The dangers and Long-Term Effects of Tramadol Abuse.
Tramadol is an analgesic medication that is prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. Also known by its street names “trammies,” “chill pills,” or “ultras,” tramadol is an opiate-derived pain reliever similar to other prescription opioids like hydrocodone and oxycodone. While the drug is considered safer than other commonly abused painkillers like morphine, tramadol can be dangerous — and even deadly — if abused. Below are five important things to know about tramadol recreational use.
- Tramadol is Highly Addictive As with all opioids, tramadol can be addictive. Tramadol activates the brain’s reward center in a similar manner to other illicit morphinian drugs like heroin, producing a euphoric high that is followed by cravings and symptoms of withdrawal. If someone addicted to Tramadol attempts to stop using the drug suddenly, he or she may experience flu-like symptoms, irritability, mood swings, and depression.
- Tramadol Recreational Use Can Have Fatal Consequences Tramadol is a central nervous system depressant, meaning it slows heart and lung function. Taking too much of the drug, or taking it in a manner that has not been prescribed, can cause a user to stop breathing altogether. Non-fatal side effects of Tramadol abuse range from mild to severe and include:
- Muscle weakness
- Lowered blood pressure
- Difficulty breathing
- Tramadol Can Be Dangerous When Taken with Other Drugs Many users combine tramadol with other central nervous system depressants such as alcohol, sedative drugs, cold medications, or other opioid painkillers. When it is consumed with these other substances, tramadol is far more dangerous and addictive than it would be if taken alone.
- Tramadol Recreational Use Can Cause Negative Short-Term and Long-Term Effects Even when following their doctors’ recommendations, patients can experience undesirable side effects of tramadol use. Taking tramadol in high doses, or in a manner contrary to your doctor’s recommendations, can lead to more serious short-term and long-term effects. Potential short-term side effects of tramadol abuse include:
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
Common long-term effects of tramadol abuse include:
- Cognitive impairment – As with other opioid pain relievers, tramadol is associated with declining cognitive function. Chronic users of the drug may experience slowed reaction times and difficulty completing complex tasks.
- Tolerance – The longer the drug is used, the more of it is needed to achieve the same euphoric feeling that the user has previously experienced.
- Physical dependence – If taken over a long period of time, users can become physically dependent on tramadol and experience unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal when trying to quit using the drug.
These long-term effects of tramadol can result in tramadol addiction, which is characterized by drug-seeking behavior and an inability to control how much of the drug is consumed.
- Treatment is Available for Tramadol Addiction Tramadol addiction is treatable with a combination of inpatient drug rehabilitation and ongoing psychosocial support such as cognitive behavioral therapy and 12-step programs. Counteractive medications can be administered during detox to minimize the side effects of tramadol and reduce uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal.
Recovery from tramadol abuse often involves physical withdrawal symptoms, psychological stress, and periods of relapse. With the right combination of treatments, however, WhiteSands Treatment can help patients struggling with tramadol addiction develop healthy coping strategies and learn new ways of dealing with life’s challenges. Don’t let tramadol recreational use ruin your life or the life of a loved one.
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.