We have prescribed pills for almost everything today. For mental ailments such as stress or anxiety, we just go to the doctor for Xanax or Valium. If we have a major injury or surgery; we are prescribed Percocet to ease the pains, even if they are not that severe and a Tylenol would be enough. While these prescription drugs are a lifesaver to some to be able to get through daily life., they also have a dark side. Millions of people in the United States suffer from pain that, if not treated, can affect their lives included being able to work. Unfortunately, prescribed painkillers abuse and overdoses have been a continuing growing problem for years.
There have been pain medications that have been made to lessen the chance of dependency and addiction. One such pain medication is called Tramadol. Tramadol is a weaker form of pain medication but is a synthetic opioid just like fentanyl or oxycodone. It comes in two forms of immediate-release and an extended-release version. It was created by doctors to be a safer alternative to the stronger painkillers, but research shows, too, can become dependent on and cause addiction, taken as prescribed or not.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations (SAMHSA), tramadol prescriptions increased 88 percent from 23.3 million in 2008 to 43.8 million in 2013. The estimated number of tramadol-related ED visits involving misuse or abuse increased about 250 percent from 6,255 visits in 2005 to 21,649 in 2011. And this statistic has surlily increased considering the opiate crisis we are in these days.
What Are Tramadol Withdrawal Symptoms?
Just like other opioids such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, Tramadol can cause withdrawal symptoms if your body is chemically dependent on the drug and you suddenly stop taking it. But unlike the stronger opioids, which activate the opioid receptors for a feel-good “high”, it also blocks serotonin, like an antidepressant. So not only are you going to experience opioid withdrawals, which are considered traditional symptoms, you will experience additional withdrawals related to an antidepressant called atypical symptoms.
Traditional Tramadol Withdrawal Symptoms include:
- Gastrointestinal pain
- Muscle aches
- Body pains
Atypical Tramadol Withdrawal Symptoms include:
- Intense paranoia
- High anxiety and panic attacks
- Confusion and disorientation
- Numbness and tingling in the extremities
Some side effects from Tramadol abuse are rare such as seizures but they are possible if taking high doses of Tramadol recreationally. According to the United States National Library of Medicine (NCBI), seizures are a rare side effect of tramadol but are real and possible. Tramadol-related seizures are short, convulsion type seizures that, like other drug-related seizures. These types of seizure effects of tramadol occur at both low and high doses. The seizures that happen when being on a low dose of tramadol is also related to those that have laryngeal or larynx cancer from smoking or drinking too much alcohol.
Risk of Seizures from Tramadol
There are other cases where tramadol has caused seizures with those who’ve had a history of epilepsy and other combination of medicines such as antidepressants and antipsychotic medicines.
There is always a risk when taking medications. They should always be taken as directed by your doctor and make it known of other medications you are taking or other health issues need to be known as well for the less chance of health problems or even possible death.
Treatment for Tramadol Addiction
If you are a loved one has had a difficult time getting off pain medication, Garden State Treatment Center can put you on the right track to recovery. Clients receive both individual and group therapy sessions at Garden State Treatment Center. We’ll go into more detail on the program pages, but these therapies each have the multi-faceted goals of resolving traumatic events, peer support, and long term relapse prevention.
The most important thing you can expect from your Garden State Treatment Center Treatment experience is that you will emerge from it transformed, stable, and ready to begin a lifetime of recovery.