Chronic and severe pains are common problems facing a number of people. For many years, there have been a multitude of medications to help relieve this. One of these that is commonly used is tramadol. Unfortunately, this medication has the potential to be abused and cause an addiction. Here is what you need to know about tramadol addiction, including what to watch for and how you can help.
What is Tramadol?
Tramadol is an opiate-like medication known as an opioid. It is used to treat moderate to severe pain and neuralgia. This is accomplished when the medication binds to opioid receptors in the brain, blocking pain signals. The same receptors in the brain that deal with pain, also deal with the brain’s feelings of reward and relaxation. This pleasant feeling creates the “high” that causes many people to become addicted.
Signs of Tramadol Addiction
Since tramadol is a relatively common prescription medication, it can seem difficult to know whether or not someone is abusing the drug or even addicted to it. However, there are several obvious sings to watch for in order to make that determination. These are:
- Taking tramadol without a prescription
- Taking it a way that it is not prescribed
- Using larger or more frequent doses of the drug
- Failing to meet work, school, or social obligations because of tramadol
- Being financially irresponsible by spending too much money on it
- Changing habits and friends to ones that support a drug use lifestyle
- Medical problems related to tramadol use
- Trying to quit without success
All of these signs can indicate an addiction to tramadol and should be something you watch for.
How Tramadol Abuse and Addiction Hurts
There is a false belief that because tramadol is a prescription medication it is always safe. However, there are some very real dangers that go along with tramadol addiction. These include:
- Allergic reactions that can result in death
- Slowed or stopped breathing that can also be fatal
- Deadly overdose
- Serious changes in brain chemistry that can result in permanent damage
- Damage to unborn or breastfeeding children
- Financial and legal problems destroyed personal and professional relationships
- Tramadol psychosis that causes extreme aggression and violence, resulting in harm to the user or others
These dangers show just how destructive a tramadol addiction can be.
How You Can Help
As devastating as a tramadol addiction can be to someone you care about, there are ways that you can help. You should start by talking to them about their drug use and voice your concerns over what it is doing to them and you. Just remember that you need to remain as unemotional as possible and do not place blame. You can also help them to seek professional treatment options, as this treatment is the only proven way to end an addiction.
It is possible for someone you care about to beat a tramadol addiction. Your support and encouragement will make a big difference and make sure that they do not suffer further consequences.