- Can Tramadol Abuse and Addiction Be Treated?
- Do I Need Addiction Treatment?
- Types of Treatment
- Dual Diagnosis Treatment: What to Expect
- How to Choose the Best Treatment for Tramadol Addiction
What Is Tramadol Addiction?Tramadol (Ultram, Ultracet) is prescribed for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. Tramadol’s risk for addiction has been assessed in multiple populations.
In July 2014 The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) scheduled tramadol as a Schedule IV opioid analgesic, thereby implying its high abuse potential.
Can Tramadol Abuse and Addiction Be Treated?
Addiction affects not only the individual but the family and the community’s health and safety.
In 2002, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) defined addiction as a chronic relapsing disease characterized by compulsive drug-seeking and abuse, and by long-lasting chemical changes in the brain.
It involves environmental and psychosocial underpinnings which influence its development and progress in the addicted individual. Addiction affects not only the individual but the family and the community’s health and safety as well.
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), recovery from addiction is best achieved through a combination of:
- Mutual support.
- Professional care provided by trained and certified professionals.
Recovery is a process, not an event! Like any chronic illness, recovery from tramadol addiction is a journey involving treatment and lifestyle changes, requiring the attention of licensed, certified professionals.
Treatments which are known to work are family therapy; many who struggle with narcotic abuse or painkiller dependency are parents to underage children who are at a high risk of developmental and behavioral problems – which sometimes continue through adolescence.
- Family therapy aims to limit the detrimental consequences of addiction on family members, while trying to remedy strained relationships so that the overall family dynamic can be one of support, mutual understanding and respect for everyone involved.
Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (CBT) is a psychological therapy with widely-demonstrated effectiveness for treatment of opioid addicts who also present with co-occurring behavioral and/or mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – a common co-occurring disorder in opioid addicts.
Effective treatment will be tailored to the specific needs of these populations.
Do I Need Addiction Treatment?
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) (2013), uses a number of criteria for addiction with tramadol. If you are not sure if you have a problem with tramadol use, check out these symptoms:
- Persistent desire to cut down or regulate the use of tramadol without success.
- Spending lots of time obtaining tramadol (with neglect of friends or social activities that were formerly cherished and enjoyed)
- Daily activities revolve around the drug (family and work may be neglected).
- Tolerance – the need for more of the drug in order to achieve the same effect.
- Withdrawal sickness – with symptoms like anxiety, cramps, nausea, and diarrhea.
- Failure to abstain from use despite the knowledge of harmful effects.
While the degree to which the addiction develops will vary with the amount of the drug used, the extent of abuse and route of administration; studies have shown a pattern of problems specific to tramadol:
- At 300 mg, tramadol has a moderate opioid action, but at doses over 700 mg tramadol can produce seizures. This may be caused by the interaction of opioid effects with the serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibition effect of tramadol, and/or its high potential for serotonin syndrome when taken with medication such as fluoxetine or sertraline (Prozac or Zoloft).
- Symptoms of serotonin syndrome include altered mental state, jerky movements in the extremities, general weakness, and nausea. It requires immediate treatment.
Types of Treatment
Dual Diagnosis Treatment: What to Expect
Dual diagnosis/co-occurring mental disorder involves integrating the concept that many individuals who present for drug treatment are likely to have co-occurring disorders and needs.
This mode of treatment expands the range of issues in a recovery-oriented framework to help all service providers address the multidimensional needs of the addicted person.
Such addiction programs generally have diverse populations in which some of the clients will have no co-occurring disorders, and whose treatment will focus on addiction only. The majority, however, will range from affective disorders such as major depression and generalized anxiety to cognitive deficits and/or history trauma.
Research indicates that the effectiveness of these programs is bolstered by a strengthening of the clinician/client relationship because of the special attention which patients receive.
Call now at
1-888-993-3112Who Answers? and a treatment support specialist will listen to you, answer any questions, and help you find the kind of program for your recovery and good health. Your journey has begun with this step.
Call now at 1-888-993-3112Who Answers? and a treatment support specialist will listen to you, answer any questions, and help you find the kind of program for your recovery and good health. Your journey has begun with this step.
How to Choose the Best Treatment for Tramadol Addiction
There are many considerations that should go into choosing treatment. Make sure to:
- Ensure that the facility accepts your insurance, and see what is covered/not covered. What are their billing practices for co-occurring disorders? Are both covered?
- Check their treatment outcomes and success rates.
- The most effective rehabs will treat co-occurring disorders, providing access to treatment for depression, anxiety, and bipolar illness.
- Meet the staff.
- Get a ‘feel’ for the spirit of a place, and check out their mission statement which defines what they are about.
- Are they inclusive of everyone?
- Find out if it is disability-accessible. Don’t forget to check out the bathrooms!
- Inquire if the rehab provides access to quality therapies and medical treatments, if you suffer from chronic pain.
- Ask whether family therapy is integrated. Your family and significant others are part of your recovery.
- Ensure that the treatment is evidence-based, and grounded in research on addiction treatment.
Remember, recovery is a process. Ask the following questions:
- Does the facility arrange for structured aftercare programs?
- What type of follow up is provided?
- Do they provide transportation if needed?
- Does the treatment center help locate peer recovery support in your community?
- How welcoming is the facility to your spiritual/religious minister, Rabbi, or local Imam?
- American Psychiatric Association, 2013. Diagnostic and Statistical Manul of Mental Disorders. 5th Edition. Washington, DC: Author.
- Brook, J.S., et al., 2008. Chapter 3: Epidemiology of Addiction. In Gallanter, M., and Kleber, H.D., eds. The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment. Fourth Edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.
- Butler, M., et al., 2008. Integration of Mental Health/Substance Abuse and Primary Care. Evid Rep Technol Assess 173:1-362.
- Darnall, B., 2015. Treating Chronic Pain Without Opioids. Providers’ Clinical Support System (PCSS). www.PCSS-O.org.
- Earley, P.H., 2009. Chapter 40: Physician Health Programs and Addiction among Physicians. In Ries, et al., eds. Principles of Addiction Medicine.Fourth Edition. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.
- Hazelden and NAADAC, 2010. IntegratingTreatment for Co-occurring Disorders: An Introduction to What Every Addiction Counselor Needs to Know. Alexandria, VA: NAADAC Knowledge Center.
- Higgins, S.T., and Silverman, K. 2008. Contingency Management. In Ries et al. (previously cited).
- Landry, M.J. 1994. Understanding Drugs of Abuse: The Processes of Addiction, Treatment, and Recovery. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press, Inc.
- Hser, Y-I, and Anglin, M.D., 2005. Chapter 20: Drug Treatment and Aftercare Programs. In Coombs, R.H. ed. Addiction Counseling Review: Preparing for Comprehensive, Certification, and Licensing Examinations. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
- McCarty, D., et al. 2014. Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Programs: Assessing the Evidence. Psychiatr Serv 65(6):718-726.
- Mee-Lee, D, et al., eds.,2013. The ASAM Criteria: Treatment Criteria for Addictive, Substance-Related, and Co-Occurring Conditions. Third Edition. Chevy Chase, MD: American Society of Addiction Medicine, Inc.
- Pihkala, H, and Sandlund, M. 2015. Parenthood and Opioid Dependence. Subst Abuse Rehab 6:33-40.
- SAMHSA, 2006. Substance Abuse: Clinical Issues in Intensive Outpatient Treatment. TIP 47. Rockville, MD: USDHHR.
- Stine, S.M., and Kosten, T.R., 2009. Pharmacologic Interventions for Opioid Dependence. In Ries, et al. (previously cited)
- Storie, M., and Kuehn, D., eds., 2005. Basics of Addictions Counseling: Desk Reference and Study Guide. Alexandria, VA: NAADAC.
- Shakoor, M.T., et al., 2014. Transiet Serotonin Syndrome Caused by Concurrent Use of Tramadol and Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor. Am J Case Rep. 15:562-564.
- Tetrault, J.M., and O’Connor, P.G., 2009. Management of Opioid Intoxication and Withdrawal. In Ries, et al. (previously cited).