Scientists are forever looking for new and safe medications to relieve pain. This search has become even more avid as the abuse of opioids has reached epidemic proportions. One drug that is considered the safer pain relieving medication is Tramadol. It has been promoted as a safe medication that is safe as well as less addictive since its introduction. Recently, this medicine is less safe and more addictive. Let’s discuss Tramadol’s history and uses, its health risks, misconceptions, and other available options for ending its use.
What is Tramadol and how it is used?
Tramadol is an opioid-based painkiller medicine that acts on the central nervous system (CNS) to change the perception of pain in the brain. Studies show that tramadol is at least 10% more effective than other opioids in its class because it is man-made, with fewer side effects. The effectiveness of tramadol medication can also be increased, as it can be used in combination with non-opioid pain relievers as well. These combinations include medications like Paracetamol, aspirin, and ibuprofen. Combination treatment can be used in people who have very intense levels of pain. This is one of the main reasons why health experts and patients choose tramadol over other pain relievers.
Misconceptions about Tramadol
The largest misconception about Tramadol is that it is not opioid but an addictive. This is not just true. Tramadol is a combination of synthetic opioid medication and monoamine reuptake inhibitors (MRI). Once it enters the body, the synthetic drug is broken down into an opioid and acts on the opioid centers of the brain to stop pain signals.
Although it’s considered a low potential substance for causing dependence relative to morphine, tramadol dependence can occur. Dependence can develop if the drug is used for a longer period and taken in higher doses than a physician recommends. It’s common to occur tramadol in people with a history of substance abuse.
Signs of Tramadol addiction
The following physical signs are commonly linked with tramadol addiction:
- Sleep problems
- Appetite loss
- Trouble concentrating
- Muscle aches
Some of the most common behavioral signs of tramadol addiction include:
- Compulsive drug-seeking behavior
- An inability to stop using the drug
- Difficulty in daily life performance without the drug
- A loss of interest in hobbies that were once habit
- Neglecting relationships
- Missing important obligations such as work and school
- Lying about drug use
Tramadol Addiction Treatment
People who need to stop taking Tramadol should not stop it suddenly. The withdrawal symptoms like diarrhea, tremors, pain, nausea, sweating and more will occur and may last about a week. If these symptoms are severe, a person may need immediate medical treatment.
Detoxification is the first step in many tramadol addiction treatment programs. A medically-supervised detoxification process can gradually deter tramadol down to avoid the risk of life-threatening complications. Once the substance is flushed away from the body, the second step includes inpatient or outpatient care.
The inpatient program typically involves group sessions, 1-on-1 therapy, holistic therapy, a 12-step program, and more. The substitute for inpatient treatment is outpatient rehab treatment. This type of treatment is suitable for mild tramadol addiction and it also includes group and 1-on-1 therapy sessions on-site a few times per week.
Tramadol is a drug that is neither safe nor non-addictive. People who need to take this medicine for controlling the pain should do so under the supervision of their health experts and should only take it as prescribed. If you or someone you know has developed Tramadol abuse and physical dependence on the drug, seek help immediately to end the abuse.