get treatment as soon as you suspect you are addicted. The signs of tramadol addiction include:

  • Taking the substance for longer than intended
  • Using larger doses of tramadol than prescribed
  • Going to multiple doctors to receive more than one prescription of tramadol (“doctor shopping”)
  • Stealing tramadol from your loved one’s prescription bottles
  • Being unable to stop or cut back on your substance abuse
  • Spending a lot of time obtaining, using, or recovering from the use of tramadol
  • Experiencing uncontrollable urges to abuse tramadol
  • Failing to uphold responsibilities at home, work, or school because of your tramadol use
  • Continuing to abuse tramadol despite facing social issues as a direct result
  • Losing interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Using the substance in risky situations
  • Needing more tramadol to experience the desired effect (developing a tolerance)
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you cannot use tramadol

Tramadol addiction must be treated with a combination of detox, evidence-based behavioral therapy, group counseling, and relapse prevention planning under the direction of a reputable drug rehab program.

What to do If You’re Addicted to Tramadol

If you or a loved one have realized that you are struggling with a tramadol addiction, you might be wondering what you should do. Overcoming addiction can be incredibly difficult, but it is always worth it in the end. The first thing you should know is that addiction is not a condition that you have to face by yourself–there is treatment available.

The first step in recovery from tramadol addiction is medical detox. Detox centers will help you overcome the withdrawal phase of recovery by providing you with medical supervision and medications to soothe your symptoms.

After you complete detox, you have a few options. You can either transition into an inpatient drug rehab program or opt for outpatient addiction treatment. Inpatient is the more intensive option, however, outpatient is better suited for individuals who want to live at home and continue working a part-time job.

Find Help for Tramadol Abuse and Addiction

If you or a loved one frequently abuse an opioid drug like tramadol, you may be struggling with addiction Opioid addiction can be incredibly dangerous, putting you at risk of experiencing a life-threatening overdose, but rehab can help you get your life back on track.

At Moving Mountains Recovery Center, we can provide you with everything you need to achieve long-term sobriety. To learn more about our tramadol addiction treatment program, please contact us today.

References:

  1. The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA): Drug Overdose Death Rates, Retrieved June 2023 From https://nida.nih.gov/research-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates
  2. Medline Plus: Tramadol, Retrieved June 2023 From https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a695011.html
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