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Tramadol Addiction Signs and Symptoms

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Addiction is a serious condition affecting many Americans in many forms. Prescription medication abuse is a growing concern in the drug field and becoming an increasingly greater factor for death. It’s not entirely the amount of the medication taken at one time but the ability to combine multiple prescriptions that has raised concern as the death rate escalates.

The federal government estimates that some 46 million Americans (age 12 and up), or nearly 20 percent of the US population, have abused prescription medication at least once. Yet no one knows how many people feed addictions anonymously through the Internet or other sources. Drug addiction happens from drug overuse that has not been regulated or treated medically.

From 1995 to 2004, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received reports of 766 cases of tramadol abuse. Interestingly, statistics indicate that tramadol is most likely to be abused by people with chronic pain, narcotics abuser and healthcare professionals.

Overuse Concern of Tramadol

Tramadol tabletsTramadol is a prescription drug, similar to morphine, which helps in the treatment of pain. There are some similarities in structure between tramadol and morphine, though morphine has a much higher addiction profile, and there is particular danger in overusing many forms of the medication because it also contains acetaminophen. Overuse of acetaminophen can quickly damage the liver, which can be accelerated if a person simultaneously consumes alcohol.

Dependency shouldn’t be considered the same as addiction, particularly when patients take the medication exactly as prescribed by doctors.

Many people need to take tramadol on a regular basis in order to control serious pain as might occur from conditions like neuralgia. Regular dosage of this medication can create dependency. If at some point tramadol is no longer needed, doctors and patients can evolve a plan for safely coming off of the medication.

Signs of Tramadol Addiction


Tramadol abuse addiction is very different than dependency. Some of the signs of this would include:

  • Using the medication in a manner not prescribed
  • Taking more of the medication than prescribed
  • Reporting lost medication in order to obtain more
  • Asking for refills long before refills would be due
  • Using several doctors and pharmacies to get more tramadol
  • Stealing the drug or asking others who take the drug for a few pills
  • Thinking about or obsessing over when the next dose can be obtained or taken

Those suffering from tramadol addiction are also likely to experience tramadol withdrawal symptoms if they cannot get the medication. Withdrawal symptoms can range from minor to severe. They could include an increase in pain, sweating, anxiety, tremors, diarrhea, insomnia and hallucinations.

Other commons signs to look for in an addiction are:

  • Secluded behavior and often needing to spend large amounts of time alone
  • Stealing, lying or other dishonest behavior
  • An unexplainable lack of money
  • Changes in social circles, such as abandoning good friends and replacing them with new ones
  • Unexplained changes in mood or behaviors


Tramadol Addiction Treatment

Usually tramadol addiction must be addressed in two ways since people become physically and emotionally dependent on the drug. Of first importance is helping people get through initial withdrawal symptoms, but even when the worst of these are over, many still crave the drug and have used it as a way to cope with most of the problems in their lives.

This means it is helpful for most people to participate in a drug treatment program so that they can learn how to reconstruct their lives without having to use tramadol or any other potentially addictive substance. Tramadol abuse help can take many forms and include regular outpatient meetings with groups like Narcotics Anonymous, or they can be inpatient programs of a certain length where patients work on understanding how to overcome their addictions.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a tramadol addiction, we can help. Please call our toll free number at 760.548.4032. We are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions on tramadol addiction and treatment.