Last Updated: October 26, 2022
Tramadol is a generic pain reliever available under brand names including ConZip, Ryzol, Ultram and Ultram ER. Tramadol is an opioid used for the management of moderate to severe pain. A doctor might prescribe tramadol for either short- or long-term pain management and acute or chronic pain. Available in the United States since 1995, tramadol is a Schedule IV controlled substance according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as of 2014.
As a Schedule IV controlled substance, the DEA indicates there are an abuse and addiction potential associated with tramadol. However, according to this scheduling, it’s less addictive and habit-forming than most other opioids.
There’s growing controversy about this classification as the number of emergency department visits and overdoses related to tramadol is increasing. While tramadol may be less potent than other opioids, it may have the same risk level.
Understanding Tramadol Abuse
Since tramadol is an opioid, when someone uses it, it activates particular receptor sites in the brain and the entire central nervous system. When this happens, someone may feel a euphoric or pleasant high, which can trigger the brain’s reward response. Even at prescribed doses, there is a potential for tramadol to be addictive. Signs of tramadol abuse include:
- Abdominal pain
- Pinpoint pupils
- Anxiety or irritability
- Back pain
- Loss of appetit
Dependence can form as well, with or without psychological addiction. If someone’s dependent on tramadol, they will experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop using it suddenly.
Some of the signs of tramadol abuse include:
- Using it non-medically
- “Doctor shopping” to get multiple prescriptions
- Drug-seeking behaviors, which can include making visits to the emergency room to get pain medication
- Continuing to use tramadol even when there are negative consequences
- Cravings for tramadol or other opioids
- Lack of control over one’s use of the drug
- Feeling like it’s needed or necessary to make it through the day
Along with addiction and dependence, the following are possible effects of tramadol abuse:
- Changes in heart beat
- Erectile dysfunction
- Irregular menstruation
- Memory Loss
- Severe nausea
See More: Tramadol Side Effects
Tramadol Addiction Treatment
If someone has a problem with tramadol abuse, treatment is available. Some of the tramadol addiction treatment options include:
- Detox: Since there is a potential for dependence on tramadol to develop, some people who are addicted may require a supervised detox program. During supervised detox, patients are medically monitored to minimize risks and side effects.
- Inpatient treatment: Tramadol addiction treatment can occur on an inpatient basis, in a residential facility.
- Outpatient treatment: Outpatient treatment doesn’t require someone to check into a facility, and it can be done standalone or following a stay in inpatient rehab.
Other programs for tramadol addiction treatment can include intensive outpatient programs, individual therapy, or support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous.
If you need tramadol addiction help, please call The Recovery Village Columbus. Our representatives can help you learn more about individualized tramadol addiction treatment, and how to begin on your treatment journey.
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