Tramadol Rehab Guide
The Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis in the United States a public health emergency in 2017 due to the number of opioid-related deaths that year, which was greater than 47,000.1 According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of dispensing opioids, like Tramadol, increased between 2006 and 2012, with peak prescription rates reaching 81.3 per 100 people and 255 million prescriptions nationally. Thereafter, rates fell, and in 2019, the US dispensing rate for opioid medications was 46.7 per 100 people and 153 million prescriptions.2
Nevada has had a particularly high number of opioid prescriptions, exceeding the national prescription rate. In the state of Nevada, the rate of prescription for opioids reached 98.9 per 100 people in 2012.3 In 2019, that rate was 49.4 prescriptions per 100 people.4
In the first 3 years after being introduced to the market, rates of Tramadol abuse in the United States were between 1 and 3 cases per 100,000 patients. Despite the introduction of new brands and generic formulations, rates of Tramadol abuse remained consistent until 2004. Furthermore, 95% of Tramadol abuse cases were people with a history of substance abuse. Tramadol has a low potential for abuse when used appropriately.5
A report from the Nevada Medical Center shows that, in 2018, the Nevada state death rate from opioids like Tramadol was 22.7 per 100,000, which was above the national average state death rate of 20.6 per 100,000. Nevada has received a “C” grade for opioid overdose death rates, as they rank 30th in the nation overall; however, in the categories of opioids that encompass most prescription opiates, Nevada is ranked 44th in the U.S.1
It is important to understand the risks associated with taking opioid medications like Tramadol and to understand the signs and symptoms of abuse. With that said, the purpose of this page is to provide education on Tramadol, Tramadol addiction and dependence, and how to access help for Tramadol addiction in Nevada and nationwide.
What is Tramadol?
Controlled substances are drugs that are accepted to provide valid medical treatment but may also be abused. For this reason, they are highly regulated. When first introduced, Tramadol was not considered a controlled substance, but due to subsequent concerns about addiction, it became classified as a controlled substance by the Food and Drug Administration in 2014. 6
A Schedule I drug, such as heroin, is one that is not accepted as a medical treatment and has a high potential for substance abuse. A Schedule II drug, such as OxyContin, is one that is accepted as a medical treatment but also has a high potential for abuse or addiction. By comparison, Tramadol is a Schedule IV drug, meaning that it is accepted as a medical treatment and has a relatively low potential for abuse or addiction.6
Considering the expected benefits and the potential risks of any medication is necessary for understanding if that medication is right for you. Your doctor can help you in making that decision. Tramadol is an opioid analgesic that is designed to act on the central nervous system to relieve moderate to moderately severe acute and chronic pain from ailments such as osteoarthritis and post-surgical pain.5,6,7 Though Tramadol has a low potential for abuse or addiction, it can still happen.
Side Effects of Tramadol
Tramadol is a relatively safe pain medication, but as with any medication, you may experience unwanted side effects in addition to the desired outcome of taking Tramadol.7 The most common physical side effects include nausea, dizziness, and vomiting, especially when first taking the drug.5 You may also experience mental side effects, such as changes in mood. These include: 7
- Discouragement or sadness.
- Irritability or unusual excitement.
- Loss of interest or pleasure.
- Unusual sleepiness.
- Trouble concentrating.
There is little evidence that Tramadol is effective for non-cancer-related chronic pain beyond 3 months. Though therapeutic doses of Tramadol do not cause significant respiratory depression, it is contraindicated in those with respiratory function problems.5Tramadol is a milder form of opiate medication, but it can still become addictive, and it is important to be aware of Tramadol abuse and addiction. 8Rates of Tramadol prescriptions are high in the United States,2 and almost 50% of Nevada residents had a Tramadol prescription in 2019. 4 Tramadol abuse has been prevalent throughout the history and development of the drug, and most instances of abuse cases were among people with a substance abuse history.5
It is important to take Tramadol as prescribed. Intoxication may occur if you take more than the recommended therapeutic dose. Symptoms of Tramadol intoxication include depression of the central nervous system, tachycardia, cardiovascular collapse, seizures, and respiratory depression or arrest. Tramadol fatalities are rare and are associated with overdose of Tramadol or taking Tramadol with other substances, such as alcohol.5
With many medications, long-term use can be habit-forming, which can lead to physical or mental dependence.7 Physical dependence is when you develop a tolerance to a medication, or you experience symptoms of withdrawal when you stop taking the medication. Mental dependence is when you use a substance in response to a feeling or an experience, known as a “trigger.”
Tramadol Addiction Symptoms
Extended use of many pain relievers, including Tramadol, can lead to addiction; however, appropriate use is not likely to cause addiction.7 Addiction is caused by chemical changes in the brain from substance abuse and leads to behavioral changes such as someone acting irrationally if the substance is not in their system and preoccupation with using the substance regardless of harm to themselves.9
You may be addicted to Tramadol if you experience any of the following: 8
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you decrease or stop taking Tramadol
- Compulsive use of Tramadol despite health issues, relationship problems, missing work, or other responsibilities
- Taking Tramadol to experience a euphoric effect
- Using Tramadol for life stress
- Using the drug without a prescription
- Using Tramadol in a way other than prescribed, such as taking higher doses
Tramadol Withdrawal Symptoms
Symptoms of withdrawal may occur if Tramadol is stopped suddenly, but can be avoided by reducing the dose gradually over a period of time. Symptoms of withdrawal may be similar to opioid withdrawal symptoms and 7include: 5
- Gastrointestinal symoptoms.
Talk to your doctor before making any changes in your Tramadol dosing, or if you are experiencing negative physical symptoms as a result of Tramadol use.
Types of Tramadol Rehab
If you recognize that you are experiencing Tramadol dependence or addiction, there are ways to get help. Substance abuse and addiction can affect anyone, regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic status. If you are experiencing challenges with Tramadol abuse or addiction, there are many options for treatment.
If you have developed dependence, it is not advised to stop taking the medication without professional guidance. The most comprehensive treatment to detox from Tramadol is medically assisted detox. Both physical and psychological symptoms of Tramadol addiction can be addressed with medications and monitoring by medical staff. Detox from Tramadol may have serious withdrawal symptoms, and for your safety, detox should be medically monitored.10
Once you have completed detox, inpatient treatment options are available that provide medical and emotional support, while limiting access to addictive substances and other distractions to recovery. Inpatient programs range from 28 days to 6 months. Outpatient addiction treatment is also available and typically involves attending individual or group appointments while living at home. Treatment professionals may facilitate the transition from rehab to living in recovery from addiction.11Physiology, genetics, underlying medical or mental health conditions, history of trauma, abuse, and chronic stress play a role in onset and severity of addiction. 10 Thus, treatment plans for Tramadol addiction or dependence will vary depending on your specific medical history and how long you have been taking Tramadol.
Finding Tramadol Rehab Centers
American Addiction Centers is a leading provider of Tramadol addiction rehabilitation treatment in Nevada and across the nation. American Addiction Centers offers a 90-day inpatient treatment program in addition to other services encompassing all levels of addiction treatment to promote sustained recovery. We are focused on holistic health in recovery, addressing addiction, physical illness, mental illness, and social issues. Our compassionate staff offers personalized treatment plans to maximize your success in recovery. We are also committed to providing the most up-to-date and accurate information about addiction and treatment options to you and your loved one. We operate a confidential addiction hotline available 24/7 to help people on their path to recovery, and a confidential chat is available via our website to answer your questions and guide you as you begin your journey.
We are here to help you or your loved one through the process of recovery from addiction at any stage in the process. If you have any questions about Tramadol addiction or treatment options, or you feel you are ready to begin treatment, call us at 702-800-2682.
- Nevada Medical Center. (2021). Substance abuse.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Opioid overdose.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). S. State opioid dispensing rates, 2012.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). S. State opioid dispensing rates, 2019.
- World Health Organization. (2014).
- Harvard Health Publishing. (2019). Is Tramadol a risky medication?
- Mayo Clinic. (2021). Drugs and supplements: Tramadol (oral route).
- American Addiction Centers. (2020). 7 signs you may be addicted to Tramadol.
- National Insitute on Drug Abuse. (2018). The Science of Drug Use and Addiction: The Basics.
- American Addiction Centers. (2021). Tramadol withdrawal timeline, symptoms and tips.
- American Addiction Centers. (2021). Guide for families part II: Treatment and recovery.
You are not in this alone
Our Admissions Navigators are here to help you take back control of your life.