Between morphine, heroin, and OxyContin, the likes of Ultram and ConZip haven’t gotten much play in the media. These synthetic painkillers contain tramadol and work in many of the same ways as other opioids. They also carry a unique abuse potential. Here’s how tramadol can be addictive.
Tramadol Isn’t a Safe Pain Pill
In the past, researchers believed that tramadol was safer than oxycodone or hydrocodone. They underestimated the abuse potential. All eyes were on the established painkillers that are now getting a lot of bad press. In the process, experts in the field missed the cues that this drug is different – but just as dangerous.
Brain Chemistry Explains How Tramadol Can be Addictive
The typical opioid painkiller can give you a brief euphoric high. You feel good. Then, you feel sleepy and might drift in and out of consciousness. Many people like this combination of sensations.
When understanding how tramadol can be addictive, it’s vital to keep an eye on the feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain. Tramadol increases the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine. In some ways, it’s fair to say that this pain pill mimics some of the effects of an antidepressant. In the process, this analgesic leaves you feeling more energetic rather than tired.
Manufacturers are aware of this side effect. Look closely at the patient insert, and you’ll read that you shouldn’t take this medication if you’re on antidepressant drugs. When people overdo the dosages of tramadol-containing medicines, they can experience euphoric highs. They may also suffer from serotonin syndrome and possibly experience seizure activity.
How to Overcome an Addiction to This Painkiller
Treatment begins with detox. Because of the seizure potential, it’s vital to undergo detoxification under medical monitoring. While there, therapists ensure that the process is pain-free and safe. It may take about a week for you to overcome a physiological dependency on the drug.
Next comes rehab. This step takes a little longer. You work with therapists who customize treatments to meet your needs. A good example is an option for a dual diagnosis treatment. This type of treatment can tackle how Tramadol can be addictive in many ways.
Did you respond very positively to the serotonin increase? It’s now possible that the sudden absence of the drug can cause you to spiral into a depression. You work with experts in the field of addiction treatment who can assist. Treating the possible depression alongside the addiction supports healing.
Additional evidence-based care approaches include:
- Individual therapy that sets the stage for goal-setting and talking through reasons for drug abuse
- Group therapy, which encourages peer interactions with others in similar situations
- Nutrition education that keeps you healthy and helps your body to heal
- Life skills training as a means of readying you for discharge and independent living
- Experiential therapies that include team sports and adventure outings
Now that you know how Tramadol can be addictive, isn’t it time to get help? High-quality opioid or opiate addiction treatment is just a call away. Caring therapists at Melrose Recovery Group will support you at every step of the way. Call 866-271-3438 today.