Tramadol: A Deep Dive into its Use and Addiction Indicators

Abuse of tramadol can be deadly. Take the necessary steps to put tramadol addiction behind you with the help of our tramadol detox and recovery program. Call our Toll Free 24/7 Addiction Helpline at 888-446-5952 to learn more.

Tramadol was originally marketed in 1995 as a safer pain medication that produced very mild narcotic effects, and as such, it is not scheduled under the federal Controlled Substance Act. Although its potential risks are less than opioid analgesics, tramadol carries the risk of tolerance, dependence and addiction, as demonstrated since the drug’s introduction. The labeling and warnings associated with tramadol has been revised many times by the FDA as new information about the pain medication’s adverse effects became known.
It is currently widely used in the U.S., with approximately 40 million tramadol prescriptions dispensed in 2012. As the number of prescriptions increased, so has the potential for abuse. An estimated 2.6 million people in the U.S. aged 12 or older abused the substance for nontherapeutic purposes in 2011. Tramadol abuse was responsible for approximately 20,000 emergency department related visits in 2011, including tramadol detox cases.

What is Tramadol?

Tramadol is an opioid-like drug, which is prescribed to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. Brand name versions of tramadol include Ultram, Ultram ER and Conzip. When this pain medication is used as prescribed by a doctor, it is safe and effective, although it can be habit forming.
Tramadol can also change the user’s mood and produce feelings of elation, so it is prone to abuse by recreational drug users. Abusers will crush the tablets and inhale the powder or mix it with liquid for injection to get high. Abusing tramadol in this manner can cause serious consequences including death.

Effects and Dangers of Tramadol

Serotonin syndrome and seizures are the two major adverse reactions that may occur with the use of tramadol. Taken in high doses, the drug is known to excessively raise serotonin levels causing a potentially dangerous collection of symptoms known as Serotonin Reuptake Syndrome. In severe cases this can lead to convulsions and unconsciousness. Seizures have also been reported primarily when the drug is abused in high doses.
Tramadol Overdose

Overdose can occur when tramadol is abused or misused and deaths due to overdose have been reported. The risk is increased when tramadol is taken in combination with alcohol and other central nervous system depressants. Symptoms of overdose include vomiting, increased heartbeat, high blood pressure and seizures.

Tramadol Abuse and Addiction

Tramadol addiction doesn’t always start on the street. Patients who are prescribed the pain medication may find themselves building a tolerance to it. They may need higher doses to get the same pain relief, as they did when they initially started taking the drug. Over time they may become dependent on tramadol due to no fault of their own. They depend on the medication to function and may feel physically ill when they stop using it. Unfortunately, in some cases dependence may lead to tramadol addiction.

Signs of Tramadol Addiction

Once addicted to the drug, whether it was initially used by patients for pain relief or abused by recreational users for nonmedical use, addicts will experience compulsive drug cravings, along with drug seeking behaviors. They may shop for new doctors and pharmacies to get more of the drug, as well as buy it on the streets. Those who are addicted find it hard to stop taking tramadol even though it is disrupting their lives.

Tramadol Withdrawal

Tramadol withdrawal symptoms are somewhat similar to those of other opioid pain medications, including flu-like symptoms and in more server cases increased blood pressure, respiratory rate or heart rate. Although less common, those addicted or dependent on tramadol may encounter withdrawal symptoms that are not typical of opioid withdrawal such as:

Panic AttacksConfusion
Numbness in the extremitiesHallucinations

Do not suddenly abstain from using tramadol if you are addicted. A tramadol detox and rehabilitation facility can help alleviate uncomfortable and painful tramadol withdrawal symptoms.

Tramadol Detox and Recovery Treatment

Holy Land Rehab tramadol detox program will comfortably and safely get the drug out of your system, so that you are no longer physically dependent. While you are going through detox you will also attend rehabilitation services, which includes counseling and other therapy to end psychological dependence. We also provide relapse prevention services to help you remain tramadol free for the long term. Call our 24/7 Addiction Helpline at 888-446-5952 to get started today.

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