Tramadol Addiction

Tramadol is used to diminish pain. It acts as a painkiller for someone dealing with chronic pain. The main reason for its existence is for treating people. It must be taken with the prescription of the doctor, usually every 4 to 6 hours.

Though treating is its prime use, Tramadol is often abused recreationally. It is best to take the drug as specified by your doctor to lower the risk of addiction. Always ask your doctor for information about the risk and effects of Tramadol in your body.

What is Tramadol?

Tramadol is a synthetic opioid painkiller, it works by changing how the brain and nervous system reacts to moderate to severe pain in the body. Tramadol is not recommended for people who suffer from suicidal thoughts or have struggled with addiction in the past. It is an oral medicine and works as an opioid narcotic analgesic.

Some people think that Tramadol is not addictive because it is something that is used to treat people who are in pain, but many people still develop addictions to this drug. People who suffer from severe breathing and stomach problem should also consider taking other pain killers.

People who receive a prescription by the doctor should always discuss problems and side effects associated with the drug to avoid any fatal results.  

How does it work?

It reduces the number of signals sent to pain receptors in the brain. It works as an endorphin that binds the part of the brain that receives a substance. People with conditions, that will be mentioned below, should avoid taking Tramadol. Some of the conditions are as follow.

  • Asthma
  • Stomach Problems
  • Recently used alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, or narcotic medicines
  • If you used an MAO inhibitor for the past 14 days, such inhibitors are isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine.

It is advisable to take pain killers like Tramadol while the pain and symptoms of pain are still starting. Do not wait for the pain to worsen because the drug will not work for you. Doctors can prescribe a drug that will cease the pain if it's a long-acting pain.


During the early stages of Tramadol intake, people experience physiological Tramadol dependency. It is said that even if you follow the prescription of the doctor when taking the drug, a person can still experience some side effects like cravings, an early sign of addiction.

What is Tramadol abuse?

People who abuse the drug will face serious physiological issues. The drug affects the brain which controls everything in the body, abusing Tramadol puts the whole body at risk. 

Listed below are some signs if you have developed an addiction to Tramadol.

Physical dependence

Some people experience physical dependence when they abuse Tramadol, which results in symptoms of withdrawal such as sweating, panic attacks, nausea, muscle spasm, sneezing and runny nose, and uncontrolled shaking and trembling. 

Harmful Side effects

Harmful side effects can be present in people who abuse the intake of Tramadol, such side effects are as follows:

  • Health issues
  • Problems in social health include a relationship with the opposite sex
  • Problems in personal and professional responsibilities
  • Personal hygiene

Is Tramadol dangerous?

The drug can be beneficial to people who are suffering from chronic pain, but it highly dangerous if abused. Below are some of the short and long term effects of abuse.

Short Term Effects

Lack of Pain

If abused often enough, it can diminish or even eliminate the pain signals sent to the brain, which could cause serious issues in the future.

Euphoric Mood

Just like other antidepressant medications, Tramadol increases the level of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, which allows a person to have a joyful feeling. Some people take advantage of this effect and try to use the drug as often as they want.

Reduce the anxiety level

While taking Tramadol, people can experience calmness and relaxation because it affects the areas of the brain which is responsible for these kinds of emotions.

Long Term effects


People who had a history of seizures or epilepsy have a higher risk of seizures while taking Tramadol, especially if a person is taking a higher dosage of the drug.

Respiratory Problem

Tramadol can cause shallow breathing for a person which may cause fainting, dizziness, and confusion.


This symptom usually affects elderly Tramadol users. Tramadol-induced hallucinations are rare for a patient, but it can still occur when triggered by the situation.

Should I stop taking it?

It is known as a Schedule IV by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). It is not advisable to stop immediately if you are addicted to Tramadol because of the withdrawal side effects. 

You have to consult the doctor before you decide to stop, if not, you will experience withdrawal. There are two types of Tramadol withdrawal, traditional opioid withdrawal syndrome, and atypical opioid withdrawal syndrome.

Opioid withdrawal has two phases; early and late withdrawal. Early withdrawal occurs when the drug leaves the bloodstream while late withdrawal occurs even after initial withdrawal.

Early Withdrawal

  • Sweating
  • Muscle pain
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Hypertension

Late Withdrawal

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Dilation of Pupil
  • Drug Cravings
  • Difficulties in focusing and thinking clearly
  • Depression

Who abuses?

Elderly people are often seen with higher percentages of Tramadol abuse because they are often the only type of demographics that are prescribed this medication. However, anyone who gets a prescription of Tramadol gets an opportunity to abuse it.

Quitting is Possible

Tramadol addiction is very rare, but can easily happen to anyone prescribed the medication. Before you quit, make sure you research the effects of your transition out of addiction and contact your nearest center so you can be fully informed about treatment options. By doing so, you can limit your chances of experiencing severe withdrawals. It is advisable to communicate with the people who already know what you have to do and how to handle your situation, and also talk to your doctor immediately if you experience addiction of some sort.