Tramadol Addiction and Abuse
Learn how to beat Tramadol addiction and abuse with the help of detox and rehab
Tramadol is an opioid analgesic painkiller medication used to treat moderate to severe pain. Because Tramadol addiction and abuse became evident during its use on patients, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified Tramadol as a Schedule IV controlled substance. The drug is considered a safer alternative to methadone, morphine and hydrocodone.
As an opioid drug that blocks the perception of pain, the effects of Tramadol abuse usually include a euphoric high. Some of the adverse symptoms of abusing Tramadol include:
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
Tramadol addiction and abuse affects the opioid receptors in the brain, and central and gastrointestinal systems, resulting in altered serotonin and norepinephrine levels and affecting neurotransmissions. These effects of Tramadol abuse can result in seizures and convulsions in the user. Tramadol causes mood enhancing changes in the user, making the drug desirable for abuse.
Tramadol is being abused by millions of Americans aged twelve and up, and millions of emergency room visits were attributed to the non-medical abuse of Tramadol. If you suspect a loved-one of abusing Tramadol, you can review the list of Tramadol effects to determine if there is a problem of abuse. The effects of Tramadol abuse are many and include:
- Having intense cravings for the drug
- Not being able to control the use of the drug or stop taking it
- Building up a tolerance for the drug and requiring more of it to achieve the same effects as before
- Using Tramadol for non-medical or recreational purposes
- Continuing to take the drug regardless of the negative effects it has on the user’s life
- Doctor shopping to obtain multiple prescriptions
- Isolating oneself from family and friends
- Neglecting duties or responsibilities
- Poor attendance and performance at school or on the job
Long-term abuse of Tramadol may result in tolerance and dependence, and dangerous withdrawal symptoms may occur if the user stops taking the drug. A person can be physically and psychologically addicted to the drug and Tramadol’s long-term side effects may include a compulsive craving to take the drug just to be able to function. Addicts may become desperate and begin to doctor shop to obtain numerous prescriptions for the drug. They may also engage in risky or criminal behavior to get the drug.
Tramadol addiction and/or overdose symptoms can include:
- Slow or difficult breathing
- A decrease in the size of the pupils
- Extreme drowsiness
- A loss of consciousness
- Cold, clammy skin
- A slow or irregular heartbeat
- A weakened immune system
- Collapsed veins or clogged arteries
- Death due to overdose
An addict should never try to stop using Tramadol “cold turkey” because dangerous withdrawal effects can occur, such as seizures, tremors, hallucinations and cardiac arrest that may lead to death. Anyone who is addicted to Tramadol should be medically weaned off of the drug at a drug rehab center. A medically assisted detox should be performed by addiction specialists who are experienced and knowledgeable in drug abuse, addiction and recovery. The medical staff is capable of helping anyone who has a Tramadol addiction and abuse problem. They know how to monitor and control the withdrawal process of someone who is having Tramadol long-term side effects and withdrawal symptoms. The patient will be kept stable and comfortable with the help of medications to ease some of the withdrawal symptoms.
Tramadol withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Gastrointestinal pain
- Ringing in the ears
- Numbing in the extremities
- Muscle pain
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has reported that the abuse of prescription drugs in the U.S. has exceeded 52 million individuals over the age of 12. The excessive practice of prescribing opioid pain medications has caused an epidemic of abuse and addiction in America. The withdrawal of some pain medications like Tramadol creates intense cravings for the drug, making it difficult to stop taking the drug and avoid relapse without the professional help of a rehab facility.
To avoid Tramadol addiction and abuse, people who suffer from chronic pain should try safe alternatives such as massage, yoga, biofeedback, acupuncture, glucosamine and chondroitin, natural and herbal supplements, physical therapy, spinal manipulation, nutrition and Pilates. For those of you who are experiencing Tramadol addiction symptoms and want to stop using the drug, you should contact a certified drug rehabilitation center. They can safely wean you off of the drug and counsel you on how to stay clean and avoid relapse.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the White Sands Treatment Center at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.