Tramadol may be less habit-forming than many other opioid drugs, but you can still get addicted.
In fact, tramadol is a Schedule IV drug under the Controlled Substances Act and is considered a medication with a low level of dependence. So, according to this classification, the addictive potential of tramadol is considered to be low, except in cases of misuse or abuse for purposes other than the ones prescribed.
Does this mean you are safe from getting addicted to tramadol? How can you know if you or someone you know is a tramadol addict? We explain more in this article, and welcome your questions in the designated section at the end.
What medicines contain Tramadol?
To begin, it helps to know what you’re looking at in the medicine cabinet. There are many brand names which contain tramadol hydrochloride as their main active ingredient, and are either a combination of this painkiller with other substances, or brand names for the same drug. Tramadol is sold under the following brand names:
What does Tramadol do in the body?
How does Tramadol work? There is still a lack of information about tramadol’s mode of action. But, it is known that compared to other similar opioid drugs tramadol directly changes the way our brain perceives pain.
Pain is a physical manifestation of discomfort which comes as a result of communication between the brain and the body. There are two types of hormones: serotonin and epinephrine which naturally help the body to feel pleasure and relief. Usually, most painkillers are designed to increase the levels of these hormones in the brain in order to help individuals reach feelings of relaxation and overcome the discomfort of pain. Still, experts
How do you get addicted to Tramadol?
Physicians and doctors warn that users should be cautious with tramadol, just as with any other opioid medications. When it is used over a prolonged period (even when used only as directed) tramadol may become habit-forming. Still, if you use Tramadol as directed, you face a lesser risk of developing addiction. However, repeated use leads to physical dependence and an increase in tolerance. Once you develop tolerance to Tramadol, you need higher doses to get the same pain relief as you used to get with lower doses in the beginning.
These outcomes are expected. In fact, your doctor may increase your dosage a few times to help you manage pain. But, ever increasing doses also increase your tolerance and physical dependence to tramadol in a feedback loop. So, keep in mind that the concern about consequences of any further dose increase is real.
Any individual who has become dependent on tramadol to relieve pain or to simply cope with life, may start obtaining tramadol from illicit sources, just to be able to function. This is the road that leads many people to addiction. Others who use tramadol to get high are also risking addiction. Once addiction kicks in, it is common for people to start seeing multiple doctors, committing prescription fraud, and stealing tramadol pills from friends and relatives, and even pharmacies. Still, the main feature of addiction is:
CONTINUED USE OF TRAMADOL despite negative consequences at home, work, or to health.
What increases tramadol addiction risk?
What are the signs and symptoms of Tramadol addiction? Tramadol addiction is recognized by the following physical signs:
- bloodshot eyes
- disinterest in physical appearance
- changes in appetite or sleep patterns
- impaired or unstable coordination
- incoherent or slurred speech
- lack of personal hygiene or grooming
- seizures without a history of epilepsy
- sudden weight loss or weight gain
- unexplained injuries or accidents
Despite these physical signs, tramadol addictive behavior is also recognized by changes in the person’s behavior such as:
- becoming introverted
- mood swings
- social withdrawal
- sudden decrease in motivation
- unexplained change in personality or attitude
How to avoid Tramadol addiction
Tramadol is not considered an ordinary painkiller. Before starting to use it, you should get information from your doctor or a pharmacist about: dosage, duration of treatment, possible side effects, possible food interactions, and proper storage conditions.
In case you will need to take tramadol medically, for a longer period of time and chronically, it can be safely administered under the supervision of medical professionals. This way, doctors lower the chances of you getting high or developing an unhealthy need for the medication. Be sure that you report any feelings of euphoria, cravings, or loss of control over use. This way you and your doctor can monitor, prevent, or immediately identify addiction…should it become a problem.
Questions about Tramadol dependency
Still have questions about tramadol’s addictive potential? Maybe you have an experience to share? If so please share your questions and experiences regarding tramadol addiction in the section below. We try to respond personally and promptly to all legitimate inquiries.