Tramadol is a medication used by patients to treat and relieve pain in the body. For those who have been on this medication for a long time, or for those who have abused it, Tramadol addiction treatment may be required for the patient to safely stop using the drug. People as young as eight years old have been reported using the drug to get high, and it is commonly abused by people of all ages and genders. Over 20 percent of Americans have admitted to using drugs improperly and abusing medication, and this is dangerous. This drug can have serious long-term effects on the body, and an addiction can also cause social and psychological problems.
Recognizing a Developing Addiction
Treatment at the early stages of addiction is the best way to fight the addiction to Tramadol, and the sooner the patient gets the care that is needed, the easier recovery will be. The abuse of pain relieving medications is on the rise in America, and recognizing the symptoms of addiction is essential to know when to seek help.
The drug Tramadol works in a way similar to the group of medications classified as narcotic analgesics, and it is classified as a miscellaneous analgesic. The brand name forms of this drug include:
- Ultram ER
There are also combination forms of this drug that include a combination of the Tramadol and other medications. People taking these may not be aware of the addictive Tramadol that is incorporated into the different medications. These drugs are called combination analgesics and include:
Various Effects of Tramadol
Tramadol interferes with the messages that the body sends to the brain to notify it of pain, and the body then feels relief because of the blocked signals. Most commonly, this drug is formed in an extended relief capsule, so it provides comfort to pain for a long period of time. This is why the tablets should never be crushed, chewed or altered in any way. Alteration of this medication could cause side effects. The extended release alters the messages the brain receives for hours at a time, and this drug is often taken at the first sign of pain.
The constant need for pain relief can become habit forming, and patients may need to start taking the drug more frequently or in higher dosages for the medication to be effective. This is when an addiction to the drug can easily be formed, and many people may become addicted without abusing the medication or without intention. This drug can be prescribed for different conditions and medical reasons and can unexpectedly lead to a need for Tramadol addiction treatment.
The Benefits of Medical Use
This drug is prescribed the most for people who are experiencing some type of moderate or severe pain throughout the day. This could be for many different reasons, including the following:
- Back pain
- Restless leg syndrome
- Pain from injury
- Premature ejaculation
Often this drug is used to treat chronic pain or pain from multiple sources. Not only is this drug used for pain relief, but it is also used to treat some psychological issues. Doctors have found that using Tramadol for the treatment of the following psychological disorders has been successful:
- Anxiety disorder
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Bipolar disorder
The doctor will prescribe this medication in a dosage that seems fit for the patient’s current condition and that is based on the severity of the pain or psychological disorder. Prescriptions may need to be altered over time to benefit the patient and to better provide him or her with pain relief. Patients over time may not notice that Tramadol addiction treatment is needed, and a physician or person close to them may suggest it or reach out to help.
Signs and Symptoms of Abuse
For those who aren’t sure if someone is on Tramadol, there are many side effects to the drug that may indicate the patient is using it on a regular basis. These signs can help family and friends recognize that the drug is needed, and potentially if the user is abusing the medication. The non-severe symptoms to recognize include:
- Constant complaining of headaches
- Constipation or bowel problems
- Drowsiness or insomnia
- Anxiousness, anxiety or nervousness
- Complaining of dizziness
Although those symptoms aren’t severe or a cause of immediate concern, the symptoms will often worsen as the patient begins to take the drug more frequently or in higher dosages. The more dangerous side effects of Tramadol that require immediate attention from a physician are:
- Slow breathing and a slow heart rate
- Random convulsions or seizures
- A rapid heart rate along with sweating
- A rash on the skin with peeling, blistering or flaking
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Fainting or loss of coordination
“Long-term use of the drug can cause other problems like kidney failure.”
All of these different side effects may be a sign for help and a sign that the patient is addicted and needs Tramadol addiction treatment. Long-term use of the drug can cause other problems like kidney failure. Not only are there side effects that are going to indicate that the patient is taking the drug, but there are also addiction signs to look out for.
Recognizing that someone is abusing the drug or possibly taking it improperly may indicate that the patient has an addiction. These are common behaviors to notice for anyone questioning or having concern about an addiction problem:
- Taking the prescription incorrectly or using the drug in a way that it wasn’t prescribed
- Asking or needing refills before the medication should be gone or pretending to lose the medication in order to get a refill
- Constantly checking the time to see if it is time to take the drug again
- Seeking prescriptions from multiple different doctors or lying about pain to get the drug
These are signs that can only be noticed by someone who regulates the patient’s medications or who is in the patient’s personal business often. Without knowing what the patient is supposed to be taking or when the patient should be taking it may make it difficult to notice these behaviors. Some other social behaviors that the addict may display are:
- Withdrawal from social interactions with others or a need to constantly be alone
- Lying, theft, or other untruthful actions
- Extreme changes in moods and behaviors throughout the day
- Financial problems or a lack of money from buying the drug illegally
- Changes in friends or daily activities
All of these signs are to be viewed with concern, as each one could be a cry for help. Anyone displaying these characteristics and behaviors needs to seek Tramadol addiction treatment as soon as possible.
Available Options for Treatment
The treatment options for those with an addiction will vary; however, Tramadol rehab that will include a Tramadol detox is often the best option for patients. There will be two different parts to the program that the addict must follow because the drug is addictive both physically and mentally. This will be:
- Detoxification so the patient will no longer be physically addicted and dependent to the drug
- Education and therapy so the patient isn’t psychologically dependent on the medication
Detoxification will include a period where the patient will decrease the amount of Tramadol that’s taken each day until no more is being taken. Education on how the drug is hurting the body and interfering with life along with support and therapy will help prepare the patient to be mentally stable enough to go without the drug. Throughout the Tramadol addiction treatment process there are going to be withdrawal effects on the patient, but with support and professional help these will only last for a short period of time.
Each patient will react differently mentally and physically throughout the Tramadol detox program. Common withdrawal effects the body will undergo throughout the detoxification process include:
- Shakes and tremors
- Nausea and vomiting.
- A need and want for the drug
- Sweating and fever
- Anxiety and anxiousness
This process is monitored by health professionals to make sure there are no life threatening side effects and to help the patient get through the withdrawal symptoms. The duration of the detoxification process is usually around five to seven days, depending on how long the patient has been addicted to the drug and how high the dosage of Tramadol was that was being ingested daily. It is very important that the patient be honest about the amount that was being ingested daily so that the medical professionals can accurately calculate the detoxification program and determine how to start weaning the patient off the medication. Stopping Tramadol without weaning can be very dangerous to the patient and is never recommended. Severe withdrawal symptoms could occur, causing the patient harm. After detoxification, more treatment is going to be needed regularly.
Finding the Right Detox Center
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Often the patient will need to be monitored by a friend or family member after being released from treatment for support and to prevent relapse. This person can help the patient stay away from the drug and can help make sure that the patient isn’t going back to the drug. Tramadol addiction rehab will also include going to a group therapy or support group after detoxification to help the patient stay off the drugs. Private therapy sessions or consultations can also be a source of continual outpatient rehab. What each patient needs will vary, and this could be determined by the strength of the patient’s addiction.
When choosing a treatment program, it is important to follow some guidelines to make sure that the patient is getting the best care possible and to ensure that the treatment will be successful. Using only medication or some type of therapy to treat the addiction and not preforming a detoxification program has been shown to be less than 10 percent effective. This is because of the severity of how addictive Tramadol is, and this is why inpatient rehab is so important. Choosing a program that has licensed health professionals and both physical and mental treatment courses is the best option.
Recent studies have shown that in 2010, over 48 percent of Americans took a prescription drug each month, with analgesics like Tramadol accounting for a large portion of these prescriptions. Analgesics and Tramadol also accounted for a large portion of emergency room prescriptions that were prescribed to patients, along with outpatient prescriptions from doctor visits. Because this drug is being prescribed commonly and without hesitation, it is easy for people of all ages to obtain and for people to become addicted to it without any warning or knowledge of it.
Seeking Tramadol addiction treatment before it is too late can make a large difference in someone’s life. Drug addicts can put many things at risk in their life, such as:
- Relationships with family and friends
- Career or job aspirations
- Educational goals or aspirations
- Financial freedom and security
A common way that these addicts will get the drugs that are desired if there is no prescription is to buy them illegally on the streets. Although the pills can be purchased for as little as a few dollars, the risks to the addict are great. Some of the risks are:
- Getting caught and prosecuted by the police. This will stay on the addict’s criminal record, possibly preventing employment and more;
- Becoming more addicted to the drug by taking unregulated amounts and easily being able to overdose with an unlimited supply;
- Taking a batch that is incorporated with other types of unknown drugs that can cause health problems or even death.
A drug addict will do whatever it takes to get drugs, and getting someone help before it is too late may save this person’s life or protect him or her from criminal charges. Keeping a drug addict off the streets is highly important both before and after the patient gets the treatment that is needed.
Don’t let a friend or family member go without treatment if a Tramadol addiction is apparent. The sooner the treatment program is started, the sooner the patient will be able to start working on improving his or her life and becoming free of this scary addiction. The longer the addict is on the drug, the more damage can be done to the body, and it will be more difficult for this person to go through treatment and detoxification. Tramadol addiction treatment may save a life and allow the addict a second chance at living without addiction.