There are a number of prescription pain medications available in the market today and one of the most prominent ones is Tramadol. Among the many narcotics and opioids, Tramadol is more commonly prescribed as the drug is very effective and also well tolerated among patients of all age groups. The drug is an opioid that produces narcotic-like effects but is relatively safe to use. One may use this drug for both long-term and short-term management of pain depending on the severity of the illness or injury. On the question of whether it is addictive or not, getting to know a little more about the drug will help understand this problem better.
A brief look into Tramadol
Tramadol is a centrally acting analgesic and the pain relieving effects are not felt in just one part of the body but the whole. The drug is available in different forms like compressed tablets, extended-release capsules, and rectal suppository. The drug may also be injected into the muscles or through IV. The efficacy of the drug is compared to that of morphine and hydrocodone, though it is comparatively safer to use. Oral administration is the most effective way of taking Tramadol. Because it is not actually a narcotic, it does not fall under the radar of the DEA.
When does Tramadol become addictive?
Tramadol is suited for long-term management of pain. However, tolerance can develop at about six months of drug use and the effects start to taper off. This is a dangerous zone to be in as even the drug is not a narcotic there are high chances for the user to increase the dosage without consulting with the doctor or try other substances to get relief from the pain. When the drug no longer works as it used to, it is time to visit the doctor to get alternative pain remedies but not every person does this.
Tramadol may be a non-narcotic but it is not completely a non-addictive drug. The point is that it has a comparatively lower risk of addiction when pitted against other painkillers. Any drug can be abused in some or the other. The issue with this drug, however, is that the longer the drug is consumed the greater the risk of addiction. With reduced effectiveness over time, most patients who have a preference for Tramadol feel that changing the medication won’t be of any use for them. They tend to increase the dosage without any control in efforts to feel greater pain relief. This kind of situation leads to the patient seeking out harder substances that produce the desired effects and also paves way for addiction.
Other reasons for Tramadol addiction
Recreational use of Tramadol is one of the major factors that can lead to addiction. People who take the pills recreationally tend to crush and snort the medication, or even inject it into the system. Combining Tramadol with substances like alcohol and narcotics produces the same results. The danger lies in the outright abuse of it. Those who are dependent on the drug abuse it for all the wrong reasons are the ones who are prone to addiction of a painkiller that actually has a lower risk of addiction.
What are the ways to prevent the addiction to Tramadol?
The best way to prevent addiction to Tramadol is to recognize the signs right from the early stages. The development of the addiction is a slow process and hence not that easy to identify. Here is a list of possible signs that the person is on the path to becoming addicted to Tramadol. If you or someone you know experiences this then get medical help before the situation goes out of hand.
- Worry over withdrawal symptoms
- Mood swings
- Physical withdrawal symptoms when not on Tramadol
- Taking higher doses without the doctor knowing
- Getting Tramadol prescribed from different doctors
- Anxiety over stopping the drug
- Taking the drug even when friends or family express concern over the drug use
Overuse of Tramadol produces negative effects and any physical symptoms should be a cause for concern.