Yes, Tramadol Is Addictive
There is a very large misconception that Tramadol is not addictive because it is a synthetic form of codeine. This prescription medication is generally prescribed for minor to moderate pain. Tramadol is also known by its brand name of Ultram.
It has been the belief of many people that Tramadol is not addictive because it is synthetic and does not contain any real opiates like non-synthetic codeine. The truth is, however, that the synthetic form of codeine is not only addictive, it is probably more addictive than its natural counterpart.
Understanding Tramadol and Codeine
Codeine is a drug used for treating mild to moderate pain and has been prescribed as a cough suppressant and as a treatment for severe diarrhea. Codeine is derived from morphine and can be considered a very mild form of this opiate. Because codeine only contains about 2-5 percent opiate, it is often blended with Tylenol or Aspirin to provide pain relief.
At first, Tramadol was developed to help offset the shortage of opium needed to create pain medication. The synthetic form of this medication was developed and was found to work just as well as the real medication. In many cases it was found to work even better. Tramadol was promoted at first as a safe alternative to codeine and it was not listed on the control substance list.
It did not take long to discover, however, that Tramadol was addictive. Additionally, people who become addicted to this substance often became aggressive when they were under the influence. The aggressive nature of the medication is very different than the “highs” other people experience when using an opiate based medication.
Many people who become addicted to Tramadol move on to stronger opiate based drugs and heroin. This is due to the length of time it takes for the medication to work in the system. Even “fast-acting” Tramadol pills take an hour to fully expose the body to the effects of the drug. This is why Tramadol is now considered a gateway drug to stronger opiates.
Side Effects Of Tramadol
Tramadol has side effects that are very similar to those found with other opiate based drugs. Sleepiness, depressed heart rate and breathing, and slurred speech are just a few of the side effects. This synthetic drug, however, has side effects that are very specific to this drug. These side effects include:
- Runny Nose
- Watery Eyes
- Muscle Aches
Many people who have an addiction to Tramadol think that they have the flu or a cold so they take more medications to fight these symptoms. Mixing these medications can lead to serious side effects and complications.
Understanding Tramadol Addiction
Tramadol is a potent medication that does provide pain relief when used correctly. However, it can quickly become abused because people have a tendency to use more of the drug than necessary because of the length of time it takes to work. Even with fast-release types of pills, the medication can take a full hour to provide any pain relief.
Many people believe that when the pain does not subside quickly or within 15 minutes that they did not take enough or that their pain is more than expected so they need more than the regular dose. They take additional pills looking for relief and the problem begins.
Soon tolerance begins to happen and the person using Tramadol has to take more doses more often to get the same pain relief. It does not take long before a physical addiction has formed and the person can longer physically cope without the medication.
Unlike many pain medication addictions, a person who becomes addicted to Tramadol is at higher risk to try or abuse stronger drugs. As tolerance builds to the Tramadol or impatience sets in from waiting for pain relief, stronger and more dangerous opiates become a very attractive choice.
You Can Recover From A Tramadol Addiction
If you have found yourself facing a dependency on Tramadol you will be happy to know that you can break this addiction. Through the use of a drug rehab program you can break the physical and psychological dependence that you have to this medication.
It does not matter how long you have had the addiction, or if you have turned to stronger drugs, addictions can be broken through the use of an addiction recovery center.
How A Rehabilitation Center Can Help Your Addiction
It is not uncommon for someone with an addiction to not to want to go into rehab. Rehabilitation centers in the past were scary. They were clinical in appearance and they did not address many of the needs of the patients fighting an addiction. Thankfully, drug rehab centers have changed a lot since the 70’s.
Quality addiction recovery centers are now a place where someone facing addiction can go to for holistic care. Patients are treated for their substance abuse problems as well as receive support and care for other issues. The entire addiction is treated, not just the symptoms of substance abuse.
Through the use of a compassionate substance abuse counselor, patients will learn about themselves and what led them to addiction and what to do for the future.
They will learn how to cope with every day problems that may lead to reusing the substance and discover what it is like to live substance free. A whole person approach is used to help each person discover what it is like to be healthy and happy without their addiction.
What is even better news for those who are fighting an addiction is the different programs available. You have many different choices for the types of programs you can use to treat your addiction and stay in recovery.
Addiction is very personal and very different for each person. Using a one-size-fits-all approach simply does not benefit those who are suffering from substance abuse problems.
Once you have entered into recovery, a quality substance abuse recovery center will also have programs available to help you stay in recovery after you leave the program. These support programs are the leading way to stay in recovery and to enjoy the success you have found from breaking your addiction.