Tramadol is an opioid medication that is prescribed to individuals who are experiencing moderate to severe pain. In the last two decades, there has been controversy about Tramadol. When it was first formulated in 1995, it was not considered an exact opioid and therefore was not classified by the FDA as one. In 2008 the DEA listed Tramadol as a drug of concern, and in 2014 the DEA reclassified Tramadol as a controlled substance with a high potential for abuse and or addiction. Tramadol can easily cause addiction.
Reports of people feeling energy and euphoria after taking large amounts of Tramadol are generally correct
The explanation for why Tramadol gives some people a boost in mood and energy level is because it affects the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. Not all people who take Tramadol feel energized. Most people report feeling sluggish and sleepy similar to the more common effects that other opioid pain killers cause. Tramadol does act on the same opioid receptors in the brain and central nervous system that other opioids like Oxycontin, heroin, or Vicodin. The purpose of Tramadol is to reduce pain, not enliven someone’s physicality.
Tramadol Abuse Increases Energy and Elevates Mood
Since there is documentation from people who experience a surge of energy, researchers at the National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health, conducted a study to learn why Tramadol may cause some people to feel hyperactive. In their research, they determined that Tramadol shares similarities with another medication that is used for treating depression. Venlafaxine, brand name Effexor XR, is a dual-acting antidepressant that prompts the brain to improve serotonin levels, which will boost a person’s mood. Venlafaxine is known as a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). The researchers at NCBI found that people who were prescribed Tramadol may have experienced similar sensations that Venlafaxine produces after taking Tramadol.
Tramadol is a powerful analgesic medication with antidepressant effects like Venlafaxine. Hypomanic features were reported in patients after being prescribed Tramadol. We present the case of a 26-year-old female patient who developed accelerated flow of speech, overactivity, and difficulty in sleeping following intake of Tramadol 50 mg dose. These symptoms resolved four hours later and recurred as she retook Tramadol. The patient has no history of mood disorder or any other psychiatric comorbidity. Clinicians should exercise caution when prescribing Tramadol. (NCBI)
The effects of Tramadol on a person who does feel re-invigorated after taking it may indicate that this individual has a form of depression or anxiety. Another likely diagnosis is an addiction, now referred to as substance use disorder. Many former opiate-addicted individuals will explain how, when they got high with heroin or other opiates, at the beginning of their addiction, they felt hyper. Many recovering people state how, when they used opioids, the drug’s effects helped them clean the house or tackle an unorganized garage or closet. Some recovering addicts also share how they used opiates to give them energy and stamina to exercise and work out. However, the research that has been completed on the physiological effects of Tramadol and that it is so closely related to the chemical structure of numerous dual-action antidepressants, like Venlafaxine, the explanations as to why Tramadol causes a surge of energy is known. Still, at the end of the day, if a person is using Tramadol to feel energy, euphoria, or to nod off, they are not using the medication for a legitimate reason.
Dangers of Addiction to Tramadol
Further, in general, persons who abuse drugs often have undiagnosed depression or anxiety. If a person notices that they use Tramadol to experience hyperactivity or euphoria and not to manage their pain, they may have a dual diagnosis, which is when a person has substance use disorder and a mental health diagnosis, such as depression or anxiety and others. The signs that someone is addicted to Tramadol will be displayed in some of the following ways:
- Taking more Tramadol than prescribed
- Obsession on having or getting Tramadol
- Lying to Doctors about their pain level to get Tramadol
- Borrowing or stealing money to buy Tramadol
- Buying Tramadol illegally from dealers or friends
- Driving or drinking alcohol while taking Tramadol
- Physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms when they do not take Tramadol every day
Treatment for Tramadol Addiction
Evoke Wellness at Miramar has been treating addiction to Tramadol for years. Our program for Tramadol addiction begins with a medically managed detox where the individual is provided safe medications to help them detox safely and comfortably. Next, they will need to be admitted into one of our drug addiction treatment programs that are substance-specific for Tramadol addiction or dependency.