Tramadol is not as strong as heroin, but it does have similar relaxing effects on the body that are just as addictive. Users feel calm, happy and relaxed when taking it, but can then sink into low moods as the drug wears off and withdrawal is felt.

Common signs of Tramadol abuse are:

  • Fluctuating moods and irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Feeling extreme tiredness and fatigue
  • Dizziness/fainting
  • Constipation and digestive issues
  • Lack of appetite
  • Confusion
  • Clammy/sweaty to touch
  • Itchiness
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Fitting

Tramadol is a highly addictive painkiller. If abused, it can be very difficult to break a cycle of addiction.

Warning signs of a Tramadol addiction include:

  • Using Tramadol on a frequent basis
  • Getting admission to a doctor to get them to prescribe more Tramadol
  • Overpowering cravings for Tramadol
  • Taking more Tramadol than prescribed
  • Spending money (that should be used for other costs) on obtaining Tramadol
  • Failing to meet family and professional responsibilities due to Tramadol addiction
  • Disinterest in life, family and work
  • Taking risks that are out of character while under the influence of Tramadol
  • Repeatedly trying to stop taking Tramadol (and then failing)
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when Tramadol isn’t taken

People who abuse Tramadol for long periods of time can become addicted to it, meaning that withdrawal symptoms are experienced when the use of the drug is discontinued. Going ‘cold turkey’ or suddenly stopping the taking of the drug can prove dangerous in this case, due to the chemical changes that have taken place within the brain as a result of the addiction.

Withdrawal symptoms related to Tramadol abuse include:

  • Depression
  • Restlessness and anxiety
  • Muscular cramps and pain
  • Stomach/digestive and bowel issues
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Feeling irritable/mood swings
  • Confusion
  • Fitting/seizures

It is very difficult to come to terms with an addiction – whether it is yourself having problems, a friend or a family member. Detox is often the best way to stop taking Tramadol in a safe manner, without the risk of relapse. When the drug is finally out of your system, the process of stabilisation begins. A detox can take several days in mild cases, or several weeks in extreme cases. Undertaking a detox is a process that a patient must be prepared to commit to. It helps to have a friend or family member who can support you.

Following a detox or course of treatment, other methods of support include:

  • Attending Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings
  • Building a solid support network of family and friends who understand your situation
  • Seeking a fulfilling hobby or other activities to distract from drug use
  • Trying to get frequent sleep and exercise
  • Training your mind to think differently about drug taking
  • Meditation
  • Making plans for the future