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*As required by law, all communications with Resurgence Behavioral Health are HIPAA Compliant and 100% ConfidentialTramadol is a synthetic opioid.

Typically used to treat chronic pain, it binds to MU opioids receptors in the brain, inhibits the reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin.

Essentially, this mimics the effects of natural pain relief in the body.

In the last few years, tramadol has become a more likely abused drug.

Although technically it has a lower potential of abuse when compared to other opioids, tramadol is classified as a Schedule IV Controlled Substance.

Because this implies tramadol has a “low potential for abuse in relation to substances in Schedule III, II and I, it is often prescribed more often than other drugs.

This is dangerous because tramadol can cause addiction similar to other opioids.

When developing a dependence on this drug, it can be very difficult to stop using, primarily due to unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Even if you are using tramadol as prescribed, you can still eventually become addicted and suffer from both dependence and withdrawal.

Tramadol Effects

Tramadol has effects on behavioral, psychological, and physical.

These include:

  • Sense of well-being
  • Relaxation
  • Euphoria
  • Pain relief
  • Constipation
  • Slowed respiration
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Itching
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Confusion

What is Tramadol Withdrawal?

Withdrawal occurs when you are chemically addicted to a drug. This typically occurs from taking tramadol on a continuous basis. Even if you have only taken tramadol for a few weeks, you can still develop a tolerance. When this occurs, it means that you will need to take more of the drug in order to feel the same effects. The response is that the body and brain become dependant, therefore withdrawal symptoms occur. They should only last for 5-7 days.

Lack of Self Regulation

When your brain is used to having tramadol to exist it becomes difficult for the brain to self-regulate. When you stop taking this drug your brain goes into overtime, which leads to a variation of withdrawal symptoms.

Tapering off Tramadol

When speaking to experts about tramadol addiction, it is recommended never to stop “cold turkey”. Instead,  you must taper off slowly in order to ease withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms may feel similar to the flu, but can also include anxiety, panic attacks, and hallucinations.

Tramadol vs Other Opioids

Although tramadol is a synthetic opioid, tramadol relieves pain differently. For example, most opioids, such as hydrocodone, relieves pain by two mechanisms.

  1. Stimulating opioids receptors in the brain
  2. Inhibiting the reuptake of two neurotransmitters, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

Because of this, typically there are two forms of withdrawal that may be experienced. The first is traditional opioid withdrawal and the second is atypical opioid withdrawal syndrome. This is unique as it does not occur in other opioids. It also means that when going through a tramadol withdrawal, you may feel two sets of symptoms.

Traditional Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Nausea
  • Gastrointestinal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle aches
  • Body pains

Atypical Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome Symptoms

  • Hallucinations
  • Intense paranoia
  • High anxiety and panic attacks
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Depersonalization
  • Unusual sensory experiences

Although atypical symptoms are typically not life-threatening, they are feelings that may push you to relapse. These symptoms also put you at risk of acting on bad feelings. This is why it is highly recommended to go through a medical detox at a medically-supervised detox center.

Symptoms of Tramadol Withdrawal

Tramadol withdrawal symptoms vary from individual to individual. It is best to taper off the drug in order to minimize withdrawal symptoms. Common tramadol withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Cravings
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Restlessness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sweating
  • Muscle pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Tingling sensations
  • Diarrhea
  • Nightmares
  • Dizziness
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Tremors

Tramadol Withdrawal Timeline

Withdrawal symptoms can begin as quickly as only a few hours of not having tramadol in your body. These symptoms can last up to several weeks. Certain factors can influence the duration if these symptoms, such as how long you have used this drug, how often you have taken the drug, as well as the amount of the drug you typically use.

1-3 Days

When the withdrawal symptoms begin, you may notice feelings of pins and needles all over the body, as well as sweating, nervousness, nausea, anxiety, palpitations, insomnia, and drug cravings.

4-7 Days

Cravings for the drug are common, along with insomnia, disorientation, and confusion.

8-14 Days

At this point, symptoms should be reduced and become mild. You may feel symptoms of depression, anxiety, and irrational thoughts.

What is a Tramadol Detox?

Tramadol detox symptoms can be mild, and range up to severe. It really depends on the person, as well as if any other administered drugs or medications are present. Detox is typically done under the supervision of a doctor, because the symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable, both physically and mentally.

Tapering your dosage is a common practice in the withdrawal process, but this should also be done with a doctor, over multiple weeks. Symptoms that last longer than two weeks are considered PAWS, known as post-acute withdrawal symptoms. PAWS include anxiety, depression, mood swings, insomnia, decreased appetite, irritability, and poor concentration. In severe cases PAWS can last between 18-24 months but decrease in severity over time.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

One common method of aiding in withdrawal is through medication-assisted treatment, known as MAT. Typically this is when drugs are given to help manage the withdrawal symptoms. This might include Metoclopramide for nausea and vomiting, Loperamide for diarrhea, Ibuprofen or acetaminophen for muscle aches, and Clonidine for anxiety and sweating.

In other cases, Valium may be given for anxiety and insomnia, and Buprenorphine for relieving withdrawal symptoms. In severe cases, Suboxone, which is a combination of Buprenorphine and Naloxone, may be given for relieving withdrawal symptoms. They are also given to eliminate the euphoric effects of opioids.

Tramadol Addiction Treatment

Treatment for tramadol addiction is necessary in many cases. Most often when you are looking through the 11 criteria for determining the signs of addiction, if even two apply to you, then you may need to get help.

Your treatment will depend on the severity of your addiction. Most often tramadol users should go through the process of detox, inpatient rehab, outpatient treatment, and finally ongoing therapy and support.

Inpatient Programs

For anyone with a severe addiction, an inpatient program will benefit you the most. These programs involve going to a treatment center and living there. You will benefit from different therapies, as well as a medical treatment around the clock. This is the most intense form of treatment.

Outpatient Programs

Outpatient programs are a bit different, as you will only be required to come for a few hours per day and three to four days per week. In these programs, you also are provided various therapies, support groups, and treatment options. These programs are important for people who do not want to give up their daily lives in order to go to treatment.

Get Help Today

If you or someone you love is struggling with a dependence or addiction to tramadol, you are not alone.

At Resurgence Behavioral Health we offer many treatment programs.

We not only free insurance verification for treatment, but we also house an incredible staff that is ready to meet your needs.

Contact us to learn more about our programs and get started today.

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