Do you need help from a tramadol treatment and rehab center? Find out how to recognize signs of tramadol addiction
Tramadol is a narcotic analgesic prescribed for the management of moderate to moderately severe pain. Sold under the names of Ultram, Ultram EX, and Ryzolt, tramadol is often prescribed for chronic pain, especially for patients who have struggled with substance abuse or addiction issues in the past. Tramadol was originally thought to be a safer alternative to opioid pain relievers because it was believed it had a very low addiction potential and was unlikely to be abused. Because of this belief, tramadol was virtually unregulated and became widely prescribed to patients with long-term, chronic pain and addiction issues without adequate supervision or prescribing guidelines. As a result, tramadol addiction has become a serious problem in the United States, leaving growing numbers of patients needing to enter tramadol treatment and rehab programs to help them reclaim their lives.
The rise of tramadol addiction
Tramadol was first introduced in Germany in the 1970’s. Encouraged by initial reports that tramadol had a low potential for addiction and abuse, the FDA decided in 1994 to label tramadol as a Schedule IV drug. Medicines that receive this classification are generally considered to be safe for anyone to take, so there are virtually no restrictions on how they can be prescribed. As patients in the US were prescribed tramadol over the next several years, it became clear that while tramadol may not be highly addictive when taken for short periods of time, that is not the case when patients are prescribed it for an extended time.
The longer patients take tramadol, the more likely they are to become addicted. Over time, patients become tolerant to tramadol and need to take higher doses of the drug in order to get the same results. This cycle of diminishing returns eventually leads patients taking tramadol to develop the same withdrawal and addiction symptoms that are seen with other opioid pain relievers, such as OxyContin, Dilaudid, and morphine. This is led to an epidemic of tramadol addiction and abuse in the United States, and a rising need for effective tramadol treatment and rehab options.
Tramadol addiction symptoms
Learning how to recognize the signs of tramadol addiction is the first step to recovery. Tramadol users are often unaware they have become addicted to the medication, particularly if they are in a great deal of pain. For the most part, tramadol addiction symptoms mirror those of other opioid medications. If you are wondering if you or a loved one could benefit from tramadol treatment and rehab, look for the following behavioral symptoms of tramadol addiction:
- You need to take a higher dosage than prescribed to get the same relief
- You run out of your prescription early
- You find yourself doing anything to obtain more of the drug, including “doctor shopping,” lying to get refills, and going to the emergency room for non-existent injuries
- You experience intense cravings for the drug
Another certain sign of tramadol addiction is if you experience withdrawal symptoms when you suddenly stop taking the drug. Withdrawal symptoms may closely mirror the classic opiate withdrawal symptoms, such as sweating, severe muscle pain and cramps, nausea, vomiting, and convulsions. There are other withdrawal symptoms that tramadol can cause that are not normally observed in opiate withdrawal, such as severe anxiety, panic attacks, confusion, hallucinations, paranoia, and numbness or tingling in one or more extremities.
Tramadol treatment and rehab options
If you or a loved one is exhibiting signs of addiction to tramadol, it is recommended that you seek help from a tramadol treatment and rehab center rather than trying to stop taking the drug on your own. Treatment for tramadol addiction begins with medically supervised detox, where addiction specialists can monitor your condition and administer medication as needed to control your symptoms. Once you have completed detox, an accredited tramadol addiction treatment program can continue your therapy in an inpatient residential treatment center or through an outpatient treatment program.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment 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.