Saturday September 20th 2014

Does Tramadol get you high?

Tramadol can get you high. But this particular type of pain medicine carries relatively low risk of addiction because its euphoric effects are only mild, and sometimes imperceptible. Compared to the euphoric effects of OxyContin, for example, many less people report a feeling of well being after taking the drug.

But you can get addicted to Tramadol. We review how Tramadol works and its addictive-ness here.

7 – 14% people may get high on Tramadol

In clinical trials, 7% of people reported central nervous system stimulation symptoms such as euphoria up to 7 days after starting regular doses of Tramadol. The number jumps to 14% for people taking Tramadol from 31-90 days. This is probably because Tramadol has mu-opioid agonist activity, which triggers chemical reactions in the brain to stimulate feelings of well-being.

Tramadol is a different type of pain killer – how it works

Tramadol is considered an “atypical” pain killer because it works in a slightly different way than other opioids. In addition to being a weak opioid pain killer, Tramadol acts on the central nervous system in two ways.

1. Tramadol binds to opioid receptors int he brain to help relieve pain (analgesia).

2. Tramadol affects certain neurotransmitters in the brain to decrease the perception of pain.

In this way, Tramadol has properties that provide pain relief while minimizing euphoria (a feeling of well-being), the medical term for feeling “high”. Instead, Tramadol has been shown to be effective and well tolerated for pain conditions and is unlikely to lead to either physical or psychological dependence.

Is Tramadol addictive?

Tramadol has a reputation for having less risk of addiction than other opioids. While this assumption is probably true, the evidence for Tramadol’s addiction riskiness is weak. In fact, post-marketing surveillance studies have reported an extremely small number of people developing physical tolerance to the drug or patterns of abuse. Still, the drug can trigger addiction even in people who don’t have a history of drug abuse or previous addiction.

Am I addicted to Tramadol?

One thing is for sure, if you’re looking to get high on Tramadol, you already exhibit one sign of addiction: using prescription drugs for non medical purposes. Get familiar with the other signs of prescription drug addiction so that you can get help.

And if you’re worried about being an addict, don’t think that people will judge you. These days, addiction is less stigmatized as we understand more and more about the brain science behind the disease. You can get help if you want it. In fact, ask your questions about Tramadol below or send us an email. We respond to each query personally and promptly.

Reference sources: Consumer guide to pain medications
Consumer reports on Opioids
Pharmacology of Tramadol

Tramadol Hydrochloride tablet info from Daily Med
PubMed Health page on Tramadol
The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists info on Tramadol

Photo credit: boltron-

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18 Responses to “Does Tramadol get you high?
bob bob
1:27 am August 1st, 2011

Yes it will make you feel slightly light headed and feel you want a good sleep – a sort of basic euphoria. It is really no substitute though for street drugs as you will never find a DR willing to give you enough. Most DR’s now are very careful with this drug due to many high profile addicts who use it as a legal form of heroine. To keep the high going due to tolerance you would need an unlimited supply. By which time you would have busted your body out like Heroine addicts do.

The high wears off in time and all the funny feelings after about a year or so on it you probably will get only pain releif then. It is a very good pain killer for those in chronic non-life threatning pain.

You do not require much for pain management you should always start low and work to the lowest acceptable level for you. This drug will become dependent and if you want off it you do not want a mountain to climb to do so by over indulging in it.

abdulla
10:26 pm January 23rd, 2012

i need help
instead of Methadone for addict treatment, can Tramadol does the same effect of Detoxing with

what would be the dosage ??? to get off the withdrawal of opiate???

3:00 pm January 24th, 2012

Hi Abdulla. Thanks for your question. We will address this in another article about Tramadol for opiate withdrawal. For now, you can check out what types of medications are used in treating opiate withdrawal symptoms here:

http://prescription-drug.addictionblog.org/medications-for-opioid-withdrawal/

Good luck! And all the best to you. Let us know how we can support you during opiate withdrawal and when you plan to start to detox.

paulwelsh
2:01 am March 20th, 2012

I just got off of a good 30 day binge of the drug. I was taking 2 pills a night at first to help me sleep..and it did, in fact, get me high. So then I continued taking them just for that feeling. I am a previous heroin/other opiate abuser/addict. I never went to rehab or anything, just kind of quit cold turkey from my daily use. I was still known to get high on opiates from time to time.. once every few weeks maybe. Having a bunch of tramadol just laying around brought back those same types of urges.

I didn’t take any for the past 3 days and am experiencing no withdrawal effects at all like I did with opiates…aside from a small craving. But that’s mainly due to boredom really. I will make no further attempt to obtain the drug. If I happen to have another surgery and get some prescribed, then several happy days will ensue.

11:24 am March 20th, 2012

Hi Paul. Thanks for sharing. Do you have a plan for avoiding Tramadol in the future? Do you know how to manage cravings and urges to use?

Chuck
6:39 am May 3rd, 2012

Hello,

I had a major automobile accident in october and am still dealing with residual pain from a severe ankle injury. I have been prescribed everything from percocet and daladid to ibuprofen and norce over the last 6 months. Opiates have had the most success in pain control, however, I refuse to become dependent upon a strong narcotic and have transitioned to high dosage ibuprofen over the last month. The pain relief from ibuprofen was proven to be minimal in my case, so I have been transitioned to 50mg ultram. Is this a drug I will be forced to take on a daily basis to avoid withdrawals, and how high is the addiction rate. I have unintentionally withdrawn cold turkey from opiates in the past (not realizing I was physically addicted, as I have have no background in drug physiology) and would rather be stuck with limited mobility than endure that again.

12:29 pm May 9th, 2012

Hi Chuck. I am truly sorry to hear about your lasting pain from the automobile accident. Will physiotherapy, acupuncture, or other methods help?

To answer your question: Yes. If you take Ultram daily, over time you will need to continue to take it to avoid withdrawal.

In terms of dependence on tramadol, your body will necessarily develop the characteristics of tolerance (needing more tramadol to achieve similar pain relief over time) and withdrawal (symptoms when you cut back on dosage or eliminate tramadol totally) when you use tramadol. However, this is not addiction. Addiction is characterized by compulsive need and use of a drug despite negative life consequences. And we addicts use drugs to numb emotional or psychological difficulties or trauma in life.
As long as you are taking UItram as prescribed, you should not experience this type of addiction. Instead, physical dependence will be a characteristic feature of the medication in the long term.

Chuck
3:37 am May 10th, 2012

I am currently undergoing physical therapy. It seems to be helping with ankle function, however, does nothing for the pain. Tramadol is a very strange drug. I have been taking it for just over a week now, and can compare it to nothing else. It has minimal effect on pain control, yet is very helpful with my sleeping? I dont feel the same euphoria as an opiate, but there is definetly something there when I take this medication. I am discontinuing this drug and am going to attempt to control my pain in some other manner, as this drug has not been very helpful. Any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks

1:04 pm May 10th, 2012

Hi Chuck. I know that my father has experienced relief from an ankle injury using Percocet. His pain is also chronic, and he has been using Percocet for 35+ years. Are you looking for an opiate alternative completely, or are you still open to taking opiates or opioids?

Leon
10:18 pm July 30th, 2012

Thanks for sharing everyone i was addicted to percoct for 3 years and been clean for over 2 years through rehab and NA, in case you wondering i stopped after being arrested for forging scripts and the judge ordered Treatment court. But back on track i tried tramodol about ten at a tine when i was using and to me at lease they only masked my withdraw from opiates they dont work as suboxone or methadone and after about 30 min. it was like i never took them, withdraw came right back. In closing, pain pills they are life destroyers unless used responsibley ill never get those years back again!!!!!!!

JB
5:33 pm November 10th, 2012

One of the most important things we leave off these discussion about addiction and in particular amphetamines and opiates is that nearly no one simply takes them to get “high”. Some experiment, and they do seek danger, but the majority of people who become addicted to opiates do so especially because they are treating anxiety or depression – or their impression of such.

Most discover by accident that the opiates – whether it be vicodin (hydrocodone) oxycontin (oxycodone) or whatever – helps their mood. Most don’t feel high, but they feel back to their baseline – which most of us assume is the happy, content, productive me. It may be a false euphoria – meaning we are a little high, but most feel “stable” not high

I HAVE to say here that …I am a physician assistant and I have worked in psych AND I have taken opiates and had my own battle and I feel so strongly that SSRI’s have been shown time and time again not to work in studies – AND anytime a drug company starts selling it to docs and patients by saying you “have to take it for a couple of months for it to take effect” is a lie – this is their gimmick to 1. recoup their money on a product that does not work (2 months of sales is pretty good for a pricey med), and 2. get you taking it for 60 days which has been found to be just about right to create a dependency and reliance (a “habit”) on it. So it’s just a lie)

So the problem is people are treating depression and the like, not pain, though we all know we can all “feel” pain when our body is hungry for opiates – and we also know every addict and seeker will always say pain, even if they take it for the daily anti-depressant effects.

It works wonders for depression and anxiety – tramadol has been studied as an anti-depressant – for a short while – then the baggage comes with opiates and it’s downhill. The tolerance makes us need more and more and the psych effects of ANY anti-depressant/euphoric that helps us starts leading us to believe we should NEVER hav a negative emotion. Take a pill if were sad, take oone if mom died, take one if we have to face a crowd, take one before the big game, take one if were nervous about speaking in public, take one if we have to see the judge….and so on. Somehow this younger generation was given the message were always meant to be skipping and seeing rainbows and sunshine. But we have a gamut of natural emotions, So the opiates start being taken LONG before a real emotion, but in ANTICIPATION of the emotion and off we go. But pain is not the reason – it is psych/emotional factors they take it. The addiction comes after that.

Lily
7:34 am January 10th, 2013

Please no not do this ! All the reviews make it seem like its a weak drug but I did this and it fucked me up more then OxyContton, shrooms, exctasy , and cocaine. Well the come down at least. I’ve never been scared to go to bed till I did this. I’m 5’6 and 120 pounds and I took 3 of them this Christmas Eve and I started to feel the high at around 8 at night , conveniently as I was opening presents at my grandmas, then I go home and I start feeling really funny, like no other high, it’s like you’re functionable but you get like punches in your Bain of your whole body shutting down I’m literally calling my friends and telling them I love them , that’s how I sure I was I wasn’t going to wake up. So I try and go to sleep I lay down around 12 at night and its like my body is so tired but I couldn’t sleep I finally pass out at 2 and then at 4 in the morning i wake up in a panic and my heart is beating so fast like I just went running and I finally fall back asleep and then wake up again at 9 and decide to stay up, and I kid you not I was still just as fucked up as I was when the high started, and I could not be like that around my dad so I take a hour long shower and get out and I feel a little more sober but this time I feel really sick but I shake it off , then I go into my living room to open presence and as I’m opening them I throw up and for the rest of the day I feel like I have the worlds worst hang over on fucking Christmas of course. And till this day I’m having random swings of weird come down effects. I feel like a chunk if my brain is missing. Tone honest I’m all ways the one to encourage any drug but please ignore everyone else and please don’t do it !!

Julie
6:15 pm February 20th, 2013

If some one takes one a day of Tramadol , can you get addited to it ? Thank you .

2:33 pm February 21st, 2013

Hi Julie. Physical dependence on tramadol can occur after daily dosing over a period of a few weeks. But dependence IS NOT the same as addiction. To be addicted to tramadol, signs of psychological dependence also need to be present.

Simon Groves
9:08 am February 22nd, 2013

I’ve been taking 8 Tramadol and 2 Amitriptyline tablets every day for just over a year now. I’ve suffered with Chronic back pain in by lumber spine for about 2 years, which I’ve been told by the Doctor’s is caused by excessive wear and tear, which in turn is causing inflammation of the Facet joints. About 10 days ago I had Denervation done, and hopefully this will help..! At the moment my pain has increased, which I’ve been told is normal.
But my concern is when or IF the pain starts to decrease, How do I get off the painkillers as soon as possible, but safely as possible? Also is it possible that taking all these tables for so long could cause me any other long term problems? as I have suffered with a lot of side effects with these tablets and still do.

bas
3:41 pm March 6th, 2013

I only use Tramadol when I have severe pain and the only thing I notice is that I get more emotional and my feeling of time dissapears, however this can also be the fever and the extreme tiredness I have prior to usage

Samantha P
3:52 am March 18th, 2013

Hello,
I take one 50 mg tramadol a day, and my doctor said she is no longer going to refill my prescription, am I going to go through withdrawls?

Max
7:46 am July 12th, 2014

Hello,
According to me overdose or excess of anything is harmful in the same way Tramadol is harmful when it is taken in excess. Otherwise, it is the best pain killer as it relieves moderate to severe pain easily and is very affordable also.

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