If you or a loved one take tramadol, you may have heard about tramadol addiction. While very effective for pain, tramadol is a medication with addictive properties, so this is a real concern. Read on to learn more about this drug, how it becomes addictive, and what are the treatment options for tramadol addiction.
What Is Tramadol?
Tramadol is a synthetic opiate similar to morphine in structure and action, with a potency similar to codeine. Rather than being made from natural ingredients, it was created in a laboratory. Tramadol is prescribed for severe pain when other pain medications are inadequate or not well tolerated. It’s usually given for long-term use.
Many people use tramadol for chronic pain after accidents or for the pain associated with conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia. It is not formally indicated for fibromyalgia. When a drug is given outside its approved (studied) indications, this is known as “off-label” use. Tramadol is a Schedule IV Controlled Substance in the United States, meaning it has greater restrictions than other medications.
In the ongoing process that is recovery, there is always the concern of that most-feared occurrence – relapse. Despite complete determination and the best professional treatment, sometimes circumstances or stimuli known as 'addiction triggers' can result in a return to drug or alcohol use and dependency.
This is not a sign of weakness nor does it mean an individual will not eventually achieve abstinence. Recovery is a challenging process, and we are continuously learning as we go through it. There are many different triggers that can create powerful cravings that lead to relapse.
Addiction triggers come from an almost endless number of things, situations or emotions. Generally, they are divided into two types: internal and external.
Many people don’t understand how or why drug addiction happens. Sometimes they think people who use drugs could simply stop using them whenever they wanted. A lot of people assume addicts keep using drugs because they lack the willpower to say no. Or that they don’t have a moral compass guiding them to stop. The truth though, is that drug addiction is a complex issue. Drugs change the brain in a way that makes quitting difficult even though someone has a strong will or good intentions.
One good piece of news for drug addicts who want to quit is that researchers have collected vast amounts of information on how drugs affect the brain. This has allowed them to develop effective treatments that help people recover from their drug addictions and start leading productive lives again.