How to Spot a Tramadol Addiction

According to Medscape, drug overdoses kill as many as 44,000 people yearly the US and a survey from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services discovered 90% of individuals who require rehabilitation services don’t get it. As you can see by the statistics, America has a big issue with substance addiction and tramadol is just one of drugs on a long list.


Is there a high risk of tramadol addiction?

From opiates to narcotics, the pharmaceutical industry has farmed a range of potent painkillers to help ease the discomfort of those suffering. People today have the choice of a selection of drugs and amongst them, tramadol is effective at safely reducing moderate to severe pain.

tramadol addiction

Does this make it addictive however? Acting similarly to narcotics, tramadol can be ingested either by pills, tablets or intravenous methods. It has also been known to share similarities with morphine and have the same power as mesperidine. Despite its various means of consumption, oral administration is most effective with tramadol.

Generally, the pain-killer works well both on a long and short term basis and despite its reputation, is effective for around 6 months before the danger of addiction kicks in.

After six months, the body can start to adapt and tolerate the drug much better making its efficacy ware off. Even though it’s not a narcotic drug there’s still the potential for individuals to increase dosage to get the same amount of pain relief as before. This is where tramadol addiction can settle in if the individual isn’t careful as they have reached a point where it isn’t working as it should.

At this stage, it’s important to seek medical help for alternative medicines which can target pain more effectively whilst giving the body a break from tramadol.


How to spot Tramadol addiction

There are several key signs that someone may be abusing Tramadol. Watching out for the warning signals can help you or someone you know tackle the issue head on before it gets even more difficult. Here are some questions you can ask:

  • Is tramadol being taken more than the prescription directs? For example, several times in one day?
  • Do they ask you to fill out the prescription for them?
  • Do they ever make up excuses to try and get another prescription?
  • Do you notice they want a refill earlier than they should?
  • Are thoughts consumed with how to get more of the substance?

Asking yourself or someone you care about these questions can help pin down any addiction tendency. Checking for behavioral changes is another tell-tale sign there could be a possible tendency for dependence.

Tramadol addiction explained

You can spot Tramadol addiction as someone will have developed obsessive and habitual tendencies that are typical with drug seeking behavior. If someone has become tolerant to tramadol, in other words they need higher doses to feel the effect, it’s likely they are addicted. This also means that there may be some unpleasant withdrawal side-effects when the person is detoxing.

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Did you know? 20 million Americans age 12 and over are struggling with addiction in some form or another (not including tobacco). Also 100 people daily die from overdose, a rate that has dramatically increased in the past two decades.

Prescription drugs as well as illicit drugs are just several of the substances that can cause addiction. Therefore it’s important to understand and recognize addiction for what it is and it can entangle anyone in its web despite an individual’s will-power, age or ethnicity.

It’s vital to realize that anyone could develop an addiction. If you have been trying tramadol over the past 6 months and are wondering whether you have become hooked, ask yourself the following questions-

  1. Do you have issues monitoring how much tramadol you’ve taken?
  2. Do you find it difficult taking a certain amount? Often finding you go over the prescribed limit.

Even though an addicted person may have started by volunteering to take the medication to solve a pain-related issue, an addicted person cannot control their use of the substance.

Tramadol addiction doesn’t discriminate and even those with strong willpower often find it impossible to quit by themselves. The repetition of tramadol use over extended periods of time changes the chemistry of the brain. This skews the person’s perspective so they will seek more no matter what damage the drug causes in their life or to others.


How is Tramadol addiction diagnosed?

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If you or someone you care about is battling with addiction, there’s certain criteria the individual must meet as published by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The criteria are as follows:

  • Lack of self-control: more tramadol is taken than prescribed and used for longer than the person planned.
  • They want to cut back but struggle: this desire to change their behavior is a key sign they want to withdraw but need help doing so.
  • More effort to get tramadol: they will spend more money, time and effort in acquiring more of the drug.
  • Cravings: intense cravings will be present.
  • Letting go of obligations: people will lose their sense of responsibility to commitments whether it’s at home or with work/studies.
  • Relationship troubles will start to occur when the drug use is in full swing.
  • Reclusive actions – the user will tend to shy away from social activities so they can get more time to use the substance.
  • Developing a tolerance: larger amounts of tramadol are needed to feel the ‘high’
  • Side-effects from withdrawal: when the person stops abusing they experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, vomiting, aches and so on. They may also have sudden mood swings or behavioral changes.

Depending on how many of the above points apply to an individual you will be able to tell how mild or severe an addiction is. For example, if you agree with 2-3 of the above points, someone is considered to have a mild addiction. Whereas if someone had about 4-5 it would signal a moderate abuse and if someone was 6 or more than this would signal a severe issue.

Watching out for the warning signs of addiction is crucial before it gets to a more troublesome stage. However, no matter how severe an addiction there is always someone or some form of help available.


How to overcome Tramadol addiction

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When someones become addicted there are often both physical and psychological aspects feeding off of one another. This is what makes addiction a highly complex subject and even more so as it effects every individual in a different way.

Also, popular media seems to have painted a rather gritty picture of what happens during substance withdrawal. The severity of side-effects from tramadol addiction can vary and may not include someone curled up on a bed in a dark room shivering, vomiting and having multiple seizures. Some opiate drugs will cause this kind of withdrawal but others may have less noticeable symptoms.

However some of the psychological effects the drug has on an individual may have a much stronger pull compared to any physical symptom.



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If you are watching someone you love go through tramadol addiction, it’s important to seek intervention help to support them. It’s good for them to know they are not alone in the battle and they have access to professionals who are trained in helping people overcome their addictions. Rehabilitation centers, seeking help from doctors and recovery groups are all ways to get on the road to wellness and detox.


Treatment for Tramadol addiction

The first stages of recovery from addiction for Tramadol consist of detoxifying the body to remove any trace of the substance. The next stage is to go in-line with the physical aspect and incorporates psychotherapy to pinpoint any deeper issues someone is struggling with. This will help prevent relapse and gain understanding into what triggers the addiction so a person is better equipped to deal with future urges.

You are your loved one will want to go to an experienced addiction treatment center that deals with tramadol misuse. This way they will have the required medications to counterbalance the withdrawal symptoms and the support network needed for someone to make a full recovery.

The medications will also help with the sickness, anxiety and sleepless nights that long-term users often face whilst detoxing. They will also help lessen cravings for Tramadol as well as cognitive behavior therapy which deals with the more emotional aspects of rehabilitation. This means an individual can claim their life back, free of the substance which is a huge release for them and the ones who care about them.

Need help with your detox?

It’s rare someone thinks ‘I wanna get addicted to Tramadol’ when they first start taking it. Addiction takes time and can often happen without the individual being aware. Becoming addicted to Tramadol presents many of the same problems as abusing other opioid substances. This also means that several rehabilitation centers will have services and facilities to help treat tramadol addiction.

Withdrawal from painkillers and experiencing symptoms associated with tramadol addiction can be tough but you don’t have to go it alone. Get support every step of the way with our dedicated counselors at BLVD.

The residential and outpatient services offered at BLVD Treatment Centers are a great option. Tailored to fit your specific needs, you can seek solace in the undivided attention of our experienced counselors.

When opting for the residential rehab option, you can take advantage of:

  • Individualized Detox Treatments
  • Chef-Prepared Gourmet Meals
  • Medically-Assisted Detox
  • A Comprehensive Aftercare Plan
  • Convenient Transport Services

You’ll get the help and support you need at one of our centers located in: Hollywood, Portland, Orange County, San Diego, West Los Angeles, Give our team a call to see how we can help on 8885376671.