Tramadol Addiction and Abuse: The Increase of the Misuse of This Narcotic Drug

Tramadol Withdrawals and the Detox Process: What You Can Expect

Tramadol addiction and abuse has increased in frequency over the last several years. This comes as a surprise to many physicians who have believed it to be less addictive than other opiates. Even so, it is still an opioid drug, capable of being abused.

You may not have realized how addictive Tramadol can be, and if you haven’t, you’re not alone. If you have been abusing it, or if you’re addicted to it, you need to get all the information you can. This medication is a narcotic, and continuing to use it can be very dangerous.

What is Tramadol?

Tramadol is an opioid analgesic medication. It is commonly prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. People usually take it as a tablet, either on a schedule, or on an as needed basis.

This medication is often the one doctors will choose first. This is because they assume it to be non-addictive, unlike other opioid drug options. It works very well when it is taken as intended. It’s not supposed to be used as a long-term solution for pain.

Tramadol also goes by a few other brand names. It can also be prescribed as Ultram, ConZip and Ultram ER. The former is an extended release formulation of the drug. This means it releases a little bit of the medicine in the body at a time.

Why is it Classified as a Narcotic?

Tramadol is classified as a narcotic because it falls into the opioid drug category. While it might be one of the less addictive options, it still has the potential for abuse. Because of the ongoing opioid epidemic in the United States, doctors are more cautious about prescribing narcotics. However, in many cases, doing so is necessary.

Shocking Tramadol Abuse Statistics in the U.S.

When this medication was first approved, it was not placed under the Controlled Substances Act. This was due to the fact that the FDA didn’t believe it posed the same risks as other opiate drugs. Sources say that the FDA did request the marketing company to pay for a committee of consultants. Their job was to watch for any abuse problems that would require Tramadol being a controlled substance. However, that committee was never formed.

The assumption that Tramadol was a safe drug was inherently wrong. Statistics tell us that:


The use of this drug has increased dramatically since 2008. During that year, there were 25 million prescriptions written for it.


In 2012, there were close to 40 million prescriptions written for it. In the year 2011, it was reported that there were 20,000 ER visits due to the misuse of this medication.


During that same year, there were 379 overdose deaths involving the drug in Florida. This was an increase from 106 deaths in 2003.

These statistics are from several years ago. This is a problem that has been ongoing ever since the drug was first introduced. It’s also not an issue that is going to go away on its own. As long as doctors continue to think of Tramadol as safer, the number of prescriptions will continue to increase.

Tramadol Abuse and Addiction Information

Understanding Tramadol Abuse and Getting High

Most people begin taking this medication because they have a prescription from a doctor. They have a legitimate reason for using it. Of course, this isn’t the case for everyone. There are those who choose to abuse it recreationally as well.

Tramadol 50mg is the dose that most people receive when they get a prescription. Although this could be higher due to tolerance or how serious their pain is. According to online forums like Bluelight and Erowid, this isn’t enough to get high. The typical Tramadol abuse dosage is between 200mg and 400mg. However, with higher doses, people must be extremely cautious because there is a risk of seizures.

The high that results from abusing Tramadol is euphoric. People claim that at first, the high is a bit “speedy.” It’s more like taking a stimulant than an opioid drug. However, that effect wears off and then they feel calm and relaxed.

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

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 doesn’t 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.

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.

When you are dependent on this drug, the normal dosage amounts you use don’t work as well. This shows that you have developed a tolerance to it. Because of this, it takes more of the drug for you to get high. Also, if you stop taking it, you may find that you begin to experience withdrawal. These symptoms occur once the drug begins to leave the body.

Being dependent on Tramadol means that your body feels that it needs the drug. You may not believe that you need it, but your physical self knows otherwise.

Is Tramadol Addictive?

Yes, Tramadol is highly addictive, and much more so that its manufacturers and doctors originally thought. With regular abuse of it, it may not take very long to form an addiction to it.

If you are addicted to Tramadol, you are also dependent on it. You have the physical yearning to use it. However, you also have a psychological yearning. You begin to believe that you need to take it every day, or at least on a regular basis. It becomes a very important part of your life.

What are its Side Effects?

Even when you take this medication in normal, prescribed doses, it can still result in side effects. This is true for any narcotic drug. Of course, when you’re abusing it, these effects are likely to be enhanced. You may also notice more serious ones.

Some of the more common side effects of Tramadol may include:

  • A feeling of sadness or emptiness
  • A fever and chills
  • A skin rash that itches
  • Joint pain
  • Bouts of constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Problems with concentration
  • Feeling weak
  • Redness in the face

When you’re abusing this drug, many of the short-term effects that result are pleasurable. This is why people continue to use this drug. The problem is that they fail to realize how devastating the long-term effects can be.

In the short-term, Tramadol can cause:

  • A lack of pain in the body
  • An elevated and happy mood
  • The reduction of anxiety and stress
  • A sensation of feeling calm and relaxed
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Problems with falling asleep

Someone who takes Ultram long-term is at risk for developing a tolerance to this drug. If they do, they’ll become dependent on it. Eventually, this will lead to an addiction if the drug isn’t stopped. Also, cognitive impairment is a very real concern when this drug is being used long-term.

Your reaction times are going to be quite a bit slower with continued Ultram use. You may not be able to drive safely. You could also begin having problems with your memory and concentration. It might be difficult for you to focus on the task at hand.

How to Know if You Have a Tramadol Addiction

After going over all this information, you may be concerned about your own use of this drug. If you are, you’re right to be worried. The most important thing you can do at this point is to determine if you’re an addict. Finding out that you’re addicted to Tramadol can make some people panic. We want to encourage you to remain calm. Even if you are addicted, there are ways you can stop using it safely.

You may want to begin by looking for some signs of addiction in your life. These should be fairly easy for you to notice. If you’re not sure, talk with someone you trust, like a friend or family member. Ask them if they’ve noticed any significant changes in your behavior.

Some common signs of addiction include:

  • Taking risks in order to obtain more of the drug
  • Being completely focused on using and making sure you have enough on hand
  • Hiding your drug use from the people closest to you
  • Being unable to stop using
  • Becoming withdrawn from your friends, family, and social situations
  • Being unable to control how much or how often you use
  • Neglecting activities that were once really important to you

Do any of these apply to you? If they do, you are probably a Tramadol addict. If you’re still unsure, you may want to take an opiate addiction quiz. This will give you some more information.

This is a hard question to answer because it’s different for everyone. For someone who has used a lot of opiates in the past, it might not take very long to get addicted. For others, it can take a little bit longer.

With higher doses and more frequent uses of this drug, an addiction can happen relatively quickly. Some people find that they’re dependent on it within a few weeks. Eventually, that dependence develops into an addiction.

One of the hardest challenges families face is when a loved one is addicted to a drug. You may have a family member who struggles with this addiction. It can be so hard to know what you should do, or how you can respond. You want them to get help more than anything, but you’re not sure how to convince them it’s needed.

If you’ve tried talking with them about rehab, and nothing changes, it could be time for a different approach. You may want to consider obtaining intervention services. You’ll be able to work with an interventionist who will assist you further. That person will set up a meeting and your loved one will be forced to make a decision about treatment. Many times, they decide to get help.

If you are an addict, and you know this for sure, there are some steps you should take. First of all, please don’t just stop taking your medication. While it might seem strange, this could cause more harm than good. It is very difficult for most people to recover from this addiction on their own. Cold turkey quitting is never the answer.

What you really need is professional treatment. Otherwise, you are at risk of relapsing back into using ConZip. This can not only prolong the process of your recovery, but it could end up being fatal.

How do People Overdose on this Narcotic?

Like with any controlled substance, it is very possible to overdose on Tramadol. Sometimes people overdose when they take too much of it at one time. However, this is usually pretty rare for people who are regular users. They tend to work up to higher doses, and this gives them time to develop a tolerance.

Most often, overdoses occur because someone has tried to quit using, and then they relapse. What they fail to realize is that their tolerance levels aren’t the same as they once were. If they take the same amount they’re used to, it’s now too much for their bodies to handle. As a result, they overdose.

Overdosing on Tramadol can be fatal if immediate treatment isn’t sought. This is a risk everyone takes when they try to quit on their own.

What Causes People to Get Addicted to Ultram?

There are so many different scenarios that can lead to an Ultram addiction. Sometimes people get addicted to this drug on accident because they have severe pain. Other times, people may use it as a way to self-medicate emotional pain.

Some common causes of addiction include:

  • Being under tremendous amounts of stress
  • Suffering from depression
  • Suffering from anxiety
  • Struggling with symptoms of PTSD
  • Going through a dramatic life changes, such as loss of a marriage or a job

Genetics can play a role in addiction as well, but they are not the sole reason people get addicted. About 50% of the time, people who become addicted to Ultram have a family history of addiction.

How to Treat a Tramadol Addiction the Correct Way

If you’re addicted to Tramadol, getting the right kind of help is critical for your recovery. Your addiction has two parts to it. It has the physical part and the psychological part. It’s essential to treat both. Unless you do, you’re much more likely to relapse.

Tramadol detox can assist you as your body rids itself of this drug. This can take a little bit of time, and you will experience withdrawal symptoms. Some of the more common signs of withdrawal from opioid drugs include:

  • Having intense cravings for the drug
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Digestion problems, such as diarrhea
  • Tearing of the eyes
  • A runny nose
  • An increase in aches and pains
  • Symptoms of anxiety or depression
  • Extreme agitation and irritability

Detoxing can help you manage these and any other symptoms you may experience. Some can even be eliminated completely. Also, there are some people who are at a risk of seizures when stopping the use of drugs like Tramadol. Going through detox can help you avoid these types of complications.

After you have gone through the detox process, you’ll be ready for the next phase of your treatment. This will involve Tramadol rehab.

During rehab, you’ll spend time focusing on the reasons behind your addiction. You may have deeper issues than you realize, and these must be dealt with. Your therapist will help you figure out what they are. Once you know, your therapist will work with you on healing from them.

You’ll also participate in other types of therapy as well. Group therapy is very important for anyone receiving addiction treatment. If your relationships with family members are strained, family therapy can help.

The care you receive during rehab will be detailed according to your needs. You’ll have your own treatment plan that has been designed specifically for you.

Where to Find Help for Your Tramadol Addiction Immediately

It is our hope that at this point, getting help for your Tramadol addiction sounds like a good solution. You may have thought that there was nothing you could do to get better. Sometimes people feel stuck in their addictions. We want you to know that you’re not stuck. There is a way out, and we can guide you here at Northpoint Washington.

We can provide you with the detox services you need, as well as Tramadol treatment. It’s so important not to neglect either part of your addiction. By getting well-rounded treatment, you’ll find that it is possible for you to recover. Not only that, but you will thrive when you have proper care and direction.

Do you need to know more about Tramadol addiction and abuse? Are you curious about learning more about getting treated for an addiction to this drug? We can assist you. Please contact us.

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