Why Tapering in Medically Supervised Treatment is the Best Way to Detox from Tramadol

Tramadol addiction and withdrawal can happen to anyone. If you or a loved one are struggling with Tramadol dependency, be sure to learn about Tramadol withdrawal symptoms and the best way to detox from tramadol. Quite often the most effective treatment is to receive medically assisted detox at a residential treatment facility. Learn how medically assisted detox can help you, and find medically supervised treatment for tramadol dependency today.

Kevin first started taking Tramadol when his mother became gravely ill. She had terminal lung cancer and had chosen to live the remainder of her days in her own home. Kevin and his mother had always been close, and the emotional toll of losing her a little bit at a time, day by day, was almost too much to bear. One particularly bad day, when he was at his lowest, Kevin took one of his mother’s Tramadols to help ease his own pain. It helped—better than he’d expected. When she finally passed, he was left to cope with life without her—but not without her pills.

Kevin never knew at what point he became dependent on Tramadol, but when he ran out of pills, he got very sick. He shook uncontrollably, couldn’t sleep, and lay awake all night sweating and plagued by panic. His friends and family became worried. Kevin stopped answering texts and quit his job. His best friend, Matt had a feeling Kevin was in trouble, and one day he showed up at Kevin’s house.

“I’m lucky someone noticed,” Kevin said later on. Grief-stricken and no longer able to cope with or without his pills, he agreed to let Matt take him to a residential treatment facility where he could safely detox off of Tramadol.

Tramadol Addiction Can Happen to Anyone


Tramadol addiction it isn’t fair. People become dependent on the drug for a number of reasons, and sometimes the pain of trying to quit is worse than the pain that caused an individual to take the drug to start with. If you’re addicted to Tramadol, know that addiction isn’t a personal failing and can happen to anyone. Recovery starts by treating yourself with compassion and understanding.

Tramadol is an opiate prescribed for around-the-clock pain management, and like many of its kind, can be highly addictive. Abuse starts when someone uses the drug to gain a euphoric high feeling instead of using it as prescribed. Tramadol is different from other opiates because it also blocks neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine from being reabsorbed. Other opiates only activate opioid receptors in the brain. This means that not only do sufferers go through traditional opioid withdrawal syndrome, they also go through atypical opioid withdrawal syndrome that is caused by Tramadol’s SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) effects.

Tramadol withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Watery eyes
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Runny nose
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased heartbeat or blood pressure
  • Profuse sweating
  • Muscle pain and tingling
  • Hallucinations
  • Agitation
  • Psychosis
  • Depression

Generally speaking, opioid withdrawal symptoms start 12 hours after the last dose. Unfortunately, psychological withdrawal symptoms last longer than physical ones. People who have been taking Tramadol over an extended period of time or in higher doses may go through a longer withdrawal period. The method of taking the drug influences the severity of the dependence, too. A person who takes the drug as directed has a lower chance of becoming dependent than people who inject, snort, or smoke it.

The Best Way to Detox From Tramadol


Like other opiates, detoxing from Tramadol can be rough. It’s a shock to the mind and body, an ordeal nobody should have to go through alone. Detox can become more complicated if the sufferer uses additional drugs, is in poor physical health, or has a history of heart problems or mental illness. And if you experience severe dehydration or suicidal thoughts, it’s vital to dial 911 or contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

As detox occurs, sufferers will get increasingly intense cravings for Tramadol. If you experience depression, anxiety or chronic pain, those symptoms will get worse. For many people, the temptation to take the drug is too great and their detox ends in relapse. Serotonin syndrome can also occur when there is too much serotonin in the blood, which requires emergency treatment.

Depending on the dose taken, Tramadol stays in the body from three days to a week. Physiological symptoms will continue to get worse, peaking at about the same time the drug fully leaves the body. But detox is just the start of a life-long recovery process. And physiological symptoms are usually followed by psychological ones, like depression or anxiety. Drug cravings can continue for several months.

The best way for a person to cope with Tramadol withdrawal is through medically supervised treatment that addresses the physical and psychological symptom of withdrawal—and a long-term treatment program that can help keep them off the drug for good. They need a safe place away from all the people and situations that may trigger their Tramadol use. They need access to medical and psychiatric professionals to get them through detox and on the path to emotional and physical wellness. For many, a residential treatment facility can be the best place to meet all of these needs.

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Medically Assisted Detox at a Residential Treatment Facility


At a residential treatment facility, you’ll have access to medical physicians, psychologists, and therapists, 24 hours a day. These facilities recognize that the detox process doesn’t stop when the regular workday ends—you may need help with physical pain or cravings at any time of day or night.

Doctors may be able to prescribe medications that can help you cope with withdrawal symptoms and allow you to detox in greater comfort. They will monitor your progress and adjust any new or old prescriptions in a stable, well-supervised medical environment. They can treat more distressing withdrawal symptoms, such as vomiting or hallucinations, with anti-nausea or antipsychotic medications as well as psychotherapies designed to help you cope with both your withdrawal and your long-term path to recovery.

After physical withdrawal symptoms have cleared up, treatment for psychological dependency will begin. Clients will routinely have many different healing therapies, including one-on-one sessions with a therapist daily and group therapy. Experiential and holistic therapies may include yoga or art or music therapy. Family members can also come in for family therapy, which helps restore family bonds that may have been damaged by addiction. And when you leave residential treatment, you’ll be armed with new coping strategies to help support your recovery long after you leave inpatient treatment. It all adds up to the most comfortable way to detox, and the most comprehensive treatment plan for lasting sobriety.

Find Treatment for Tramadol Dependency Today


For people like Kevin, Tramadol starts as a way to deal with deep emotional pain, like grief. People do whatever they can to cope with their unmet emotional needs and physical pain, and no one can blame you for turning to Tramadol for relief. After all, it can be hard to tell which pain is greater—pain of the body or pain of the soul. In residential treatment, Kevin found real, long-lasting healing for his trauma, sadness, and Tramadol addiction. And, as Kevin himself put it, “That kind of healing is more powerful and more empowering than any pill on Earth.”

If you’re trying to overcome Tramadol dependency, don’t give up. Be kind to yourself and seek medically supervised detox and treatment right away. As time passes, your cravings will decrease and will be nothing like the ones experienced during detox. It takes support from doctors and loved ones, persistence, and a lot of work. But you can be free from the chains of Tramadol dependency. All you need to do to begin is take that first step and make that first call.

Alta Mira offers comprehensive treatment for people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders and process addictions. Contact us to learn more about our renowned programs and how we can help you or your loved one start the journey toward recovery.