Physical addiction to Ultram

Physical dependence to Ultram is an expected adaptation mechanism accompanied by physical tolerance and withdrawal syndrome. Learn more about the signs and symptoms of Ultram physical addiction and how to treat it, here.

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Can you get addicted?


Many users think that because Ultram is a relatively low-risk pain killer drug, it is non-addictive. But they are often mistaken. Although the risk of addiction is much lower in comparison to some other pain medications, the truth is that Ultram can be habit forming. Ultram has a structure similar to other opioids such as morphine and codeine, and may lead to psychological and physical dependence.

How can you know if you are physically addicted to Ultram? Are there any signs or symptoms that might signal the occurrence of physical addiction? In this article we review ways to recognize and treat physical addiction to Ultram, after which we welcome your additional questions in the section at the end of the page. Please send us your questions! We try to respond to them personally and promptly.

Physical dependence on Ultram

The main ingredient found in Ultram is tramadol. Physical dependence on Ultram is a state of expected adaptation that occurs in the weeks after regular dosing. Just as with other opioids, dependence can be anticipated, addressed, and treated. It manifests through two main characteristics: physical tolerance and withdrawal syndrome.

  1. Tolerance means that drug efficiency slowly starts to go down after a period of chronic and repetitive use. In other words, you may not be able to relieve the pain with the same dose of Ultram as easily as you did in the beginning. So often, doctors increase dose amounts or frequency. This condition is usual in most of the cases and these Ultram users do not necessarily have to be addicted to experience drug tolerance.
  2. Symptoms of Ultram withdrawal can be produced by abrupt cessation or rapid dose reduction. In other words, after a period of taking Ultram, your body becomes accustomed to the presence of the medication and learns how to normally function with Ultram.

However, drug dependence IS NOT THE SAME as drug addiction.

Dependence is different than addiction

But what exactly is the difference between being physically dependent on Ultram and being addicted to it?

Ultram addiction is different mainly in that dependence comes from a psychological need for the drug. Addiction is considered a primary, chronic, neurobiologic disease. Addiction is characterized by the compulsive need for a drug. It happens over time with habitual use… and may or may not be accompanied by physical dependence. On the other hand, physical dependence is an expected and natural adaptation mechanism.

How can you know if you’re addicted, or not?

Basically, you go through withdrawal and see if compulsion to use continues to exist, or not. Addicts will continue to use Ultram. People who are experiencing dependence will have no craving or compulsion for drug use.

To clarify, addiction is characterized by behaviors that include one or more of the following:

  • compulsive use of Ultram
  • continued use of Ultram despite harm
  • cravings
  • impaired control over Ultram use
  • increase in Ultram doses without consultation with doctor
  • using multiple sources (often illegal) to get Ultram

NOTE: Addiction has psychological roots whereas dependence is more physically associated. Dependence is an unavoidable consequence of opioid therapy.

Physical signs of abusing Ultram

The misbelief that Ultram can’t cause addiction may lead some people to become addicted without even realizing it. Recognizing the signs of Ultram abuse on time can prevent an addiction from developing. So, watch out for the following physical signs of Ultram abuse:

  • changes in appetite
  • constipation
  • constricted pupils
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • impaired coordination
  • lightheadedness or dizziness
  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • seizures
  • slurred speech
  • vomiting

You can also recognize and Ultram addict by the changes in his/her behaviour, which may include:

  • criminal behavior
  • decreased motivation
  • doctor shopping
  • frequent involvement in arguments, fights, accidents, or illegal activities
  • loss of interest in extracurricular activities, hobbies, sports or exercise
  • lowered performance at work or school
  • spending increasing amounts of time alone
  • sudden change in relationships, friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies
  • sudden mood swings
  • unexplained change in personality or attitude
  • unusual or unexplained need for money

Treating physical symptoms of dependence on Ultram

Physical dependence on Ultram is usually managed by a slow dose reduction. The rate at which Ultram doses are reduces depends on the physical and mental health, usual dose, and how long has the individual been taking Ultram. Always seek medical advice from a prescribing physician before attempting withdrawal or tapering from any tramadol product. Tramadol withdrawal can provoke unexpected and atypical withdrawal symptoms, such as hallucinations, paranoia, extreme anxiety, panic attacks, or confusion. Detox from Ultram can also result in unusual sensory experiences such as numbness and tingling in one or more extremities.

Doctors suggest that the best ways to treat symptoms of physical dependence to Ultram is by visiting a detox clinic. Supervised medical detox, along with psychological support can help you successfully overcome your physical dependence. Treatment for physical.

Physically addicted to Ultram questions

In case you still have any further questions or doubts about being physically “addicted” to Ultram please feel free ask. We will make sure to respond personally as soon as possible, or refer you to someone who can help.

Reference Sources: NCBI: Physical dependence on Ultram (tramadol hydrochloride): both opioid-like and atypical withdrawal symptoms occur
WISC: Addiction vs. Tolerance & Physical Dependence
NCBI: Physical dependence on Ultram (tramadol hydrochloride): both opioid-like and atypical withdrawal symptoms occur
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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