Tramadol is a prescription medication used to relieve moderate to moderately severe pain. Similar to opioid analgesics, Tramadol works in the brain by changing how it perceives, feels, and responds to pain. This narcotic-like pain reliever is addictive, meaning that even well-intentioned users have an increased risk of becoming dependent on the drug. As such, with frequent and prolonged usage of tramadol, many users begin to develop a tolerance to the drug. This, in turn, causes the user to have to continually take more of the drug in order to achieve a desired effect. Furthermore, because withdrawal from this drug can oftentimes be intense, a person dependent on tramadol may continue to take this drug in order to ward off the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. By avoiding these unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, an addiction to tramadol is further perpetuated, causing the user to become powerless to the effects the drug has on their life and well-being.
In order to break the chains of addiction to tramadol once and for all, it is imperative that one learn how to safely and effectively detox from this prescription medication. Furthermore, by seeking the help of a trained medical professional on the onset of addiction, one has a much greater chance of stopping addiction at its tracks and living sober for the long-run.
Tramadol Abuse & Withdrawal Symptoms
Tramadol is most often abused because it has a calming and euphoric effect on the users. Because tramadol works on the central nervous system by slowing down lung and heart function, people who abuse this drug most often report feeling more relaxed and happy when taking this drug. As a result, this can cause them to take more of the drug in order to feel more elevated states of “bliss”. However, taking more of this drug than prescribed can cause serious, even fatal, side effects such as:
- Respiratory depression
- Abnormally low blood pressure
- Weak muscles
- Slow heart rate
Tramadol can affect each individual differently depending on a number of factors including: the individual’s chemical and genetic makeup, how much of the drug is taken, if the drug is taken with other substances, how long the user has been using the drug, and the user’s mental health. As such, withdrawal symptoms experienced from detoxing off tramadol can uniquely affect an individual depending on those factors and much more.
Despite some variety of withdrawal symptoms experienced, there are some common symptoms many people encounter. These include:
- Runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- Panic, paranoia, or panic attacks
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal cramps
- Confusion or delirium
- Increased blood pressure or heart rate
- Restless leg syndrome
- Difficulty sleeping
- Muscle aches or pains
- Fast breathing
Because this is not an all-inclusive list, it is imperative that if one experiences any of these symptoms or any other abnormal side-effects that they contact their doctor immediately. Furthermore, it is important that one seeks help through a medical professional first before detoxing off tramadol so that these, and any other, withdrawal symptoms can be mitigated or avoided.
Tramadol Withdrawal Timeline
As withdrawal symptoms can vary person-to-person, the withdrawal timeline for each individual may vary, as well. In general, however, tramadol withdrawal symptoms are typically experienced within 12 hours of the last dose. It is likely that tramadol withdrawal peaks within a few days and then tapers off, although the psychological impact of withdrawal may continue significantly longer. A common withdrawal timeline looks something like:
- Days 1-3: Onset of withdrawal that includes feelings of “being on edge”, nervousness, nausea, anxiety, palpitations, insomnia, sweating, and drug cravings
- Days 4-7: A continuation of drug cravings and insomnia, along with disorientation and confusion
- Days 8-14: A lessening of withdrawal symptoms, although psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and irrational thoughts may persist
If tramadol is properly tapered by a medical professional, withdrawal symptoms will typically last for only 5-7 days, however, if improper tapering is used the symptoms may be more intense and last longer. Any symptoms that occur longer than a week are considered post-acute withdrawal symptoms and may include: anxiety, depression, mood-swings, insomnia, irritability, and more. Depending on the severity of addiction, these symptoms can last between 18-24 months or more, with the severity of these symptoms decreasing over time. If withdrawal symptoms are intense, a doctor may prescribe an over-the-counter medication to alleviate the symptoms. As such, seeking help through a trained medical professional is one’s best bet in order to safely and effectively detox while mitigating any potential uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
How to Safely Detox and Withdrawal from Tramadol
Because of its addictive nature, seeking help through a medical professional or an intensive outpatient/inpatient drug rehab center will provide the individual suffering from an addiction from tramadol the safest and most conducive environment to recovery and healing. Drug rehab facilities, in general, are the most beneficial to one seeking long-term recovery because they have procedures in place that target every angle of addiction to ensure optimal recovery and long-term sobriety. Furthermore, attending an inpatient rehab facility provides an individual the opportunity to recover without the distractions and temptations of the outside world. This is one of the best ways that a solid foundation of recovery is built before entering back into the challenges of everyday life. With that being said, both intensive outpatient/inpatient drug rehabs employ therapists and counselors that specialize in addiction so that the root of abusing tramadol in the first place is addressed. By getting to the core of the problem and learning new, healthier ways of dealing with stress or overwhelming emotions, one has a much greater chance of maintaining sobriety in the long-run.
Getting free from the bondage of addiction can set you up for a lifetime of happiness and fulfillment. As such, seeking help for a tramadol addiction now will guarantee you walk on a path of sobriety sooner rather than later, as being in the grips of addiction can waste precious moments of your life that could be used for living out the life you’ve always dreamed of instead.
You deserve this freedom from addiction. Reach out today and get started on your journey to recovery right now.