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What Is Tramadol?
An Opioid Painkiller, Tramadol falls into the family that includes Fentanyl and Oxycodone, though is considerably weaker than either. It is ideal for people who are in moderate to moderately severe pain or are recovering from surgery. Unlike most other Opioids, Tramadol is classified as a Schedule IV drug because it is considered to have a significantly lesser possibility for abuse. Tramadol is unique from other Opioids because, while it also binds to Opioid receptors in brain and the central nervous system (CNS) to lower pain, it additionally is known to improve mood.
Tramadol is most commonly prescribed as Conzip or Ultram, though other generic alternatives may be available. Because Tramadol is weaker than other Opioids, people tend to think they can’t develop an addiction. However, Tramadol is still an Opioid and thus addictive. Underestimating the potency of a drug is one of the worst mistakes that can lead to developing a dependency and/or addiction.
Common street names for Tramadol are Trammies, Chill Pills, and Ultras (named after Ultram).
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Effects Of Tramadol Use
Tramadol is a CNS Depressant. This means it slows down lung and heart functions, allowing the user’s body to relax. Also, Tramadol binds to the Opioid receptors in the brain, blocking the signal of pain. What it does is release large amounts of dopamine, a feel-good chemical, in the brain, which produces feelings of euphoria and further inhibits pain.
As with any Narcotic, the use of Tramadol can come with side effects. Someone taking a prescription may experience the following, even if they are taking it responsibly:
- Changes in mood
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Perceived body temperature changes
- Pinpoint pupils
- Muscle weakness
These symptoms are normal and should not be paid much mind unless they become more severe. Someone will know they are abusing or overusing Tramadol if they experience:
- Respiratory depression
- Abnormally low blood pressure
- Slow heart rate
- Clammy skin
- Chest pain
- Erectile dysfunction
- Irregular menstruation
- Dizziness or light-headedness
- Memory loss
- Severe nausea or vomiting
If you notice these symptoms in yourself, or someone close to you, then it’s possible that adverse complications have developed. Get medical attention immediately.
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Whenever a prescription Painkiller is used there is always the chance of dependency and/or addiction, especially when considering the severity and length of the pain. Just because Tramadol is not as strong as others on the market does not mean it should be taken lightly.
Dependence occurs when an individual’s body and mind have become so accustomed to the presence of a drug that they cannot function normally without it. Dependence is characterized by the appearance of withdrawal symptoms if use of the drug is reduced or ceased. Addiction is characterized by a combination of dependence, compulsive drug use despite experiencing negative consequences, and other behaviors such as relationship issues, cravings, and dangerous activities.
Addiction is more likely to result from abuse of a medication but can still happen even if it is taken as prescribed. Sometimes, the user has genetic traits that make them more susceptible to addiction. More times than not, someone is just trying to make their pain go away.
If you believe your regular use of Tramadol has turned into a dependency or an addiction, do not be afraid to come forward. Addiction is something someone can rarely fight on their own. It takes strength, guidance, and a support network to help find the right road to recovery.
Treatment For Tramadol Addiction
In the case of a prescription drug like Tramadol, there are easier ways for treatment than is the case with addictions to illicit substances. For medications patients receive from a doctor, they can be tapered off. There are a few advantages to this, the most notable of which is that the symptoms of withdrawal and pain from detox are greatly reduced. This makes the process easier on the body and gives the person recovering a better chance of success, especially since it keeps the individual in treatment. It also allows the user to restructure normal brain function over time, retaining a greater sense of normalcy.
If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction to Tramadol, or another prescribed Painkiller, there is nothing to be ashamed of. With today’s culture and strength of Painkillers, a dependency can develop in anyone who is taking them. Fear of the truth coming out is no reason to not look for help, so please reach out today. Dedicated treatment providers are waiting to hear from you.
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