Many users think that just because Ultram is a non-narcotic drug, it is non-addictive. But they are often mistaken. Although the risk of addiction is much lower with Ultram in comparison to some other pain medications, the truth is that it can be habit forming. Ultram has a structure similar to other opioids such as morphine and codeine, and may lead to psychological and physical dependence.

How can you know if you are physically addicted to Ultram? Are there any signs or symptoms that might signal the occurrence of physical addiction? In this article we review ways to recognize and treat physical addiction to Ultram, after which we welcome your additional questions in the section at the end of the page.

Physical dependence on Ultram

Physical dependence on Ultram is a state of adaptation that is manifested by: physical tolerance and it’s specific withdrawal syndrome.

  1. Symptoms of Ultram withdrawal can be produced by abrupt cessation or rapid dose reduction. In other words, after a period of taking Ultram, your body becomes accustomed to the presence of the medication and learns how to normally function with Ultram.
  2. Tolerance means that after a period of chronic and repetitive use, you will not be able to relieve the pain with the same dose of Ultram as easily as you did in the beginning. This condition is usual in most of the cases and these Ultram users do not necessarily have to be addicted.

But what exactly is the difference between being physically dependent on Ultram and being addicted to it?

Ultram addiction is different from physical dependence. Addiction is considered a primary, chronic, neurobiologic disease, contrary to physical dependence which is an expected and natural adaptation mechanism. Addiction is characterized by behaviors that include one or more of the following:

  • compulsive use of Ultram
  • continued use of Ultram despite harm
  • cravings
  • impaired control over Ultram use
  • increase in Ultram doses without consultation with doctor
  • using multiple sources (often illegal) to get Ultram

NOTE: Addiction has psychological roots whereas dependence is more physically associated. Dependence is an unavoidable consequence of opioid therapy.

Physical signs of addiction to Ultram

The misbelief that Ultram can’t cause addiction may lead some people to become addicted without even realizing it. Recognizing the signs of Ultram abuse on time can prevent an addiction from developing. So, watch out for the following physical signs of Ultram abuse:

  • changes in appetite
  • constipation
  • constricted pupils
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • impaired coordination
  • lightheadedness or dizziness
  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • seizures
  • slurred speech
  • vomiting

You can also recognize and Ultram addict by the changes in his/her behaviour, which may include:

  • criminal behavior
  • decreased motivation
  • doctor shopping
  • frequent involvement in arguments, fights, accidents, or illegal activities
  • loss of interest in extracurricular activities, hobbies, sports or exercise
  • lowered performance at work or school
  • spending increasing amounts of time alone
  • sudden change in relationships, friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies
  • sudden mood swings
  • unexplained change in personality or attitude
  • unusual or unexplained need for money

Treating physical symptoms of addiction to Ultram

Physical dependence to Ultram is usually managed by a slow dose reduction. The rate at which Ultram doses are reduces depends on the physical and mental health, usual dose, and how long has the individual been taking Ultram.

Doctors suggest that the best ways to treat symptoms of physical dependence to Ultram is by visiting a detox clinic. Supervised medical detox, along with psychological support can help you successfully overcome your physical dependence. Treatment for physical addiction to Ultram often includes administration of medication such as: buprenorphine and naloxone.

Physically addicted to Ultram questions

In case you still have any further questions or doubts about being physically addicted to Ultram please feel free ask. We will make sure to respond personally as soon as possible, or refer you to someone who can help.

Reference sources: NCBI: Physical dependence on Ultram (tramadol hydrochloride): both opioid-like and atypical withdrawal symptoms occur
WISC: Addiction vs. Tolerance & Physical Dependence

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from Addiction Blog