How Do People Take It
Tramadol is used to treat moderate to severe pain. People usually swallow it in pills or capsules.
On its own, tramadol is a prescription-only painkiller. Its used to treat pain that cant be stopped by more common painkillers. This means you cant buy it legally without a prescription.
People who take tramadol illegally, or abuse their prescription, sometimes crush up the tablets and snort them.
What Are The Side Effects
Even when used as prescribed, tramadol may have a number of potentially serious side effects. It is important to be aware of these effects and any health conditions, such as COPD or asthma, that may be exacerbated by tramadol use. When used by pregnant women, tramadol can pass from the mother to the fetus, and traces of the drug can be found in breast milk.5
Side effects and their severity vary depending on the user, specific tramadol medication, and the dose taken. In general, side effects of tramadol products include:1,6
- Abdominal pain.
As tramadol use results in some norepinephrine and serotonin reuptake inhibition in the brain, its side effects profile differs somewhat from many of the more typical prescription opioids, such as hydrocodone and oxycodone. This is especially true if the medication is taken in combination with other drugs that affect the same neurotransmitter systems .
Tramadol risks related to these pharmacologic properties include seizures and whats known as serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition. If you experience any of the following possible side effects after using a tramadol product, call for emergency help immediately:6
- Extreme agitation
- Stiff muscles
- Severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
Tramadols Interaction With The Brain
In order to understand how long it takes to get addicted to tramadol, it is important to know how tramadol interacts with your brain and body. Our bodies have natural opioid receptors in various parts of our systems including:
- The central nervous system
- The peripheral nervous system
- The spinal cord
The synthetic opiates within tramadol adhere to these opioid receptors, tricking them into believing that they are natural opiates. This activates the receptors, causing somatic and psychoactive effects. Tramadol modifies the brains dispensation of pain signals as they journey between the brain and the nerves. It targets several different parts of the nervous system, each one contributing to feelings of pain relief and mood changing. When taken orally, the onset of effects will usually occur within sixty minutes. These include:
Common side effects of tramadol use and abuse include:
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Facing Addiction Help Is Available To You Today
If you are asking, how do you get addicted to Tramadol, you probably already have an addiction and need help. You may have a loved one using the drug, and youre worried about helping them to find help and support. At Northern Illinois Recovery Center, we offer comprehensive drug addiction treatment programs that can help.
That help is available with just a phone call to our counselors. Call us at to find the support you need today.
How It Can Change Your Loved One
When an addiction to tramadol does develop, changes in behaviour are very common. If your loved one is abusing tramadol, you are likely to see changes in his or her personality. Tramadol use can cloud the mind and affect the part of the brain responsible for good judgement and logical thinking. It is these changes that lead addicts to continue abusing a substance, even when they know it will result in harmful consequences.
You might notice that your loved one has lost interest in the things that he or she once enjoyed, and he/she now prefers to spend time alone rather than with family members or friends. The affected person might also be experiencing mood swings. Moods tend to be down when the effects of tramadol are wearing off, but when the drug is taken again, these moods lift again.
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Tramadol: The Drug Claiming More Lives Than Any Painkiller Should
When people hear the word addiction, they usually think of things like marijuana, cocaine, heroine, alcohol, etc. If speaking in lighter terms they may think of chocolate, a certain Netflix series, shopping or scrolling social media. Addiction is defined as the compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance A growing problem in the United States, that is bigger than many people realize, is substance abuse and painkiller addition. Some of these additions are responsible for an alarming number of deaths, including Tramadol a pain reliever that is similar to morphine and extremely addictive.
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, in 2016 there were over 2 million Americans age 12 and older who had a substance abuse disorder involving painkiller medications. Although not all deaths caused by drugs are tracked carefully, in 2017 the National Institute On Drug Abuse posted the following graphic to emphasize the rising problem of deaths caused by overdose in the past 17 years. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control , Tramadol specifically is grouped with Fentanyl in the Synthetic Opioids other than Methadone category.
Image Source: NIH
When it comes to Tramadol specifically and the case of opioid/painkiller addiction and death, this graphic from the CDC also dictates how those numbers rose in 2013 and have only continued to rise.
Image Source: CDC
How Long Does It Take To Get Addicted To Tramadol
Because tramadol is an opiate analgesic painkiller, it has cultivated an underclass of opiate users who seek it out for recreational purposes. With its relatively recent introduction to the market as a safer, less addictive, alternative to more potent synthetic opiates such as Percocet or oxycodone, various misconceptions about tramadol have developed with some of these distorting its reputation for not being highly addictive into meaning not addictive at all.
While tramadol is not as addictive as those opiates mentioned above, regular use or abuse of the drug can carry serious risks and addictive potential. Reading this, you may be left wondering, then how long does it take to get addicted to tramadol? The short answer to this question is, it depends depends on the user, their consumption habits, and a variety of other factors. Below, we will discuss these factors and delve into how tramadol interacts with the body so that you can have a greater understanding of how addiction may develop and how the need for medically-assisted inpatient treatment may occur.
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Symptoms Of Tramadol Overdose
It is possible to overdose on tramadol, though it does not happen frequently when taken as prescribed by a doctor. Overdose is more likely to occur when taken inappropriately, such as taking more than the prescribed dose, taking someone elses medication, or taking it illicitly.3
Mixing tramadol with other opioids, with alcohol or other central nervous depressants, as well as some types of illicit drugs can dangerously increase the potential for oversedation, respiratory depression, coma, and even death.5 Symptoms of a tramadol overdose include:1,7
- Slow or shallow breathing.
- Oversedation that could progress to stupor or coma.
- Constricted or pinpoint pupils.
- Rapid heart rate.
Finding The Best Tramadol Treatment
No two addicts are alike, and what worked wonders for your neighbor might be pure misery for you. Before you sign up for treatment, think about what you need from treatment. For instance, a trauma survivor may need a safe, single-sex program while a person with a mental illness could benefit from a dual diagnosis treatment program that addresses both the addiction and the underlying mental health problems.
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Common Abuse Methods For This Narcotic
There are different ways that this narcotic medication can be abused. Users report that it all comes down to personal preference. Some people get high easily by simply swallowing the pills. Others who are more opioid tolerant may use various other methods to get high instead.
Snorting Ultram causes the drug to enter into the bloodstream faster than swallowing them. Sometimes people will snort a little of the medication, and then they will also take the pills to enhance the high.
Smoking the Tablets
Users report that smoking this drug doesnât result in a long lasting high. The high can be intense, but it only lasts for up to two hours. Smoking it exposes the body to many of the toxins in the drug because nothing is filtering them out. This can lead to permanent damage, over time.
Crushing and Injecting the Powder
Sometimes people will crush the tablets or just dissolve them in some water for injecting this drug. The rush is very quick with this delivery method, and the effects will last for a few hours. Using the drug with this method results in a euphoric high. Any pain that the person was suffering from seems to completely disappear during the high.
How Abusing Tramadol Leads to Dependence
Abusing Tramadol with any of the above methods will eventually lead to dependence. Tramadol dependence is a bit different from having an addiction, but the two are related to one another.
Warning Signs Symptoms And Signs Of Tramadol Addiction
Many people do not worry about tramadol because the potential for abuse is considered quite low. However, the reality is that some individuals will abuse this drug and go on to develop an addiction. To prevent this from happening, it is important to know how to recognise the warning signs and symptoms of both abuse and addiction.
While tramadol is considered one of the least potent opioid medications, it is still possible to develop an addiction to it. Continued regular use can lead to an increased tolerance, which makes the drug less effective than it was when it was initially taken. Many users will develop a physical dependence where they will experience withdrawal symptoms whenever they try to quit tramadol. This can happen not only to those abusing the drug, but it is also common among long-term users, even at therapeutic doses.
While physical dependence does not necessarily mean an addiction is present, it is usually a precursor to addiction. It is therefore important to be alert to the warning signs of tramadol addiction so that you can take immediate action should they arise.
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Side Effects Of Tramadol
- Increased heart rate
- Memory loss
Professor Jack Crane, a former Northern Ireland State Pathologist and leading expert in forensic medicine, believes that Tramadol should be reclassified as a class A drug. This would put it alongside heroin and cocaine in how dangerous it is with potential for addiction and other side effects. People seem to assume that Tramadol is safe because it is prescribed by doctors, but in my mind it is just as dangerous as heroin and should be reclassified as a class A drug, he said.
The Professor was prompted to publicly speak on the issue of Tramadol in 2017 after several tragic Tramadol-related deaths occurred in his beloved country of Ireland. It is estimated that in 2017 more people in Northern Ireland were killed by opiate-based drug use than were killed in car crashes.
The problem is not unique to Ireland, however. In the United States, drug overdose deaths caused by synthetic opioids including Tramadol, fentanyl and fentanyl analogs doubled between 2015 and 2016 from 3.1 to 6.2 per 100,000 people.
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
- Dont keep your word
- Money problems
Taking Tramadol To Get High/Taking Higher Doses/Abusing the Prescribed Dose Causes:
- 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.
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Early Warning Signs Of Teen Tramadol Use
Tramadol may be attractive to teenagers who believe that getting high on prescription medication is a safe and legal way to have fun. Unfortunately, abuse of tramadol by teenagers can quickly lead to addiction, which could very quickly then spiral out of control.If you have a teenage son or daughter, it is important to be alert to the warning signs of tramadol abuse. Physical signs can include:
Although the above signs in and of themselves are no sure indication of tramadol abuse, if they are coupled with behavioural changes such as a loss of interest in things that he or she used to enjoy, or a drop in school performance, you would be right to be worried. If you believe that your child might be affected by drug abuse or addiction, it is important to address the issue immediately because early intervention can be key to long-term and successful recovery.
Using The Drug Without A Prescription Taking Higher Doses Or Using The Drug In A Way Other Than Prescribed
You may be addicted to Tramadol if you find yourself taking the drug without a prescription and obtaining it illegally.
Another sign of addiction is taking the drug in a way other than prescribed or taking the drug in higher doses. As the brain and body become accustomed to the drug, higher doses are needed to achieve the same effect. For this reason, addicts will often start increasing their dosage as a means of chasing the initial high.
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How Tramadol Was Intended To Be Used
Doctors most often prescribe tramadol to treat moderate to severe pain in adult patients. The drug comes in an extended-release form, which can be used for around-the-clock pain management. However, patients should not use this form of tramadol on an as-needed basis. Physicians commonly recommend tramadol for osteoarthritis patients or those with other chronically painful conditions.
Treatment In A Drug Rehab Facility
People who misuse or abuse Tramadol may need more intensive treatment to end the abuse, especially if the drug is being abused along with other, more potent substances. This type of treatment may be done through outpatient treatment with a qualified physician, or in an inpatient facility if withdrawal symptoms are severe or dangerous.
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Signs & Symptoms Of Tramadol Addiction
If youre contemplating how to stop taking your prescription tramadol, you may already be struggling with a dependence or even an addiction to this drug. Opioid addiction does not always seem obvious to someone who has one. These signs may show that you or someone you know has an addiction to tramadol or another opioid:
- Keeping a stock of tramadol even when not experiencing pain
- Acting out of character and making riskier decisions
- Having difficulty at work or school because of opioid use
- Feeling unable to stop using tramadol and other opiates
- Dedicating substantial amounts of money and time to tramadol
A professional opioid addiction screening can also help you determine if you have an addiction. During one of these appointments, an expert will learn about your symptoms and behaviors to provide a diagnosis. As a disease, opioid addiction can receive treatment that reduces its effects.
Faqs About Tramadol Addiction & Treatment
- How much tramadol is too much?
The maximum amount of tramadol that can be safely used varies significantly between individuals. It depends on a variety of factors, such as age, health, genetics and previous history of opioid use. Tramadol overdose can be fatal, so its important to only take it as prescribed.
- How often can you take tramadol?
You should not take tramadol more frequently than prescribed. Normally, tramadol doses are prescribed to be taken at least four to six hours apart.
- What is a high dose of tramadol?
What is considered a high dose of tramadol varies from person to person. Even a low dose of tramadol may have a strong effect in some patients. Typically, oral doses greater than 300 mg are not used.
- How long does it take to get addicted to tramadol?
There is no set timeframe for the development of tramadol addiction. However, the CDC shows that the risk of opioid addiction rises significantly after three to five days of use.
- How can I stop my tramadol addiction?
Tramadol addiction can be dangerous and should be taken very seriously. However, ending a tramadol addiction can be difficult alone. Most people find that the most effective way to stop using opioids is to seek substance addiction treatment at a specialized facility.
- Does The Recovery Village offer treatment programs for tramadol addiction?
The Recovery Village offers tramadol addiction treatment options and has helped many patients to overcome opioid addiction and achieve lasting sobriety.
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Why Is Tramadol So Addictive
Why is tramadol so addictive? And when can you get addicted to tramadol? It doesnt take long to develop an addiction to tramadol. Thats because of its intense euphoric effects that make you want to keep using it. But the more you use it, the stronger the brains connections between using and pleasure become. As a result, you may begin having cravings for tramadol more quickly than other substances, which dont produce as large a dopamine rush.