Tramadol, the danger it brings.

March 17, 2022

What is Tramadol?

Tramadol is a painkiller and functions as an opioid analgesic and releases hormones such as endorphins when consumed. It is also known by its market name “Ultracet” and “UltramER” and when mixed with Acetaminophen, it becomes “Tylenol.” Dependency to the drug is hazardous and can cause lifelong addiction.

Many people around the world have begun to abuse Tramadol in the past several decades. The National UAE reported that Tramadol has emerged as a drug of choice in the country. The news agency also quoted the Director of the National Rehabilitation Centre, mentioning that 240 out of 400 patients in the facility are abusing this drug, representing the majority of patients under his care. 

Also, according to Arab News, Saudi customs apprehended a passenger in 2016 at the Yanbu airport with approximately 7,050 tramadol pills in his possession. This reflects the demand of the said drug in the Middle East, including other parts of the world. The main factor for this is convenience; Tramadol being easily accessible and readily consumable for addicts. This is a prescription drug that is abused widely across a wide range of age categories, throughout the globe. 

Tramadol addiction treatment

There are various levels of addiction severity in relation to Tramadol, and proper detoxification procedures are vital to ensure sustainable recovery. The accessibility and convenience in procuring the drug makes the treatment process more complicated. Stringent monitoring is vital to ensure that the patient undergo physiological detoxification before pursuing treatment to ensure that relapse possibilities are minimized, if not totally eradicated. Solace ensures that patients with Tramadol addiction are properly cleansed with supervision by doctors to avoid complications during treatment. 

Withdrawals are another cause towards relapses and must be clinically dealt with to minimise the nasty effects of the drug. During the point of abuse, the body is overwhelmed by the drug and time is of essence in recovering from the dependency. Solace has adopted the TIP45 procedure approved by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in order to ensure the highest quality methods are utilised for efficient impact. This internationally recognised procedure is aimed to create a more sustainable approach with addiction, ensuring reduced relapses and more positive lifestyle changes. Solace’s detoxification and rehabilitation facilities are approved and authorized by the Ministry of Health and uphold superior standards, and have continuously treated clients from various parts of the world including the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Singapore, Australia, South Africa and Bangladesh. 

Withdrawal symptoms of Tramadol addiction

As an opiate, Tramadol influences the opioid receptors in the brain, reacting on the monoamine reuptake system and the central nervous system. Tramadol does all this to stop pain and increase the feelings of calm and relaxation, over time, becoming an addiction when the addict has lost normal functions as a result of repetitive use. This results in major withdrawals due to the overdosage in the brain. 

The symptoms of withdrawing from Tramadol are unpleasant due to two factors. Firstly, is the cessation of a pleasure giving drug causing unpleasantness to replace the void. The second factor is due to the effects of Tramadol in blocking the natural pleasure neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine will take time to re-function, leaving the patient to feel no pleasure. Therefore, administration of treatment requires professional scrutiny and facilities to support the process. There are two forms of withdrawals related to the aforementioned factors, namely the “Traditional Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome” and “Atypical Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome”. 

The “Atypical Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome” occurs when withdrawals indirectly affect the neurology. It’s not only the lack of stimuli on opioid receptors that gets affected by withdrawals, but also the lack of stimulation in other regions of the brain. Tramadol starves the natural functions of the neurotransmitters. For example, Tramadol withdrawals affect the catecholamine and serotonin receptors, and may result in psychosis amongst patients. 

“Traditional Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome” is closely tied to the removal of opiates as there is no longer any stimulus in the opioid receptors of the brain. These symptoms are further divided into earlier and later withdrawal symptoms.

The earlier withdrawal symptoms occur when the drug leaves the bloodstream. The symptoms of early withdrawals are as follows:

  • Rhinorrhea or Runny Nose
  • Tearing Up
  • Yawning
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia / Trouble Sleeping
  • Hypertension
  • Restlessness
  • Agitation
  • Muscle or Body aches
  • Fast Breathing
  • Fast Heart Rate (Tachycardia)

Next, the later stage of withdrawals occur not long after the early stage. The following symptoms may occur at this phase:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Chills and goosebumps
  • Stomach pain and cramping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pupil dilation
  • Irritability
  • Drug cravings
  • Difficulties concentrating or thinking clearly.
  • Depression
  • Depersonalization – Feelings of sensory and mental detachment. It’s as if you are observing yourself from above or in a dream

Getting rid of Tramadol; detox and treatment

Detoxification is a complex process and the first stage of planned recovery, followed by rehabilitation, with both stages complementing each other. It is vital to get professional assistance when detoxing this drug, requiring medical facilities and close supervision. Observation of withdrawal cycles with timely procedures are essential to ensure the process is subtle and painless. 

Tramadol withdrawal begins as soon as the drug leaves the bloodstream (day 1). Patients can expect general withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, nervousness, tingling and sweating from day 1 to 3. Patients under the Solace treatment program will be continuously monitored to ensure these symptoms are managed well by precisely balancing medication and therapy. 

From days 4 to 7, cravings will persist as will certain physical conditions namely, insomnia, confusion, and blurred vision. As always mentioned, conditions like these can result in various adverse effects  and without proper medical care, addicts will be a danger to themselves and others. Hence, again, the need for proper detoxification administration. 

Subsequently, symptoms and manifestations of depression, anxiety and irrational thinking may happen from day 8 to 14. During this phase, doctors alongside counsellors will be involved in conditioning the patient whilst detoxifying. Thereafter, the patient should seek treatment for sustainable recovery. Detoxification processes should always be followed up with treatment, without rushing the process which could result in relapse. 

The major misconception about addiction treatment is that the detoxification process is sufficient to get rid of the habit. However, the addiction disease is an occurrence that involves the psychological aspect, including the physiology of the patient. This is fundamental to efficient treatment processes, and accepting this would ease the journey. In lieu of that, Solace utilizes a very holistic approach in addressing all forms of addiction, tailoring it to specific needs and conditions of patients. 

Using the “Biopsychosocial-Spiritual” model of treatment, Solace ensures that every patient is treated with utmost care and vigilance. Biologically, Solace addresses the body and health concerns, to ensure efficient physiological function. Psychologically, treatment is administered into the thinking processes that are related to the addiction mechanism called the addictive personality. Next, the community of recovering addicts within the Solace recovery plan supports the healing process which denotes the social aspect of sustainable recovery. Lastly, the element of spirituality is embedded into the treatment program to create a sense of belief and faith directed towards one’s recovery.

The program administered by Solace includes various therapies and modules that supplement the Biopsychosocial-Spiritual model. The Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) addresses problem thinking and core beliefs of the relevant individual. Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) helps addicts to accept themselves, embracing various elements within their respective lives to create a more effective treatment process. Lastly, the Interpersonal Group Therapy (IPGT) integrates the addict into the recovering community, creating a healthy social mechanism for sustainable recovery.

Besides therapies, the Solace treatment facilitation provides various activities. These activities assist the recovering patients to grasp life beyond addiction, exposing them to other sources of ‘fun’ and ‘excitement’. The program structure even includes various outings to scenic and exciting locations for natural stimulation. Aforementioned activities will include sports, fitness, creative arts therapies, alternative therapies, and massages. In summary, the treatment module includes these activities to help in the healing process from addiction. 

Accredited by international bodies and with global networks of support services, Solace treats addictions, which includes detoxification and psychological treatment to ensure sustainable recovery. Employing various treatment methodologies and evidence based models, patients are also provided with holistic support even after treatment. Speak to our professionals for immediate help, save a loved one today.

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