Addiction is an extremely complicated and enigmatic disease that we’ve only just begun to understand. It used to be that society saw addiction as being a conscious choice; addicts were viewed as bad people who were weak-willed and consciously choosing not to control themselves. Nowadays, we know that the brains of those who suffer from addiction have been high-jacked by chemical substances like alcohol, marijuana, heroin, and prescription painkillers. Of course, these are just a few of the substances that continue to pose a threat today, and many of the substances to which millions and millions of Americans are addicted were actually created with the purpose of helping people rather than harming them. This is the case with a substance called tramadol. But what, exactly, is tramadol? What are the effects of this drug? Perhaps most importantly, how can a person who’s addicted to tramadol overcome this disease?
Tramadol is quite an interesting substance, especially when you compare it to other drugs and even other opiates. In fact, there’s been some debate as to whether or not to consider tramadol an opiate at all since its effects are primarily achieved in ways that are different from opiates like morphine, oxycodone, and codeine; however, tramadol is, in fact, used to treat pain, which is surely the characteristic that most closely links it to other painkillers. And like most other opiates, tramadol was created in Germany in the twentieth century. Founded in 1946, Grünenthal GmbH was a German company greatly interested in treating pain. At the time, Germany was trying to be independent from the rest of the world, including when it came to medicine and the treatment of pain. Officials of Grünenthal GmbH had long since noticed that many of the most effective painkillers — specifically the opiate family — were often expensive to produce and cost patients a lot of money, so there was a great need for effective pain medications that were inexpensive or at least less expensive than opiates. In fact, following World War II, there were a number of German soldiers who didn’t have the money to pay for medications to treat the pain they were experiencing from wounds sustained while fighting the war, which added urgency to the need for inexpensive pain medications.
For the most part, researchers with Grünenthal GmbH leased some land on which they could cultivate a variety of herbs. Many of the herbs that the researchers cultivated were ones that were known to have some type of medicinal properties. These herbs were largely what they used when experimenting with new medications and producing new types of treatments. Grünenthal GmbH had its first big break in 1948 when it was able to bring the first penicillin medication to market in Germany, which helped to establish credibility and authority for the young company. The outcome was being able to establish cooperative partnerships with other pharmaceutical companies, which greatly expanded access to resources. In 1962, Grünenthal GmbH develop tramadol, but the company would test and investigate the substance for 15 years before it was ever released to market. It’s trade name was Tramal, released in 1977, and its release completely changed the pharmaceutical world. While other opiates bonded with opioid receptors to achieve their effects, tramadol was different because it exhibited a double mode of action. Of course, tramadol does bond with opioid receptors in much the same way as opiates like morphine and codeine, but tramadol also inhibits the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine. In other words, tramadol is like a hybrid of an opiate painkiller and an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressant. Although these two ‘modes’ would seem to be unrelated, tramadol’s opiate and antidepressant characteristics are actually quite complementary. As well, when paired with acetaminophen, tramadol’s efficacy increases, making it an even more effective pain reliever. But it’s most effective as an opiate due to the fact that, upon being administered, tramadol is metabolized to O-desmethyltramadol, which is a much more potent opiate and lends to the drug’s ability to treat pain. However, one of the factors that further distinguishes tramadol from other opiates — and which makes it quite a lot more dangerous — is the fact that tramadol is only partially reversed by a drug like naloxone, which is administered to reverse an opioid overdose; this indicates that while its opiate-like qualities are an important factor in its effects, its opiate actions are not the sole or main factor.
EFFECTS OF TRAMADOL
Tramadol is much less popular than other opiates, but it has still proven to be prone to abuse. Similar to other opiates, some of tramadol’s main effects include a warm and tingly sensation throughout the body, intense relaxation, drowsiness, reddened or flushed skin, feeling as if one’s limbs have become much heavier, and itchiness. However, there are a number of negative side effects attributed to tramadol, too, including dizziness, difficulty maintaining consciousness, headache, constipation, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, and/or paranoid.
TRAMADOL WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS
When someone who has been taking tramadol consistently over a period of time is unable to obtain or consume tramadol, he or she will experience a number of unpleasant symptoms known as tramadol withdrawal. Some of the most characteristic symptoms of tramadol withdrawal include sweating, intermittent hot flashes and cold chills, headaches, trembling or shaking, shock-like sensations in the brain, insomnia, nightmares, nausea, diarrhea and/or vomiting, anxiety, depression, mood swings, aggressiveness, unusual or racing thoughts, and possibly even hallucinations.
OVERCOMING TRAMADOL ADDICTION
It can be quite scary to be addicted to tramadol, but there are many resources available to help. Typically, tramadol addiction recovery will begin with detox treatment, which will allow a person to overcome physical addiction before beginning the actual treatment phase. In the treatment phase of recovery, the patient will participate in individual psychotherapy, group therapy, relapse prevention education, life skills treatment, and other important components. The idea is to help meet the individual’s unique recovery needs so he or she can achieve long-lasting sobriety.
The staff here is amazing. Caring and attentive. I finally kicked the sticks and couldn’t be happier.
So nice to have Grandma back to her old self. She has struggled with xannies for as long as I can remember. The staff were so attentive and met her where she was, not where they wanted her to be. Thank you Coastal Detox!
I struggled with alcohol addiction for most of my life. After many tries nothing worked.It was my 43rd birthday and I wasn't gonna see 44 if I didn't get help. I called around and found Coastal. So glad I did. I am so grateful for EVERYONE there. This beautiful facility is not just a detox. They actually have programs to help you learn to live a sober life and enjoy being yourself again! Entire staff is awesome! (Ms Diana ❤️ and Mrs Karen ❤️)They really understand how your feeling as most are in recovery also. If your looking for some help please give them a call. I give them 10+stars. Five months sober now!!! Thank you Coastal!!!
The entire staff of Coastal is great, the therapists, the nurses, the techs, everyone. It’s a great environment to begin your recovery in. As an added perk, the food is some of the best you’ll ever have thanks to the chefs.
My experience at coastal detox was very good, the staff there is terrific. They helped me get through the process of detox in a safe and professional manor.
Jodi Silverman Goldberg
It been almost a year!! Thank y’all
This is the top tier Rehab/Detox center in Southeast FL. I’ve heard nothing but good things about them. Their attention to detail is impressive. They specialize in treating alcohol abuse among several other conditions. If you or a loved one are looking for a blueprint on how to sober up…Coastal Detox will lead you there.
My experience with Coastal has been one of empathy, kindness and family. From Admissions to Nurses to techs I have never felt so cared for. Food and drink 24/7. Coastal is a place I went twice. First time 14 days next 6days later for another 11. At 59 and umpteen detoxes Coastal by far is Heaven Sent! As a Nutritionist and Trainer, I'm so happy to be back....the Mary ,who was lost:)
Great place . Helped me so much I am a 64 year old woman and this place got me sober with dignity and kindness. I highly recommend it plus the food is incredible. Rooms are really well laid out. 2 guys to a room . Each bed has its own t.v with head sets so you dont bother your roomate. Take an extra pillow and comfort blanket from home. At least 3 pairs of pj’ s sock and shoes and comfortable clothing fit. You do your own laundry there. I will send you the link to look at. After thinking all morning this is hands down the place for you. Lots of young people and fantastic therapists. For my wonderful son who suffers. From addiction the way I do.
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