Does Tramadol get you high?

Can Tramadol cause euphoria? Yes. But it rarely does. In fact, Tramadol is thought to reduce risk of drug addiction to prescription pills. More on how Tramadol works and how it can get you high here.

minute read

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
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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