Tramadol addiction treatment

  • FREE addiction assessment at your nearest Priory hospital.
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Page clinically reviewed by Dee Johnson (Mbacp, MNCS), Addiction Therapist at Priory Hospital Chelmsford in March 2024.

If you take tramadol over a long period of time, your body might become used to having this drug in your system. This can mean that you become dependent on it in order to function in your daily life. You might also experience withdrawal symptoms if you try to stop taking tramadol or are unable to get another prescription for it. Also, over time, you may develop a tolerance to tramadol, meaning you need to take more of the drug in order to feel the effects you crave.

What is tramadol addiction?

Tramadol is a strong prescription painkiller, used to treat moderate to severe pain. You'll usually be prescribed tramadol by a healthcare professional if you’ve suffered an injury or gone through an operation. You may also take tramadol for ongoing pain when less strong, over-the-counter painkillers haven’t been effective.

When you take tramadol the way you’re supposed to, as advised by your doctor or healthcare professional, it can be a very effective pain relieving drug that can significantly improve your quality of life. However, like with some other types of prescription drug, if you take tramadol for a prolonged period of time, or don’t take it in an appropriate way, it’s possible for a tramadol addiction to develop.

If you think you’re struggling with tramadol dependency, it’s important to understand that this condition is entirely treatable and you don’t have to suffer in silence. The most crucial step you can take is to get specialist help for your tramadol addiction, helping you to overcome your dependency and get your life back on track. At Priory, we can help you to do this.

Common signs and symptoms of tramadol addiction

Tramadol addiction, a form of opioid dependency, exhibits a range of symptoms that vary based on individual circumstances, such as dosage and frequency of use. Common indicators of tramadol addiction include:

  • Tolerance Development: Needing higher doses of tramadol to feel the same effects.
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Experiencing physical symptoms like nausea, sweating, tremors, and irritability when tramadol use is reduced or stopped.
  • Increased Use Over Time: Consuming tramadol more frequently or in larger amounts than intended.
  • Intense Cravings: Strong desires or urges to use tramadol.
  • Inability to Function Without Tramadol: Feeling unable to manage daily tasks or responsibilities without the drug.
  • Continued Use Despite Negative Consequences: Persisting with tramadol use even after experiencing harmful effects on mental and emotional health.
  • Doctor Shopping: Visiting multiple doctors to obtain more tramadol prescriptions.
  • Prescription Mismanagement: Frequently reporting lost prescriptions or taking tramadol more rapidly than prescribed.
  • Forging and Stealing Prescriptions: Engaging in illegal activities to acquire more tramadol.
  • Online Purchases: Buying tramadol over the internet, often without medical oversight.
  • Impact on Personal, Social, and Work Life: Tramadol use affecting relationships, social interactions, and job performance.

Free addiction assessment

We recognise that reaching out for help can be daunting. That’s why we offer a free assessment with a Priory expert at your nearest Priory hospital if you are struggling with the symptoms of addiction. Call our dedicated team today to arrange a free, confidential assessment.

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What are the effects of tramadol?

Additionally, people often find that taking tramadol causes them to feel other effects as well as its pain relieving properties. For example, it can make you feel pleasure, euphoria and relaxation – effects which some people can find to be very addictive. This can lead you to want to take tramadol over and over again, even when your pain has subsided, until you eventually develop a harmful addiction to this prescription drug.

Without professional help, tramadol addiction can get worse over time and can lead to a number of long-term problems. These include:

  • Ongoing pain
  • Damage to internal organs such as your kidneys or liver
  • Gastrointestinal and digestive problems
  • Seizures
  • Confusion or delirium
  • Long-term cognitive problems
  • Insomnia and other sleep problems
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Strained or ruined interpersonal relationships
  • Family breakdowns
  • Financial difficulties
  • Job loss and unemployment
  • Legal problems, including arrest and imprisonment

That’s why, if you’re worried that you or someone you know may be struggling with tramadol addiction, it’s so important to reach out for the support you need. Remember, you don’t have to suffer in silence; we can help.

What causes tramadol addiction?

Substance and behavioural addictions develop because of a mental process known as ‘positive reinforcement’. This process helps a destructive pattern of behaviour to form by offering a reward for that behaviour. In the context of tramadol, this drug causes people to feel relaxed and euphoric, which can be seen as being a ‘positive’ outcome for many people. This can then lead them to want to take tramadol over and over again to keep achieving these effects, which is what causes an addiction.

As well as the process of positive reinforcement, research suggests that addictions are also linked to other factors, including genetic and environmental influences.

  • Genetics – if you have a close family member, such as a parent or sibling, who struggles with substance misuse issues, this can mean you’re more likely to struggle yourself at some point. This could be because of genes, or could be because you’ve been exposed to drug misuse from a young age which has made these behaviours seem normal to you
  • Environment – going through traumatic or stressful life events, such as suffering a bereavement, may lead you down the path of misusing drugs such as tramadol. Also, if you spend time with other people who abuse alcohol or drugs, this may increase the chances of you also misusing substances such as tramadol

Also, some research shows you may be more susceptible to addiction if you already struggle with a mental health condition such as anxiety, depression or stress. This is because people with these conditions may try to self-medicate with tramadol to try and lessen or mask their mental health symptoms. However, it’s likely that this will only have a negative impact on you over time.

Tramadol addiction treatment

Our addiction rehab experts at Priory understand that tramadol addiction is a serious condition and it can have a negative impact on lots of different areas of your life, affecting you mentally, physically, socially and professionally.

Without prescription drug addiction treatment, your tramadol addiction may get gradually worse and can even lead to you developing other addictions and compulsive behaviours including other drug addictions, alcohol addiction, and behaviours such as gambling and compulsive internet use. This is why it’s so important to get support for your tramadol misuse.

You really don’t have to struggle on your own with tramadol addiction. Our specialist addiction rehab centres and expert addiction treatment teams, consisting of psychiatrists, psychologists and counsellors, can help you to address your issues and take steps towards the drug-free life you deserve. In addition, our nationwide network of private UK hospitals and wellbeing centres mean you can access support in a location that’s near you.

It’s never too late to seek help; we can help you to regain control of your life. Contact Priory today to find out how we can help you every step of the way towards a positive way of life.

What happens during tramadol addiction rehab at Priory?

Tramadol rehab at Priory usually takes place as part of our 28-day addiction treatment programme. During this, you will stay at one of our hospital sites on a residential basis, where you’ll receive expert addiction treatment and help. While 28 days is the recommended treatment time for addictions, we can also consider flexible treatment lengths depending on your needs and individual circumstances.

The first step in your addiction treatment journey may be for you to have a medically assisted withdrawal detoxification process. This is the process by which all traces of tramadol are removed from your body in a carefully controlled environment, while managing any withdrawal symptoms you may get.

Following detox, you’ll then be ready to join our specialist individual and group therapy sessions, where we will help you to:

  • Explore the causes and triggers for your tramadol misuse
  • Learn healthy coping strategies for the future
  • Take steps towards recovery and wellbeing

Our leading 28-day tramadol Addiction Treatment Programme consists of:

  • Free, no obligation addiction assessment, allowing you to talk about your addiction in a discreet and confidential environment, learn about our treatment options and start your journey towards rehabilitation and recovery - book your appointment today. Some of our Priory sites require that you receive a consultant assessment prior to your initial addiction assessment
  • Medically assisted withdrawal detox for your tramadol addiction, if this is needed. The purpose of this is to rid your body of all traces of tramadol, while minimising withdrawal symptoms
  • Individual 1:1 therapy and structured group therapy programmes
  • Family and couples therapy programmes
  • Access to both on and off-site 12-Step support groups, individually tailored to your unique addiction
  • Free aftercare for 12 months following treatment (aftercare is provided for life following treatment at Priory Hospital Roehampton)
  • Free family support for 12 months following treatment (family support is provided for life following treatment at Priory Hospital Roehampton)

As well as providing residential addiction help, we can also offer outpatient and day care tramadol addiction treatment at Priory. Day care and outpatient treatment can be used as an entry-point to addiction rehab, or they can be used as a step-down if you’ve already gone through a residential programme. The type of treatment you receive depends on the level of support you need for your tramadol dependency. However, if a detox is needed, this will need to happen on an inpatient basis.

For more detailed information on our expert tramadol Addiction Treatment Programme, as well as the different types of addiction therapy we can offer, please visit our approach to addiction treatment page.

Contact us to make an enquiry or for more information

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