Ultram has been found to be far more addictive and dangerous than previously thought.
Ultram (trade name: tramadol) is an opiate analgesic typically prescribed for pain that is moderate to moderately severe.
When introduced, it was regarded as having a very low potential for addiction; however, its instance of abuse and dependency is on the rise.
Is Ultram Dangerous?
Tramadol was initially hailed as a safer pain treatment option – less potent than more typical opiate painkillers and, as a result, having a lower abuse potential. However, the longer the drug is on the market, the more analysts worry.
Ultram has been abused on such a widespread scale that, in August 2014, the FDA placed tramadol on the controlled substances list as a Schedule IV substance, meaning it does have abuse potential. This was done in an attempt to curb illicit use of the drug, and to make it unlawful if found in possession of it without a prescription. In essence, Ultram has been found to be far more addictive and dangerous than previously thought.
Ultram: Reputation vs. Reality
Despite its reputation for mild effects:
- Ultram users are shown to develop dependency quickly, with 28% of patients prescribed the drug developing an addiction to it.
- It can produce effects similar to prescription oxycodone, especially when misused.
- A whopping 2.6 million people used Ultram for nonmedical purposes in 2011, according to the DEA.
Ultram produces a number of effects in the short term that users may like and become addicted to:
- Pain relief.
It’s important to understand that the effects of Ultram are not all desirable. In fact, Ultram abuse can cause a range of negative side effects that include:
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Shallow breathing.
- Muscle pain and rigidity.
Ultram is also implicated in the development of potentially fatal serotonin syndrome when combined with certain antidepressants (SSRI’s such as fluoxetine), indicated by the following symptoms:
- Rapid heart rate.
- Fluctuating blood pressure.
- Loss of coordination.
- Gastrointestinal upset.
The long-term effects of Ultram, often brought on by abuse and mixing it with other drugs, include:
- Seizures, which can lead to death, even while sleeping.
- Tolerance, as the user needs ever-larger doses to kill pain and feel euphoric.
- Ultram addiction, which indicates continual cravings for the drug and withdrawal symptoms when not using.
Long-term effects of abuse and addiction to Ultram also follow the path of any addiction when it comes to social changes, such as:
- Strained relationships with family and friends.
- Financial hardship.
- Mood changes/suicidal thought.
- Decreased ability to function at work or school.
Tolerance in the body of the Ultram user has been clinically demonstrated. Abusers of the drug, and even regular users, can easily develop a strong desire to use it.
Those who develop Ultram dependence generally fall into three primary categories:
- Patients who have chronic pain.
- Those with a previous history of substance abuse.
- Healthcare professionals with access to the drug
Many of these abusers might have begun to take tramadol quite innocently, needing it long term for legitimate medical reasons, and then built up a tolerance to it. When this happens, users take more and more to get the same effects and often become addicted as a result.
Quotes from Recovering Addicts
My identity shifted when I got into recovery. That’s who I am now, and it actually gives me greater pleasure to have that identity than to be a musician or anything else, because it keeps me in a manageable size.When I’m down on the ground with my disease – which I’m happy to have- It gets me in tune. It gives me a spiritual anchor. Don’t ask me to explain.
Recovery may seem far off to someone in the midst of a struggle with substance abuse, but it is possible and it happens every day. Read memorable quotes about addiction from those in recovery.
Kicking an Ultram addiction can be exceedingly difficult because of the physical and psychological elements of dependence/addiction. Users hoping to be free of dependency on Ultram should seek treatment in a controlled, professional setting with a large support network.
Detox and Withdrawal
Those who come off an Ultram addiction may wrestle with the following signs and symptoms of withdrawal which can include the following:
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Muscle and joint pain.
- Flu-like symptoms, such as nausea and diarrhea.
- Extreme anxiety.
- Panic attacks.
- Numbness and tingling in extremities.
Medically supervised detox can help you endure the the often difficult withdrawal process by managing your withdrawal symptoms and keeping you as comfortable as possible so you don’t turn back to using in order to escape the discomfort.
After detox, you’ll begin the real process of recovery which generally involves rehab and/or outpatient-based care. Each of these options will include some form of individualized and evidence-based therapy. You may also consider aftercare such as admission to a sober living location or facility, to ensure that you have gained the skills and support to continue your recovery after treatment ends.
The road to recovery can be long, but it will be made much easier with the help of a committed team surrounding you or a loved one. If you’re ready to stop suffering, call 1-888-744-0069 to speak with someone who can help you find the care you are looking for.