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nocontrol33 11-19-2008 09:41 AM

"What do I do about tramadol addiction?"
I found this board about a week ago totally on accident but I have been reading everyone's posts and now I don't think it was an accident at all that I found you guys. I have felt totally alone in my struggle with pills. I started taking them almost 8 years ago for arthritis pain in my hands (I was only 25 at the time) I started on Vicodin and was only taking one a day. That quickly moved up to a few a day because it really helped with the pain. I had 2 small children and it was wonderful to be able to take care of them so much easier, and they gave me so much more energy. Then they didn't work as well and I had to start taking more. I was moved up to the ES. Then to Percocet. I knew I had to quit taking them when I could take 20 Percocet in a day and I would still get pain in my hands but I couldn't stand the w/d so I was basically taking them just to keep the w/d away and still had pain in my hands so I was doubly screwed. I was able to switch myself to Tramadol which I thought wouldn't be nearly as bad to get off of but I can't even go a few hours without taking a handful. I have never told anyone my real story before. My husband and family know the trouble I have with my hands but have know idea to the extent I take the pain pills. I can't even imagine telling my husband or going through the w/d. I have so much respect for all of you and I only hope that when I work up the courage to finally stop that I can be as strong as you guys are. You have a lot to be proud of!

TaCot 11-19-2008 09:51 AM

Re: Temptation and the Addict....
You will be strong enough when you decide to do it. Everyone here is probably in awe with the amount of the strength they can muster. I too was taking pills just to avoid w/d's. My neck still hurt. You will get to the point where you are tired of that pill bottle, believe me. My PCP told me that admitting there is a problem is the best thing I could have done. We are all in the same boat and we are all wishing you the best. When you decide to do this, we will all be here for you too. Take it easy and have a great holiday.

Secrets1983 11-19-2008 09:52 AM

Re: Temptation and the Addict....
WELCOME!!!!!!!!! WELCOME!!!!! WELCOME!!!!!!! I do not think it was an accident you found us either!! I am so glad you did. Yes, it is a big step when you first decide to post and tell someone your story for the first time so I commend you there! I remember when I did it my heart was pounding, I was so nervous! I thought everyone would judge me but they didn't! This place is a second home to me now! It has helped in so many ways and I hope it helps you the way it has me.
You will know when you are ready to be done. If you look back at my first posts I was still chasing the high.. I did think of it as a big step though to share my secret with people.. (hence my screen name) SO.. now today I am pill free for 13 days and feel very proud, scared and hopefull. We will be here every step of the way for you.. Stick around.. Make yourself at home.
You will be in my thoughts and prayers!

nocontrol33 11-19-2008 11:09 AM

Re: Temptation and the Addict....
Thank you for your kind words. I am so tired of being a slave to the bottle. It is killing us financially and I have tried to stop a couple of times but I can't even go a day. The w/d's are so bad after only a few hours. I keep making excuses for myself of why I can't stop - I have a full time job and 4 kids to take care of. They need me and I can't function at all even 1 day off. My husband works long hours so I have to be alert to help the two older ones with homework and then I have a 2 1/2 yr old and a 6mo. old and they take so much energy. I really cut back when I was pregnant and thought I could quit but then after she was born my hands got so bad I couldn't even pick her up. I had to take more and now I'm even worse than before. I am so frustrated and that leads to depression so then I just take more so I can at least get the things done I need to do. It is a crazy cycle I can't figure out how to break. The more I hear of everyone else's stories I at least don't feel so alone. Has anyone ever tried to get off Tramadol? Is it worse/easier than other pills? I am currently taking at least 30 a day or more.

Secrets1983 11-19-2008 11:39 AM

Re: Temptation and the Addict....
Your story makes me so sad because it is so similar to all the others and reminds me a lot of myself.

I have never taken Tramadol. However, my Dr was contemplating putting me on it for my heavy horrible periods.. (I have endometreosis) anyways.. that was my regular dr. and I just told her that I would deal strictly with my gyno on all of those issue's. Anyways.. I spoke to him and he said NO WAY to Tramadol because he said they are more addictive than Vicodin's or Percocets.. SO I have no idea why one dr. thought it would be better and one thought it would be worse.. I didn't think Tramadol was a narcotic that is why I was going to try it.. NOW I KNOW.. Thankfully.. my Gyno had my back because I would have taken them and we all know what would have happened. In terms of getting off of them.. I am not sure what is worse?? I was on Oxycontin twice a day and then percocet on top of that.. Then I weaned down.. I would suggest weaning/tapering down because if you have tried and didn't make it past one day then this would seem to be your next best option.

I totally understand what it's like to take the pills because you have so much to get done.. I used to LOVE the way they made me feel after I took them.. I was like SUPER WOMAN! I was happy, funny, productive, flirtatious (to my hubby) and i just felt like a million bucks. At first that is how i felt.. Then after a while I was chasing that high and could never have it back the way it was at first... Then I was warding off the w/d... I was a slave to my bottle as well.....

I still think to myself that if my Dr. would have kept on given them to me.. I would have kept taking them.. However, I had a strong snap and asked to be weaned down... then I followed thru. i am very happy with what I have done so far.

Be strong.. You are worth it. Sounds like you have legitimate pain to deal with.. Maybe it's time to wean down to what you are supposed to be taking.. I assume your Dr does not want you taking 30 a day i dont know though.I am contemplating what to do about the legitimate pain I have.. Right now.. I am suffering in pain because I used to get vicodin for my cycles.. now I guess I look at this as my punishment for abusing meds... That may not be a good way to look at it but it's honest.

Maybe you could be honest with your Dr and tell them that you NEED the meds but are starting to have addictive issue's with them. Maybe they could change some things around... Just brain storming...

Hang in there.... Stick around!

nocontrol33 11-19-2008 12:28 PM

Re: Temptation and the Addict....
Secrets, I appreciate your support and for some reason I don't feel as stupid for doing this to myself when I hear I'm not the only one. I know people talk about addiction all the time but it really means something different to have someone share their personal story with you. Am I making any sense? I can't believe I am even talking to anyone about this but your posts helped me feel like I wasn't alone.

I thought I was doing a good thing getting of Percocet by taking Tramadol since it is supposedly "non-narcotic". I was only prescribed 1-2 every 4-6 hours but since it was "non-narcotic" and I couldn't take the percocet anymore I just started taking A LOT of the Tramadol. Now the withdrawal symptons start alot sooner than on Percocet. I get the cold sweats and it feels like electric shocks through my body if I wait even a few hours. I sometimes have to take some during the night or I wake up with horrible w/d's. Isn't that ridiculous? Has anyone else had this reaction to Tramadol? (it is also known as Ultram)

dorskin 11-19-2008 12:36 PM

Re: Temptation and the Addict....
Just a quick note there on the Tramadol. My dr told me that more than 8/day and you are a risk for a seizure. I was given Tramadol when I was first coming off of OC and I found that taking more than 4 got me a lil Vicodin like high. Looking on the boards here you will find a number of people that curse Tramadol, saying its worse than regular opiotes.

Good luck

Secrets1983 11-19-2008 01:06 PM

Re: Temptation and the Addict....
Thank you so much for your input.. It helps and makes a lot of sense. Good thing to know about the siezure issue...


Oh, you are so NOT alone anymore... There are so many of us fighting this battle. In fact.. I know there are LOTS of lurkers fighting this same battle. I used to be a lurker.. I was too scared to say even over the computer that I had a problem. It really does help though just to get it off your chest ** so for any lurkers out there, DON'T BE AFRAID!! JOIN US!*** anyways... I am so glad you found this website.. you can ask me anything.. I think it's healing getting all this off my chest.

Looking back.. I used to go such lengths to get that next RX filled.. The people at the clinic used to DREAD my calls.. I am just sure of it.. I was always pleasant but it was ALWAYS an ordeal getting my meds refilled... Its such a relief not having to do that anymore.. I always hung my head everytime I called there.. I HATED IT.. When I had to go in there.. I felt so insecure... It was miserable.. MY DR looked at me like I was a drug addict and at first.. it made me so angry because I did not even admit to myself yet that I was one.. I had every excuse in the book why I was taking the pills.. All of it was so WRONG. Yes, I did and do still have real pain but.. I did not have enough pain to be taking 10 percocet a day.. I didn't have enough pain to be on 20mg oxycontin twice a day on top of that.. I mean cancer patients or people with SEVERE medical issue's are on that stuff.. I always said it was never enough and then they would upp it or allow more.. What I lier I became. I couldn't believe it.. It all started so innocently.. I was in pain.. I did need help.. Once the drug got it's hooks into me though.. it was all over from there.. I would say ANYTHING to get it. I am so ashamed.

Today is a new day though and I am NOT that person anymore. I choose to be myself again and that is the woman I am proud of.. I choose to be her from here on out. That is the plan anyways!! hahaha

Hope you are having a great day!

Lou1 11-19-2008 08:06 PM

Re: Temptation and the Addict.... must be very careful in stopping the tramadol. Tramadol has all the properties of the other opiates, but also affects the levels of serotonin in your brain, thus it has antdepressant qualities in addition to pain control. You cannot simply stop taking tramadol cold turkey. While quitting opiates cold-turkey is extremely uncomfortable, generally opiate withdrawal is not dangerous. Stopping tramadol suddenly can cause seizures and can induce a medical emergency. It is imperative that you partner with your doctor to help get you off the tramadol. The dose you are on daily is also extremely dangerous and can also trigger seizures. You must seek medical help immediately!!

I am certainly not trying to scare you. But, this is not something to take lightly. I was taking cymbalta, an antidepressant that also affected serotonin levels in the brain. I went through hell getting off that. The electrical shock symptoms that you describe when going a few hours without tramadol were horrible. Many people describe this sensation as "brain zaps".
I ultimately was successful in getting off the cymbalta by following a very slow taper regimen.

This is what will work for you...but I cannot stress enough the importance of partnering with your doctor.
I wish you the best in your recovery.

Take care.

nocontrol33 11-20-2008 12:13 PM

Re: "What do I do about tramadol addiction?"
Wow... I had no idea when I started taking these that it would be a problem, like I mentioned before I was told they would be safer than taking Percocet or Vicodin because they are "non-narcotic". But I had built up such a tolerance to Vicodin & Percocet I had to take a lot of the Tramadol to get any sort of relief. But seizures? Crap! I've just let it get so out of hand. I am scared to death to think something could happen to me while I'm alone with the kids. My husband and 2 older kids leave early in the morning and I get the 2 little ones off to daycare before I go to work. What if something happened then? They are only 2 1/2 and 6 mos. It scares me to think about what they would do by themselves. How long could they be by themselves before anyone checked on them? All day?

Thank you for the wake up call Lou1, I need to hear the truth, now I just need to figure out what I am going to do about it! Is tapering off the only thing I can do? Can I take Suboxene?

katlin09 11-20-2008 01:54 PM

Re: "What do I do about tramadol addiction?"
No control,

What Lou has told you is very accurate. I took Tramadol for years, legitamitely, for Chronic Pain control, and when we decided to switch to a different med, had to be very careful with the weaning down of the Tramadol. You'll have to do this with the help of your doctor, if you relish you safety at all then you have no choice.

Also, if your arthritis pain is as bad as you say it is, have you considered going to a Pain Management Dr. to get on proper medicatio to get the pain under control so that you can enjoy your life more? As a CP patient myself, this is just a suggestion.

Good Luck with your journey.

nocontrol33 11-20-2008 02:04 PM

Re: "What do I do about tramadol addiction?"
Do you know what a Pain Management Dr. would switch me too? I am very scared to stay on these anymore but I'm also scared to stop. I'm scared of the w/d's and I'm also scared of the pain. My hands get so bad I literally can't pick anything up or hold anything. How can I live like that?

If I did go to a PM Dr. I would probably have to tell him how much I'm actually taking for him to really be able to help me, right? Can I get in trouble for taking that much? I'm really starting to freak out about this!

katlin09 11-21-2008 07:44 AM

Re: "What do I do about tramadol addiction?"
It would be smart to get off the Tramadol with your current Dr. or at least wean down to a normal amount, and then go see a PM doc. I'm not sure what they would give you, it depends on the doc. and what they decide is wrong with your hand and what type of pain med you actually need.

Secrets1983 11-21-2008 07:44 AM

Re: "What do I do about tramadol addiction?"
Well, it's probably good you are starting to get a little scared. That is what it took me to get things under control. It sounds to me like you need to speak to a doctor about this. It would be terrible if something medically went wrong because you were taking too many. Since you have legitimate pain I would assume a pain management clinic can probably get your meds switched or whatever and get you on something that would help but then they would just closely monitor you.. I think you need to do this! Please.. YOU ARE WORTH IT. You have so much to be thankful for in life! You have children that need their Mother.

Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you!!! Stay in touch so we know you are okay?

emsmom 11-21-2008 03:59 PM

Re: "What do I do about tramadol addiction?"

Pleased to meet you :) I've been around these boards for a couple years now, but haven't written in a while.

I was taking Tramadol a few months ago. I had just gotten out of rehab (from an OxyContin addiction) and my doctor started me off with Tramacet first (which is what you're taking). After a couple weeks, I was taking 8 a day so he switched me to Tramadol (300 mgs - once a day). Tramadol is a time-released pill that lasts for 24 hours.

Basically, there's 37.5 - 50mg of Tramadol in Tramacet (depending on the brand you get from the pharmacist), so if you took 6-8 Tramacet, you'd be at the same dose I was when I took Tramadol.

Well, after a few days on the Tramadol, <I found a way to increase the effects>. I got a bit of a buzz. What did I do next, you ask? I took more. For 5 days, I took about 4-5 Tramadol. On the fifth day, I was driving my husband's car downtown to pick up my sponsor (from NA) and I had a seizure.

I was at a red light (thank God), a pedestrian saw me convulsing at the wheel and called 911. The last thing I remember...I was driving down Queen Street here in thing I know, I'm waking up in an ambulance and the paramedic is telling me I had a seizure.

The paramedic used my cell phone and called my husband - Imagine his surprise when he see's his wife is calling, but when he answers the phone its a paramedic telling him "your wife has had a seizure while driving and is on the way to the hospital, please meet us there."

I lost my driver's license for 12 months - I have to be seizure-free for one year before I can get it back. Fortunately, no one was hurt because I was at a red light - however, what if I took the highway that day? I'd be dead!

You have two young children to care for and you do not want anything to happen to you, right? You need to go to your doctor and tell him/her that you're addicted to Tramadol. It will be ok, I promise. Life is too short to take risks like I did. I had no idea seizures were a side-effect of taking too much, but you know now so please learn from MY mistake.

There are some really wonderful people on these boards, we're all here to help but you have to take that first step :)

I'm here for you :)

Good luck, and please let me know what you decide.

Love emsmom

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