Tramadol is a popular prescription medication used to treat moderate pain. The drug is classified as an opioid, similar to drugs like morphine and oxycodone. As such, it is potentially addictive.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) considers this drug as a Schedule IV controlled substance. This means the drug has legitimate medical uses and low addictive potential. As a controlled substance, you need a prescription before you can legally buy Tramadol.
If you happen to have an addiction to this drug, you will benefit a lot from Tramadol rehab. Read on to find out how long rehab will last.
Why Is Tramadol addictive?
Tramadol is among the most prescribed medications in the United States. Statistics show over 30.5 million prescriptions of this drug have been given in 2021 alone.
The drug is often used for relieving moderate pain from injuries and surgeries. Like other drugs of its kind, Tramadol binds to opioid receptors in the brain. This action effectively stops the transmission of pain signals.
But like other opioid drugs, Tramadol can be addictive. The more the drug exerts an influence on your brain, the more you’ll get used to it. This is called tolerance.
Tolerance can develop if you take more of the drug than you were prescribed. This can happen if you don’t feel the same effects of the drug as when you first took it. You may be inclined to increase your dose to get the same effects. If you do this, you increase your risk of developing tolerance, and eventually, addiction.
If you feel that the drug is not giving you as much pain relief, talk to your doctor. Avoid increasing your dose or stopping the medication on your own. Most people get unintentionally addicted this way.
What are the signs of addiction to this drug?
If you become addicted to Tramadol, you will exhibit a pattern of behavior. These include:
- Spending more time and money on taking the drug
- Getting into financial trouble because of drug use
- Involvement in crimes to get more of the drug
- Isolation from friends and family when you take the drug
- Hanging out with a new circle of friends (who themselves are drug users)
- Not being able to function normally without taking the drug
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit
When you have developed an addiction, it becomes extremely difficult to quit. Any time you try to stop taking the drug, you will experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. These can become so uncomfortable that you would rather take the drug again just to feel relief.
Withdrawal symptoms include:
- Drug cravings
- Loss of appetite
- Mood swings
- Muscle pains
- Blurred vision
- Abdominal cramps
Drug rehab lets you quit safely while managing these withdrawal symptoms. For this reason, you need to seek professional help if you have become addicted to this drug.
What will happen in Tramadol rehab?
Drug rehab is composed of a range of treatments that help you regain a drug-free lifestyle. Medical and mental health professionals will be there to walk you through the process.
The first step in rehab is usually detox. This process aims to rid your body of all traces of Tramadol. Often, detox is administered by doctors and nurses to make sure you stay safe. If you get any withdrawal symptoms, they will give you medications to manage them.
After detox, you will go through various behavioral therapies to address the effects of the drug on your mind. These include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Motivational enhancement therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
You will work together with therapists to find out the root cause of your addiction. Also, they will equip you with the skills you need to avoid drugs and develop healthy coping strategies.
How much time will rehab take?
The length of a Tramadol rehab program will depend on your specific case and your needs. If your addiction is not too serious, a shorter rehab program may work for you. But if you have a more severe case, you will need to spend more time in rehab.
Generally, drug rehab programs last from 30 days to 90 days (1 to 3 months). The longer your stay, the better your recovery outcomes. In fact, some patients opt to stay longer even if their treatment programs are already considered complete. That way, they can make sure that their recovery outcome is a lot better and they can stay sober for longer.
Once your rehab program is complete, you may want to take part in an aftercare program. This will make sure you stay drug-free for the long term. Aftercare programs have a number of components, including sober living homes, support groups, and continued therapies.
You can opt to participate in aftercare for years after your rehab program is complete. This ensures that you stay on the path to a sober life.
In a sober living home, you will stay inside a specially-designed residence for people recovering from addictions. Like you, the people you’ll be living with have recently completed their drug rehab programs. In the sober living home, you will have strict schedules that involve upkeep of the house, therapy sessions, and healthy activities. Your time here will help prepare you to reintegrate into your usual community.
Support groups are also effective in keeping you on track with your recovery. You will meet regularly with fellow recovering patients, and you will share your experiences and challenges along the way. Your support group gives you a sense of belongingness, so you won’t feel that you’re fighting this battle alone.
It’s also great to keep in touch with your therapists. You can continue scheduling sessions with them just like what you did in your formal rehab. This way, they can help you address any issues that may pop up at any time. You can even ask for regular continued therapy even after you’ve finished your drug rehab program.