By now, most people know about the opioid epidemic. Most of the coverage, however, focuses on prescription drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl. These are not the only opioids that people abuse. In fact, tramadol abuse is also a growing problem.
What is Tramadol?
Specifically, tramadol is a synthetic opioid. In other words, it’s a man-made drug that produces similar effects to morphine. When used properly, it works as a painkiller.
It’s less powerful than other opioids and was considered a less addictive alternative. Over time, however, it became clear that it’s addictive for those with a tendency for opioid addiction.
Recognizing Tramadol Abuse and Addiction
Tramadol abuse occurs when someone uses the drug in ways other than a prescription. Tramadol is often taken in higher doses. However, some people also combine it with other drugs. Abuse can also happen if someone keeps taking the drug beyond the length of their prescription.
Tramadol addiction happens when your body becomes dependent on it. Therefore, when you stop, you face withdrawal symptoms. Tramadol addiction and withdrawal are very serious and even dangerous. Therefore, seek medical attention if you start experiencing withdrawal.
Effects of Tramadol
In normal doses, Tramadol works as a painkiller. Unlike other opioids, it also blocks the reuptake of serotonin. In fact, this is the same way that some antidepressants work. It can also act as a mild mood booster. In higher doses, it creates a euphoric feeling.
For example, tramadol abuse also has a number of side effects, including:
- Slurred speech
- Reduced appetite
Tramadol abuse also increases your risk for Serotonin Syndrome. Specifically, serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps maintain your mood, among other things. Serotonin Syndrome happens when there is too much serotonin in your brain. In addition, this often happens because someone takes too much of a drug or several drugs that prevent your brain from absorbing serotonin.
Symptoms of Serotonin Syndrome include tremors, confusion, agitation, and sweating. In severe cases, the symptoms can include very fast heart rate, hallucinations, and coma.
Tramadol withdrawal resembles other opioid painkiller withdrawal symptoms. For example, you’ll feel ill, like you caught the flu, along with anxiety, trouble sleeping, and high blood pressure. As time passes, the symptoms will transition into severe cravings, depression, vomiting, and cramps. Specifically, physical withdrawal usually peaks in a few days, but it can last up to a week.
Treatment for Tramadol Abuse
Since opioid withdrawal poses some medical risks, the best first step is a detox clinic. As a result, the clinic can provide medications that ease the worst symptoms. In the event of a medical emergency, you get help immediately. The typical stay in detox takes about seven days.
After detox, your next step is a rehab program. For Tramadol addiction, a residential program is the standard approach. You can step away from your life for a little while, which lets you escape daily temptation. Moreover, you get access to more treatment options. You also get help fast in a crisis, since there are always staff members around.
For example, some of the treatments you might receive include:
Tramadol Treatment At Crest View Recovery Center
Crest View Recovery Center is an addiction facility near Asheville, NC. We provide a residential addiction treatment program for opioid addiction. We also use a comprehensive wellness program that supports our treatment efforts.
Tramadol addiction can have devastating effects. However, with help from a rehab program, you can start putting your life back together. Call CVRC at 866-327-2505 and let us help you start your recovery.