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Is My Teen Addicted to Tramadol?

Is My Teen Addicted to Tramadol?
The question “Can my teen be addicted to Tramadol?” is becoming more and more common among parents. A quick internet search of the drug will lead you to dozens of videos from individuals blindsided by their sudden Tramadol addiction. The chemical make-up of the drug has caused many prescribers to mistakenly inform patients that the drug is not addictive. This common misconception stems from the fact that Tramadol is technically not a narcotic. It is important to note that it is, however, an opioid.

Opioid Addiction
Opioids are extremely addictive because of how they interact with the brain. They trigger reward centers, releasing endorphins. Endorphins are what makes a person feel good. Consequently, taking Tramadol will cause your teen to experience a heightened sense of pleasure and a dulled sense of pain. If your teenager takes the drug for an extended period of time, they will eventually need to up their dosage in order for their body to release the average amount of endorphins and in order to function normally. This is known as an opioid tolerance, and is what causes addiction to begin.

Signs your Teenager is Addicted
Sometimes it is hard for parents to process that their loved one can be addicted to a drug that was prescribed to them by a doctor. It is also difficult to realize when a teenager has crossed the line from using the drug properly into becoming an addict. Some signs that your teen is suffering from addiction are:

  • They’re taking a higher dosage than what was prescribed.
    This may seem like an obvious sign, but often people who suffer from addiction can be quite sly in their explanations for missing Common phrases are: “my pain is worse than usual today,” “I misplaced my pills,” “I think someone else took some of them.”
  • They’re altering the drug before ingesting it.
    Crushing Tramadol makes its effects reach the user more quickly and more strongly. Make yourself aware of the signs that your teenager may be doing this, such as the presence of white powder or beads from inside the capsules.
  • They want to switch doctors.
    Doctors have a pretty good idea of when pain should reside after a surgery. If your teenager insists that their doctor is being premature in their decision to stop prescribing Tramadol, it may be time to suggest that they are addicted.

These reasons all revolve around the assumption that your teenager’s use of Tramadol began with them being prescribed the drug. This, however, is not always the case. Tramadol may be used recreationally. You should be aware of the other names your child may use for the drug. These are the brands that contain Tramadol as well as the street names:

  • Ultram
  • Ultras
  • Ryzolt
  • ConZip
  • Enova

More often than not, your child will be careful not to mention any of these names in front of you, especially if they are suffering from addiction. It may be simpler to spot these side effects of Tramadol usage:

  • Mood changes such as anxiety and fear
  • Skin rashes/sores
  • Sleepiness/lethargy
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Breathing problems

Next Steps
If upon further investigation, you discover that your teenager is in fact addicted to Tramadol, it is important that you get them the care that they need. A Tramadol addiction can lead to lack of motivation, destruction of relationships and in the worst case scenario, death. The first thing you will need to do is have your teen go through a detox process. It may be tempting to try and do this on your own, but it is important to note that this process can cause:

  • Restlessness
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Irritability and anxiety
  • Aches and cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased breathing and heartbeat

Consequently, it is extremely dangerous to try and do this in a place where your child will not have immediate access to health professionals. Your best option when dealing with addiction is to send your teenager to an inpatient treatment program. At Inspirations for Youth and Families, your child will have access to the medical professionals he/she needs as well as the help they will need once the detoxification process is complete.

The phrase “you cannot heal in the same environment you got sick in,” is extremely true when it comes to addiction. Your child will be tempted to get ahold of Tramadol the second they are done with their detox. If they are in the environment where they began doing the drug, they will be around the same people who gave them access to it in the first place and who they may have even been doing the drug with. In order for your child to fight their addiction, they will need to learn healthy coping mechanisms and rediscover how to function without the drug. It is much easier for them to avoid the temptation of relapse in a treatment facility. Get your questions answered by a treatment specialist now.

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Is My Teen Addicted to Tramadol?
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