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Tramadol is a prescription narcotic-like medication used to relieve moderate to moderately severe pain in adults. It belongs to the group of medications called opioid analgesics. As an opioid analgesic, Tramadol works by binding to the opioid receptors in one’s body, intentionally interfering with the communication of certain neurotransmitters that would otherwise deliver pain messages to one’s brain. The way Tramadol interacts with one’s natural chemicals, in turn, results in diminishing one’s perception of pain. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies Tramadol as a Schedule IV Substance, which are defined as “drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence.” When used exactly as directed, Tramadol can be a highly effective medication, however, when abused can lead to severe adverse consequences.

Side Effects

There are several known side effects of Tramadol that can occur when taken as prescribed. When an individual abuses Tramadol the list of side effects increases and includes more severe effects. Common side effects of Tramadol abuse could include, but are not limited to, any combination of the following examples, as provided by the Mayo Clinic:

  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sweating 
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Irritability
  • Joint pain
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat

Long-term side effects that could occur from Tramadol abuse could include: seizures, adrenal insufficiency, respiratory problems, hallucinations, serotonin syndrome, liver and kidney damage, and more. Every person is different and will respond somewhat uniquely to Tramadol. It is important to note that an individual that habitually abuses Tramadol is at increased risk of overdose.


Any individual in need of treatment for struggling with Tramadol abuse must begin his or her recovery process with the detox phase. Detox is the process that rids one’s body of any abused substances. Because Tramadol works by acting on one’s central nervous system, it is best to undergo detox with the support and supervision of medical professionals. A medically assisted detox program can be helpful in that it will provide twenty-four-hour care, as well as administer medications to help minimize the discomforts of adverse withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, medical supervision can assure one’s safety throughout the duration of his or her detox process. 

Once an individual successfully completes detox, a subsequent substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program is highly recommended. There are countless treatment options available to those in need, with varying specialties, durations, therapeutic offerings, and more. Any individual that has habitually abused Tramadol will have likely developed several unhealthy habits and patterns surrounding his or her active drug use. Substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment programs offer an individual life tools and healthy coping mechanisms to navigate living a sober life. 

For Information and Support 

If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcomed to contact anytime us via email at admissions@hhtxc.com