What Is Tramadol?
If taken normally and under the guidance of a medical professional, Tramadol is not dangerous. Tramadol is one of the many painkillers that are available by prescription. It should be taken on as-needed basis for pain relief, usually every four to six hours. Medical professionals consider it to be a “moderate” pain reliever and is not as strong as some other drugs that are currently available.
Tramadol works by altering the way that your body reacts to pain. It does so by changing the way the pain receptors throughout your body work, helping to block painful sensations and make you feel less pain. These aren’t the only things that Tramadol does to your body, but it is the primary method by which the drug works. Unfortunately, it is possible to develop a tolerance to Tramadol, meaning that you will have to take more in order to achieve the same effect. This can be dangerous over time and can lead to withdrawal or addiction.
Tramadol is an opioid, and is typically for pain relief. Unfortunately, since it is an opioid, Tramadol is also highly addictive. This means that doctors have become much more cautious in how they prescribe opioids. It is also a controlled substance, which means that misuse or misdirection of the drug can come with a prison sentence and other serious consequences.
Tramadol is primarily used for pain relief. However, those are not the only effects that Tramadol typically has on a person. Other effects include:
- Constipation, which is a relatively common symptom of opioid use
- Nausea, vomiting, and general stomach upset
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
More serious side effects such as trouble breathing, fainting, or seizures are possible. Thankfully, they are not common.
Some of the side effects can feel extremely pleasant to drug users. Users report that taking Tramadol can potentially bring on a variety of calming sensations, making users feel warm, happy, relaxed, and at peace. It is also worth noting that Tramadol works slightly differently than many other opioids: It can also increase levels of serotonin. This means that it can not only create a euphoric, relaxed state but also increase someone’s mood.
How Is Tramadol Addictive?
The vast majority of people who use Tramadol will not become addicted to it. Unfortunately, some will because the drug contains all of the hallmarks of addiction.
Tramadol can induce some very pleasant sensations. Taking the drug illicitly, such as by snorting it, can result in a more powerful sense of intoxication and euphoria. Depending on a variety of factors, including the psychology of the individual taking the drug, their genetic predisposition to addiction, and their own physiology, someone can become addicted to these sensations.
Like with most opioids, it is possible to develop a tolerance to Tramadol. This means that people will need to take higher levels of the drug or resort to snorting it or injecting it in order to get the same feelings. Tolerance is standard with most opioids. Unfortunately, the concept of tolerance can result in major addiction challenges. As someone takes more and more of a drug, they become more dependent on it. An individual may also switch from using Tramadol, which is already risky when abused, to illegal drugs such as heroin. This is extremely dangerous and can result in overdose, death, or further addiction.
It is also possible for someone to suffer withdrawal symptoms related to Tramadol use. Someone who abruptly stops using Tramadol, particularly without supervision or under the care of a medical or addiction professional, may face some very serious side effects. These include sweating, pain, and vomiting. The withdrawal symptoms can worsen once your body stops receiving the serotonin boost. This could lead to a variety of negative psychological states, including hallucinations, panic attacks, or significant paranoia.
How Can You Tell If Someone Is Addicted to Tramadol?
Tramadol addiction, like many other signs of addiction to opioids or other forms of medication, can be difficult to discover, particularly if the individual in question is adept at hiding their addiction. However, there are ways that you can determine if someone is addicted to Tramadol.
First, there are obvious signs. Someone may use the drug on a regular basis even after they are no longer in pain. They may also be using an increasing amount of the drug or taking the drug by snorting it or injecting it. No one should be using Tramadol unless it has been prescribed by a doctor; if someone you love is using the drug without a prescription, you should intervene.
An individual who is addicted to Tramadol is likely to suffer a series of social or professional challenges. They may miss school or work and allow their performance in these areas to slip. From a social perspective, they are likely to see a change in social groups, either by moving away from older friends or moving to new ones. If this is the case, it is possible that these new friends are individuals who may be enabling or encouraging this new addiction.
From a physical perspective, there are a variety of signs of substance use disorder. Someone may appear to be less sharp and in a stupor. If they are snorting the drug, they may develop nasal problems, like trouble breathing, sniffling, or nose bleeds.
In addition, emotional changes are likely. Someone may simply seem different, engage in more secrecy, and experience mood swings or spikes in anxiety.
Tramadol Addiction Treatment Options
Addiction treatment for Tramadol varies depending on the severity of the addiction and if a person suffering has additional challenges. Unfortunately, substance use disorders often go hand-in-hand with other mental health challenges like depression or anxiety. In such cases, a specialized dual diagnosis program may be needed. These programs treat substance use disorder and mental illness.
Different treatment plans may also involve a residential component. Many types of treatment plans do not require that the individual who is receiving the treatment actually stay at a rehab facility 24/7. These treatment plans, known as outpatient treatment, simply require that a person engage in therapy on a regular basis and stick with a prescribed treatment plan. For more severe cases, there is intensive outpatient treatment, which provides more support and therapy.
Sometimes a client may require inpatient treatment. In this program, a patient will stay at a residential facility for a set period of time. They will undergo a variety of types of therapy and be under supervision 24 hours a day. This ensures that the individual in question cannot relapse and receives medical monitoring for any withdrawal symptoms.
Therapy for Tramadol addiction can take many forms. In most cases, a person will first need to purge all forms of the substance from their body. Granite Recovery Centers provides medical detoxification for people who do not need immediate medical intervention, are not a danger to themselves, and are capable of self-evacuation in the event of an emergency.
Once detox has been completed, a person can begin engaging in any number of therapeutic modalities. These include:
- Talk therapy, in which the person suffering from the addiction engages in structured, evidence-based therapy with a trained counselor. There are many forms of talk therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or motivation therapy.
- Medication-assisted treatment, which involves taking regular medications in order to cut down on addiction and reduce the euphoric sensations that someone experiences when they take a However, the evidence does show that medication, when used in conjunction with counseling, can be extremely beneficial for someone who suffers from substance use disorder.
- Lifestyle therapy, which involves helping someone examine reexamine their lifestyle, including occupation, forms of recreation, and relationships with family and friends. This can also involve the teaching of productive life skills and helping someone learn more positive ways to process their anger or other negative feelings.
Granite Recovery Centers offers numerous modalities of treatment for a variety of addictions that may be related to Tramadol, including prescription opioid addiction or dual diagnosis.
Don’t wait to give your loved ones the help they need. Call today to learn more.