Tramadol is a very effective medication used for a wide variety of pain relief applications. It effectively relieves pain through its action upon opioid receptors within the brain. Though it is not technically an opiate or a narcotic it still has many similar effects as well as risks that opiates and narcotics have. One of the biggest risks posed to those taking tramadol is addiction. Tramadol addiction is most common in those who use tramadol recreationally, but it can also occur in those prescribed it for legitimate medical reasons. Tramadol addiction leads to physical dependence which will cause a withdrawal when use of tramadol is terminated.
How does addiction happen?
Tramadol addiction can be either mental or physical. Mental addiction to tramadol is a result of the chemicals it releases within the brain. Tramadol acts upon the opioid receptor site known as the μ-opioid receptor. Through this action the neurotransmitter dopamine is released. Dopamine produces strong feelings of contentment and well being. Tramadol also releases the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine which also add to the effects of pleasure produced by the drug. Those taking tramadol can become addicted to these feelings of well being and pleasure. Mental addiction will eventual lead to a physical addiction where the body becomes dependent upon having tramadol in its system in order to function properly.
Those who are taking tramadol for pain relief may become mentally addicted to the medication due to its effects on pain relief. As tramadol is very effective in relieving pain those taking it for pain may feel as if they cannot handle their pain without tramadol. This sort of addiction can result in those who are prescribed tramadol for pain continuing to use tramadol long after their pain has subsided. Long term continued use of tramadol should be avoided as it often leads to addiction and is guaranteed to lead to physical dependence and a withdrawal once the patient stops taking tramadol.
Tramadol addiction symptoms
Those prescribed tramadol should take care to closely monitor themselves for possible symptoms of addiction. One of the largest indicators of addiction is feeling as if you cannot function properly without taking tramadol. This also may indicate that physical dependence has set in as well as addiction. Another sign of addiction is adverse side effects devolving when a dose of tramadol is missed. Craving tramadol is also a sign that you may addicted to the medication. Another sign to watch for that commonly indicates addiction is having to increase the dose of tramadol. Increased dosage increases the chances of addiction and shortens the amount of time it takes to become physically dependent upon tramadol.
Tramadol addiction treatment
If you feel as if you have become addicted or are in the process of becoming addicted to tramadol a doctor should be seen immediately. Depending on how severe the psychological addiction to tramadol is a variety of options exist for treatment. For milder cases of addiction a tapering regime will be prescribed as to minimize withdrawal and psychological symptoms. For those with a severe psychological and physical addiction to tramadol it is recommended to go to a rehab center. Rehab centers are designed to help beat addiction and provide the proper equipment and medical staff to help those suffering from tramadol addiction.