Tramadol addiction treatment

Tramadol is a pain-killing prescription drug that is given to patients to treat intense or moderate pain, for instance after having a medical procedure such as an operation.

Understanding Tramadol addiction

  • Other names for Tramadol include Ultrum, Invodol, Zydol, Larapam, Mabron, Maneo and Marol, among others.
  • Tramadol is often administered when other painkillers have no effect on relieving pain.
  • It comes in tablet and liquid form, and liquid drops that can be mixed into a drink of water. It can be administered intravenously, but this should only be done by medical professionals.
  • Tramadol is a highly effective pain killer that blocks pain signals that travel from the brain.
  • It can make those who take it feel nauseous and unsteady. It can also cause sleepiness, and those taking it are advised not to operate machinery or drive when under its influence. No more than 400mg of Tramadol should be taken in a single day.
  • Tramadol gets to work very quickly once it is in the body, and those taking the drug can feel its effects usually within an hour. It is designed for short-term use only.
  • Some Tramadol capsules are for ‘slow-release’ in the body, meaning that they are gradually released over a 12 or 24 hour period. This type of Tramadol is used for patients with long-term pain.
  • If slow-release capsules are broken or chewed, the body usually experiences the entire dose of Tramadol in one go. This could cause an overdose, and is a behaviour common in those who are addicted to the drug.

What are the effects of Tramadol abuse?

Tramadol is not as strong as heroin, but it does have similar relaxing effects on the body that are just as addictive. Users feel calm, happy and relaxed when taking it, but can then sink into low moods as the drug wears off and withdrawal is felt.

Common signs of Tramadol abuse are:

  • Fluctuating moods and irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Feeling extreme tiredness and fatigue
  • Dizziness/fainting
  • Constipation and digestive issues
  • Lack of appetite
  • Confusion
  • Clammy/sweaty to touch
  • Itchiness
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Fitting
Alcohol and Drug Addiction withdrawal effects

What are the warning signs of an Tramadol addiction?

Tramadol is a highly addictive painkiller. If abused, it can be very difficult to break a cycle of addiction.

Warning signs of a Tramadol addiction include:

  • Using Tramadol on a frequent basis
  • Getting admission to a doctor to get them to prescribe more Tramadol
  • Overpowering cravings for Tramadol
  • Taking more Tramadol than prescribed
  • Spending money (that should be used for other costs) on obtaining Tramadol
  • Failing to meet family and professional responsibilities due to Tramadol addiction
  • Disinterest in life, family and work
  • Taking risks that are out of character while under the influence of Tramadol
  • Repeatedly trying to stop taking Tramadol (and then failing)
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when Tramadol isn’t taken
Alcohol and Drug Addiction Warning Signs

What are Tramadol withdrawal symptoms?

People who abuse Tramadol for long periods of time can become addicted to it, meaning that withdrawal symptoms are experienced when the use of the drug is discontinued. Going ‘cold turkey’ or suddenly stopping the taking of the drug can prove dangerous in this case, due to the chemical changes that have taken place within the brain as a result of the addiction.

Withdrawal symptoms related to Tramadol abuse include:

  • Depression
  • Restlessness and anxiety
  • Muscular cramps and pain
  • Stomach/digestive and bowel issues
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Feeling irritable/mood swings
  • Confusion
  • Fitting/seizures
Alcohol and Drug Addiction Withdrawal

How to support someone with Tramadol addiction

It is very difficult to come to terms with an addiction – whether it is yourself having problems, a friend or a family member. Detox is often the best way to stop taking Tramadol in a safe manner, without the risk of relapse. When the drug is finally out of your system, the process of stabilisation begins. A detox can take several days in mild cases, or several weeks in extreme cases. Undertaking a detox is a process that a patient must be prepared to commit to. It helps to have a friend or family member who can support you.

Following a detox or course of treatment, other methods of support include:

  • Attending Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings
  • Building a solid support network of family and friends who understand your situation
  • Seeking a fulfilling hobby or other activities to distract from drug use
  • Trying to get frequent sleep and exercise
  • Training your mind to think differently about drug taking
  • Meditation
  • Making plans for the future
Caring touch of a drug and alcohol counsellor

What is the treatment of Tramadol addiction?

Treatment for Tramadol addiction usually follows a detox programme.

The aim of a treatment plan is to give patients the tools they need to prevent relapse. Patients are thoroughly assessed before they begin treatment. During this time, they will be able to speak to a counsellor to discuss any other underlying physical or mental conditions they are experiencing that contribute to their drug addiction (such as depression). Treatments for Tramadol addiction are similar to other opioid addiction therapies. You can begin to undertake treatment alone, in a group, or with family/friends.

Alcohol and Drug Addiction treatment

Medically supervised Tramadol detox

Detoxing at home is highly dangerous, as there is a greater risk of relapse and overdose should withdrawal symptoms become too hard to bear. Detoxing in a medical environment such as that at East Coast Recovery is the best way to achieve success.

A medically supervised detox is a process by which toxins (in this case Tramadol), is removed from the body in a safe manner, under the guidance of medical professionals. As soon as a person stops taking Tramadol, the body naturally kicks in its own detox process. It will adjust to the removal of the drug and will attempt to put itself back to a normal pre-drug-abuse state. As the body tries to do this, various chemical and physical processes go into overdrive, causing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms as the body tries to sort itself out. A supervised Tramadol detox will generally take around two weeks, although the time it takes will depend on the severity of the addiction.

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