How to Help a Tramadol Addict
Help for Tramadol Addiction
If you have been struggling with an addiction to tramadol, or you know someone who has, finding the proper treatment program is essential. Treatment for addiction can restore your quality of life.
Regardless of how long you've taken tramadol, getting the proper treatment can help you stop taking the drug for good. Luckily, it's not difficult to find help for tramadol addiction.
How to Approach a Tramadol Addict
If your loved one needs help with their drug addiction, it can be hard to know how to best support them in their journey to recovery. Even though you didn’t learn how to have these tough conversations in school or work, you can help your loved one move towards treatment by expressing supportive concern.
Don’t worry if you feel unsure about how to start the conversation. Most concerned family members, friends, and coworkers feel nervous about talking to their loved ones about addiction. If you think you would benefit from talking to someone prior to confronting the addicted individual, you can try Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) or you can consider hiring the help of a professional interventionist.
If you bring up incidents related to your loved one’s drug use, be specific and avoid blaming or criticizing. An effective way to communicate is to show how much you care about the person and how you are concerned for important parts of their life such as their health, family, and career.
By having the courage to confront your loved one, you could potentially save their life. Addiction can be extremely isolating, and your loved one may be secretly hoping you that reach out to provide support. It is important to listen to their needs and stand by their side as they decide whether to seek treatment.
Hospital-only care may not be enough for tramadol addicts
Death rates for opioid users who only sought hospital treatment were twice as high as the rates for those who engaged in formal addiction treatment. Having an addiction specialists involved in the recovery process can make a huge difference for a tramadol addict. Addiction treatment programs provide vital psychological care and can help a person recognize their problem, develop skills to resist cravings, and better prepare them for the transition back into day-to-day life.
Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2017). Opioid Abusers at Higher Death Risk When Addiction Specialists Not Part of Care. Medline Plus.
Tramadol Addiction Treatment
Treatment for a tramadol addiction can be on either an inpatient or an outpatient basis. If you or someone you care about is seeking recovery from opioid addiction, deciding what type of treatment you prefer is the first step. Both programs have benefits, but some people need a more structured atmosphere to beat addiction. It's important that you choose the type of program that's right for you.
There are two types of outpatient treatment facilities:
- Daily check-in programs require you to meet with a drug abuse counselor once per day.
- Day programs require you to stay at the facility for up to eight hours every day to attend lectures about addiction and go to group therapy sessions.
Outpatient programs are more flexible. Since you don't live at the rehab center, you have time to work a full-time job and take care of your family responsibilities; however, the risk of relapse may be higher because your environment is not necessarily changing so you may face numerous triggers each day. If you choose to complete an outpatient treatment program, it's important that you have a good support system at home. In addition, since you don't stay at the facility 24 hours per day, your drug abuse counselor might give you random drug tests to ensure you're following the recovery plan.
Inpatient treatment facilities require you to live at the rehab center 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Your days spent at the center revolve around your recovery. You'll attend group and individual therapy sessions, participate in activities that focus on socializing in a drug-free environment and attend educational lectures about addiction and recovery.
Is Tramadol Addictive?
Tramadol (trade name: Ultram) is prescribed by doctors to relieve moderate to moderately severe pain. The medication is considered an opiate agonist, which works by changing the way your brain and nervous system sense pain. It comes in tablet form and an extended release capsule.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, tramadol can be habit-forming if the medication is used in excessive amounts or over an extended period of time. Even people who use tramadol as prescribed by their doctor can become addicted if they take the medication consistently for a long period of time. Tramadol can have numerous detrimental and addictive effects when misused. In fact, when taken in high doses, tramadol can produce effects similar to the stronger opioid drug oxycodone, a widely abused medication.
Emergency room visits due to nonmedical use of tramadol
What Are the Signs of Addiction?
Tramadol users show signs of addiction in every aspect of their lives. Someone developing a dependence on the medication will eventually begin to use compulsively and spend a large portion of the day thinking about obtaining and using the drug. Eventually, as use becomes uncontrollable, someone addicted to tramadol will find it hard to cope with day-to-day life when unable to take it.
Signs of Addiction to Tramadol
- Missing work frequently.
- Developing problems in your relationships with your family or friends.
- Developing a physical tolerance for tramadol/experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using.
- Neglecting your family responsibilities.
- Continuing to take the medication even though it's causing problems in your life.
- Developing financial problems as a result of obtaining the medication.
- Taking other pills or trying other drugs when you don't have access to tramadol.
Am I Addicted to Tramadol?
If you're addicted to tramadol, you probably feel like your body can't get anything done without the medication. It's common for abusers to experience withdrawal symptoms when they don't take tramadol. This is because the body develops a chemical dependency to the drug. It actually needs the drug in order to function properly.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is when a chemical dependency to a drug is combined with an uncontrollable urge to consume the medication.
Quote from a Former Tramadol Abuser
My pain typically would occur over two or three days. I took one or two a day until it eased. But I noticed on the days I took Tramadol I felt more relaxed and coped with life better. Since the doctor had prescribed so many, at least two or three boxes, I started taking one every day.....They had come from a doctor, so I was sure they couldn’t harm me.
- Meyers, R. J., Smith, J. E., & Lash, D. N. (2005). A program for engaging treatment-refusing substance abusers into treatment: CRAFT. International Journal of Behavioral and Consultation Therapy, 1(2). 90-100.