Millions of people in the United States suffer from pain that, if not treated, can affect their daily lives. This can keep people from working or living productive lives and taking care of their families. Medical doctors remedy this by prescribing painkillers, but the abuse and overdoses have been a continuing growing problem for years. Tramadol is a popular opioid-based painkiller that is often prescribed by doctors, and you can certainly get addicted to it.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), since the 1990s, when the number of opioids prescribed to patients began to grow, the number of overdoses and deaths from prescription opioids has also increased. Even as the amount of opioids prescribed and sold for pain has increased, the amount of pain that Americans report has not similarly changed. From 1999 to 2017, almost 218,000 people died in the United States from overdoses related to prescription opioids. Overdose deaths involving prescription opioids were five times higher in 2017 than in 1999.
What Is Tramadol Used For?
The substance abuse crisis has brought new synthetic opioid painkillers into play, ones that are milder than your usual oxycodone, morphine, or fentanyl; therefore, thought to be less addictive. One of those painkillers is Tramadol. Tramadol, although weaker, is a synthetic opioid just like fentanyl. It comes in an immediate release form or an extended-release form.
It has been thought by doctors to be a safer alternative to the stronger painkillers, but research shows that patients can become dependent on the drug and abuse it just like stronger opioids. It has been prescribed more often than other painkillers because of the belief that it is not highly addictive, even to those who have a history of substance abuse.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations (SAMHSA), Prescriptions for tramadol increased 88 percent from 23.3 million in 2008 to 43.8 million in 2013. The estimated number of tramadol-related ED visits involving misuse or abuse increased about 250 percent from 6,255 visits in 2005 to 21,649 in 2011. And this statistic has surlily increased considering the opiate crisis we are in these days.
Signs and Symptoms of Tramadol Addiction
Tramadol, like other opioids such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, can cause a physical dependence; therefore, it can cause withdrawal symptoms when you suddenly stop taking it. Being physically dependent on Tramadol may sway you to take more than prescribed, which may cause an addiction. There are many signs and symptoms that point to a Tramadol addiction.
Continued Use of Tramadol Despite Negative Consequences Causes:
- Health issues
- Relationship problems
- Missed days at work
- Don’t keep your word
- Money problems
- Neglecting personal hygiene
Taking Tramadol To Get High/Taking Higher Doses/Abusing the Prescribed Dose Causes:
- Drug Seeking Behavior
- Withdrawal Symptoms
- Muscle aches
- Persistent drowsiness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
Tramadol withdrawal varies, of course, with everyone. There are many factors such as health, age, genetics, mental health, other drug use and history with substance abuse. Tramadol is also metabolized by the liver, so those with liver problems may experience having withdrawal symptoms for a longer period of time.
Even though Tramadol is a weaker opioid-based painkiller, you definitely can overdose from it. The mixing of other drugs and alcohol causes most Tramadol overdose cases. When you mix Tramadol with certain kinds of drugs, such as alcohol, your breathing and heart rate problems may become life-threatening. Also, you are at risk if you mix Tramadol with antidepressants. This can increase your chance of seizures.
The only way to take Tramadol safely is by your doctor’s prescribed directions. If you feel you have become dependent on the drug, let your doctor know so he can taper you off correctly, so you have little to no withdrawal symptoms.
We Are Here to Help With Tramadol Addiction
If you or a loved one may be dependent or addicted to Tramadol, we at Garden State Treatment Center can help get you back on track. When it comes to the Garden State Treatment Center, we provide an outpatient and partial care addiction treatment facility that offers nuanced levels of care for individuals struggling with the horrors of substance abuse. It is our explicit goal to help addicted clients rebuild their lives from the inside out and reintegrate themselves back into society.