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  • My new demon....Tramadol



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    Old 03-24-2005, 11:19 AM   #1
    JoeNJ
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    My new demon....Tramadol

    Hi everyone, I am new here so here is a little history. Had a bad hydro addiction about 5 years ago and basically have been clean. Last 2 years I have been feeling depressed and really no energy. The last 4 months I have been taking tramadol. I normally take 3 a day. Being very careful not to take more than 3 because I know this habit can grow quickly. For the last 4 months my depression is gone and I seen to have much more energy. I am not getting any sort of high off them.

    I really want to stop but don't want the depression or the low to no energy to return. I'm sure I am addicated so there will be some withdrawal to go through. It's a hard decision to make. Just like when I had the hydro addiction I would find an excuse every day not to stop or say I will stop after this weekend. I think a lot of you know where I am coming from with this.

    My soul is telling me to bail out now while I can. We all know it's not easy to control this. Most of all I really would have to want to quit. One last thing, I am not getting them from my doc so he knows nothing. These are so easy and cheap to get off the internet. Does anyone know if tramadol shows up in a drug test?

    Thanks for listening......Joe NJ

     
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    Old 03-24-2005, 12:58 PM   #2
    bewildered42
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    Re: My new demon....Tramadol

    Hi Joe,

    I've read on this forum that tramadol does not show up on a drug test. You say you are taking just 3 a day...did you know that tramadol has some SSRI properties to it? That is why your depression is gone. I know some people who take tramadol for just depression..not pain. I would never try to tell someone they shouldn't worry about their drug use..it's such a personal thing. But in this instance I see it as a trade off. You are in essence taking an extremely small dose that is well under the daily allowed amount. You've eliminated your depression. You know the signs of escalating addictive behaviour and so are being prudent. You might very well go through withdrawal even with that low dose, or you could taper it down to nothing, or what about making a parallel move to an actual anti-depressant? Those three options would all work for you, and the last option I see is to just stay on it at 3 a day and if you start craving more, see that as a warning sign and get off it then.

    I take way more than you do for a chronic scoliosis issue and I am really really mentally and physically addicted to it. Because like you said, it's so freely available, I don't stop. I don't in any way suffer negative consequences financially or otherwise from my use of it, I'm a better person on it than off of it, possibly because I'm not in pain, and I'm happy. But I have escalated seriously in my use of it and am probably in getting to the danger zone(seizure zone) with my daily amount. So I'm not the one to be giving you advice..there are others on this list who also use small doses of tramadol(Ellnsync) and maybe they will offer you some perspective,too.

    Take care,
    BW

     
    Old 03-24-2005, 03:49 PM   #3
    JoeNJ
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    Re: My new demon....Tramadol

    Hey BW,

    Thanks for the caring and informative reply. That's a lot of good info. I have done a search and been reading a lot of the posting regarding tramadol. It appears it has AD properties. I have been weighing it out my options and just might stay where I am. If my usage starts to go up then it will be a trip to the doc for me to talk about AD's and wean off tramadol. Just have to be careful. I know its easy to say and much harder to do.

    We all now that withdrawals are no fun but sometimes this is the price we pay. Can't beat yourself up al the time.

    Regards,
    Joe

     
    Old 03-24-2005, 09:53 PM   #4
    kastenm
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    Re: My new demon....Tramadol

    I too have taken Tramadol daily for over a year. It was prescribed for back and leg pain. I've had a horrible two year episide with my back, but seems to be resolving somewhat with time and more activity and exercise. the Tramadol has made activity and exercise possible. I usually take 4 to 6 pills a day. Although lately, I've been trying to cut down and have taken as few as 2 a day.

    I don't *crave* these pills in any way, they don't give me any kind of high, but I do notice that when I take them, I feel so much better...more energy, better attitude. So, they definately have an anti depression effect for me. Plus, they still are helpful to me for my leg and back pain.

    However, I feel that even though I'm not psychologically dependent on this drug, that I am dependent on it physically. I've talked to my doctor about taking it long term, and he doesn't have any problem with me continuing to take it as I am now. I've never maxed out (8 per day)the dose or taken more than prescribed. I am able to adjust my dose depending on how I feel (leg pain), but some days when I feel so tired and yucky, I know that if would just take a couple of tramadol, I'll feel better. I confess that I have done just that on occassion, although I try not to do it.

    I'm worried that I've developed such a dependance that when I no longer need it for my leg, I'm going to have a hard time getting off of it. What are the withdrawals like? How long do they last?

    I am thankful for this drug though, I hope I can tough out the withdrawals if I need to. Its really helped get some of my life back--I was almost totally disabled and now am able to work and be more active. So, I guess there are some tradeoffs involved for me, but I don't want to trade one problem for another!

     
    Old 03-25-2005, 03:15 AM   #5
    lisaaahubb
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    Re: My new demon....Tramadol

    This drug baffles me, is it a narcotic or not????
    My doctor wanted to give me a script for it and i refused, he even went as far to say that it didn't have any addictive properties.....what a fool, do these doctors really know?????
    He insisted i needed something for pain, and i again refused the narcotic and tram......for now anyway. I have cancer, so i am sure down the road, i will HAVE to take narcotics, but for now i am steering clear.
    Does the tramadol work on pain????? Or it is like the other pills and gives you energy??? I never got "high" on percocets unless i took handfuls, i just got energy and was "super-mom".....some of my friends would take the same amount as i did and would be barfing or nodding out. I guess everyone is different. Are there any addicts in recovery that are now on tramadol???? If there are, i would like to hear from you. As of now, advil works on my pain. But i am sure down the road i will need something stronger, so i am trying to research my options now. O.k......need to hear from all u tramadol users. Is it hard to get off of in the end>>>> i don't ever want to go thru w/d again. Is it mentally addicting or both physically and mentally like opiates. And the seizure thing scares me too......
    Thanks in advance for any info given. I really appreciate it.
    luv,
    LISA

     
    Old 03-25-2005, 07:28 AM   #6
    kastenm
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    Re: My new demon....Tramadol

    My reaction to tramadol has been mostly positive. After screwing up my stomach on boatloads of ibuprofen and getting sick on hydrocodone, Tramadol was the only thing I could take. It doesn't make me sleepy, doesn't give me a high, or do any negative side effects that I can tell. It works well for my pain too.

    I don't crave it at all....except, the way you want to take an aspirin to make your headache to go away. When my back and leg hurt, I take it. (everyday) When I don't take it, I feel tired with no energy. The anti depressive -energy kick is what is going to be hard to give up. So yes, there will be a withdrawal period I think, or at least a slow taper to get off this drug--at least for me.

    I've not had any tramadol this morning and I feel OK...just tired.. But then I'm was up late reading on the message boards!

    There are tradeoffs--it has increased the quality of my life, so the trade off of a gradual withdrawal off this drug is probably worth it for me.

    Everyone has to make their own decisions.

     
    Old 03-25-2005, 09:07 AM   #7
    Ellnyc
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    Re: My new demon....Tramadol

    Hi Lisa,
    I am one of the people that do take Tramadol in recovery. Yes, it does help with pain, no, it is not a narcotic/opoid, but does work on the same receptors in the brain that opiates do, as well as on seritonin levels/receptors, thus the anti depressant effect. Those two factors (binding to the opiate receptors as well as manipulating seritonin levels) is also what it makes it a very difficult withdrawal. I have personally not withdrawn from it, but that is always what I read on this board).

    I was first prescribed this after one of 3 abdominal surgeries I underwent in 2001/2002 as an alternative to narcotics. I was totally shocked that something non nartotic would work on this ex- hard core drug addict! But it did, and still does. I was again RX'd it last year after I completed radiation treatments (for cancer) and was severely and permenately burned. I am told this is very rare, but it happened to me. For several weeks I did need heavy duty pain meds, and once again due to my very healthy fear of readdiction, Ultram was prescribed. (I also have other chronic pain, tendinitis, ddd, arthritis stuff for which the Ultram has helped.) I have managed to maintain a VERY low dose of this for close to 1 1/2 years! WAY under the usual prescribed doses. Basically, I think because I work a very strong Recovery (AA) program which keeps me honest. Please know though that this is also rare, and the tendency to take more for reasons other than pain does exist strongly. Lots of folks that come here to post have NOT had this experience.

    Doctors still do not know what we as addicts are experiencing. So this, like the narcotics have to be used with EXTREME caution for people with our histories. I still battle daily, some days with more acceptance, because even at my low dose, there is that ever slight "feeling better" benefit to Ultram (tramadol). Maybe without that benefit, I wouldn't feel any guilt about taking it. Another thought too, is that without a strong foundation of recovery, I can't say what might have happened.

    I do know that there are people and I like to include myself here, who can and do maintain sobriety through surgeries and pain meds. It is not easy by any means and does require TRUE dedication, and there are some guidlines that must be followed. Lisa, you don't have to do any of this alone. Try to get to as many meetings as you can before your surgery and build up that support. You will need it, but it is do-able! If I can help, please let me know.

    Ellen

     
    Old 03-25-2005, 10:47 AM   #8
    valleygurl
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    Re: My new demon....Tramadol

    Hi everyone, I thought that i would give my 2 cents worth. lol Anyway, Ellen did a wonderful job explaining the Tramadol. It is a non-Narcotic, and yes, many many doctors will still tell their patients that it is non addicting......NOT TRUE!!!! I am still to understand with all the info out there about Tramadol and patients being addicted and getting addicted why many doctors still believe and tell their patients otherwise. My doctor had prescribed it to me awhile back and he too told me that it was non addicting, this came from a Neurosurgeon and then a GP doctor. I have not only withdrawn from Tramadol but also Hydrocodone and percocet, the withdrawals from the Tramadol were far worse than any i have ever experienced. Even now, if i take Tramadol for only 2 or 3 days when i stop taking it i feel mild withdrawals.
    I think for me when w/d from the Tramadol the lower back pain i experience (every time) is the worse. It is so excrutiating. Everyone is different so what i have went through may not be what the next person will experience.

    I have read so much on this board about people going through w/d off AD's. I have taken quite a few different ones but i have never experienced any type of w/d when i stopped taking them. So for me as my own personnal choice if i look ahead to the future, i would choose a AD for the depression rather than the Tramadol just because knowing that someday i would have to go off the med for one reason or another and i just dont or wouldnt want to go through the w/d's of the Tramadol again.

    This is just my story, personnal experience and opinion. I wish you all health and happiness now and for the future.

    ValleyGurl

     
    Old 03-25-2005, 10:52 AM   #9
    blurayne
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    Re: My new demon....Tramadol

    Sounds like many of you may need to take this drug and are taking it as prescribed and even lower doses than what is allowed (8 per day). This does not sound like addiction. Maybe physical dependence, but not addiction and whith those who do not get high or crave more, and need this med to function and live a normal life I see nothing wrong with it. I was/am an addict to ultram. I took 30 a day for no reason exept to get high. I was very highly addicted to these in a mental and physical way. I could not stop, because if i did i could not work and would loose my job. I lost my job and took the time to withdraw from these. there is always work but there is only one "me". It was hell on earth but I was taking insane amounts. tappering off of 3 a day is very do-able. You may be tired, yes, but your energy will return. For people who have serious pain and cannot function because of it, well if your not abusing it I see nothing wrong with continuing it if it is helping you function. If you start to take more and more than there is a problem. As I said, this is comming from a true addict of this med. hope this helps, kim

     
    Old 03-25-2005, 08:11 PM   #10
    Ellnyc
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    Re: My new demon....Tramadol

    Hiya Kim~

    I have followed your story to freedom from Ultram on an earlier thread and just wanted to congratulate you for a job very well done! Yours is truly a story of inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story so honestly.

    As for myself, my dosage is and has stayed amazingly low, especially for this die hard addict of the past! I am grateful for being able to do that and that I don't have to live with the contant "gnawing" pain left by my surgeries and radiation tx. I know, by comparison, my daily dose is wimpish (lol) 2- 50 mg day and I just need to learn to relax/accept my situation and not beat myself up over the fact that there is a mild AD effect for me sometimes. And I mean mild. You see, I also suffer from life long clinical depression and have been on AD's most of my life. I am currently taking Lexapro, but like most of the other AD's it doesn' t make much of a dent in my depression. I think my addictionologist physiatrist wants to try to add a mood stablizer to the mix next week ugh! I hate medication changes, but do so want to feel better that i continue to try. Anyway, I think being as deeply committed in 12 step recovery (for 16 years now) sometimes just doesn't make it comfortable to be on ANY thing even mildly mood altering, even though that is NOT the reason I take it. I know it is up to me to get over it and that it really is OK. I know I would tell others in the program who had legitimate pain issues the very same thing!

    Anyway ... Keep up the great work Kim, you are truly an inspiration!


    Ell

     
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