What is Tramadol?
Tramadol is a narcotic prescribed to treat patients with moderate to severe pain. It is generally prescribed as a tablet or capsule. There is an extended-release dose which slowly releases its chemicals throughout the day. Working like morphine, it blocks pain by releasing serotonin and norepinephrine chemicals in the brain. This can cause feelings of euphoria similar to that of Vicodin.
Tramadol was initially considered a safe alternative to opioid pain relievers because it did not cause dependency. However, despite belief from some doctors that it is non-habit forming, some patients have started abusing Tramadol. As of 2014, Tramadol became a Schedule IV drug, putting it on the same level as Darvocet.
While it is still considered a synthetic opioid, Tramadol is on the lower end of the spectrum of opioid content. Many doctors started prescribing Tramadol because hydrocodone moved up in classification. In the wake of the opioid epidemic, doctors scramble to find alternatives to help treat their patient’s pain. Hydrocodone and other pain relievers have high incidences of dependence. Strict laws were put in place concerning their use, as the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) moved hydrocodone from a Schedule III to a Schedule II drug.
This move sent shockwaves throughout the medical community. Much needed medications became increasingly more difficult to obtain. Even the way doctors prescribed hydrocodone changed. For people suffering from pain, Tramadol came to the rescue.
A variety of medications include Tramadol, like Ultracet, Ultram, Conzip, and Rybix. Each type may be mixed with other medicines used as a buffer, such as acetaminophen.
Tramadol Addiction and Abuse
Each year, many people are seen in the ER for a Tramadol overdose. According to the World Health Organization, Tramadol’s effects create a desire in the brain the same as oxycodone.
People quickly get used to their prescribed dosage and start taking more. This is so they can continue feeling the euphoric effects of Tramadol like they did the first time they took it. Tolerance often leads to a drug addiction that requires treatment to break.
Effects of Tramadol
As with any opioid medication, Tramadol also has some side-effects. These side-effects include
- Severe Itching
- Dry Mouth
- Breathing problems
- Swelling of the throat and face
- Slurred speech
- Impaired coordination
Why Tramadol Addiction Treatment is Important
Once a physical dependence of Tramadol takes place, it changes a person’s behavior. As with any drug dependency, the more a person takes, the more their body believes they need it to function and maintain their euphoric high. Some patients hop from one doctor to another trying to obtain more prescriptions or purchase them illegally from others on the streets.
The more Tramadol a person ingests, the more dangerous it becomes. The body can only handle so much before an overdose occurs and that person ends up in the hospital. Many people die each year from opioid abuse. The only way to overcome addiction is extended detox in a medical facility under the supervision of a doctor.
At Serenity Acres we have professionals trained to help you overcome addiction and learn to live everyday life sober. We continue to help you in recovery for years after overcoming addiction to ensure you have a successful recovery.