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 Post subject: Tramadol Addiction
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:37 pm 
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I have been battling an addiction to tramadol for about 2 years now. I started using it recreationally, it actually got me really high and for a long time. After awhile my tolerance got so high that I could no longer get high, I take it to simply keep withdrawals away. I am taking 30 or more a day, its gotten that bad. I know a lot about the drug, and I know the risk of seizures. I am fortunate to never have one because I have taken over 15 at one time.

I have slipped into a deep, isolated depression over this addiction, I dont even know if its the tramadol causing me to feel so depressed or if I am just so depressed because of the situation I am in. Probably a bit of both.

I have to get off this, but I am not one that really does well with tapering, and at my doses tapering would take 6 months. I need the feeling that I am not taking anything but I know I cant go cold turkey off this amount. I have a very good job, however I just started in March. The problem with my job is that I have to travel every week with a week here and there were I stay in the main office. So I cant just call in sick when I have to travel. However, the travel might lighten up here soon.

I never even considered Sub because of all the horror stories I heard about the withdrawals, however I am at a stage where maybe it is the way to go.

Can you take Sub for a small amount of time during the cold turkey w/ds of the tramadol and then quickly taper off Sub before you become addicted to it? Or will Sub simply delay the withdrawal process of the tramadol? I dont really know what Sub does besides get people to stop taking massive amounts of opiates on a daily basis. I dont know what you feel like while on it, and if it can be used for short term cold turkey withdrawals for other meds.

Any help on the subject would be great, I have to make a change but tapering is so much of a challenge for me, especially with the stress of my job and the traveling I do. I wish I had the willpower to stick with it.

Thanks everyone


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:35 am 
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Hi tramuser and welcome to the forum. I think you've taken a huge step by admitting the problem and seeking a solution.

From what you just said, I think you're an excellent candidate for suboxone treatment. Yes, you'd have to be in mild-to-moderate withdrawals to induce onto suboxone, but that's generally 12-24 hours and believe me, it's not as bad as it sounds. We all got through it and it's SO WORTH IT.

It's possible to feel a bit "oogely" the first couple of days on sub because it's so strong, but once tolerant, suboxone doesn't get us high at all and when we take it we generally shouldn't feel a thing. Just normal. In fact, many people when they take their first dose rave about how very quickly they feel normal.

Some people do start on sub and immediately start a quick taper off, but I'd suggest getting on it and spending a bit of time on it before planning to get off it right away. You'll need time to change your bad (active addiction) habits and learn to address cravings and triggers for when you're off suboxone. The GETTING clean isn't the hard part - it's the STAYING clean that's hard.

And don't think of it as being "addicted" to suboxone. It's completely different - yes, we are dependent on it, it that we'll still have to taper off to avoid withdrawals, but it's not the same as our DOC. We don't crave it or lie, steal, and cheat to get it. It's a treatment, not something we abuse.

I hope this helps. Feel free to ask any questions about suboxone or suboxone treatment you still have. We're here to help in any way we can.

Again, welcome to the forum and i hope suboxone treatment works for you. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:14 pm 
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Thank you for the response. Tramadol is a odd drug, its not a true opiate however it achieves a lot of the same results of an Opiate and also messes with your serotonin levels somewhat like an SSRI.

The problem with Tram is that there comes a point where you dont get high no matter how much you take. You dont feel euphoric at all, you are still depressed, however you take them so you are not a sweating, craping your pants, about ready to kill yourself, mess of a person. I W/D from this drug cold turkey before but I was on half the dose and didnt have all the outside depressing situations that I do now. The W/D was horrible, a couple days of being almost suicidal followed by 10 days of insomnia, profuse sweating, and worst of all just the feeling of not wanting to do a single thing. I stayed clean for 3 weeks and then a big project came up at work that triggered me into taking it again, I made that common mistake that we all do when we relapse thinking I will only do it once because there is no way I want to go through W/Ds again.

What does the Sub actually achieve? I know its an opiate, but how will it get me to getting clean? I guess I feel like its switching to another drug but one I only have to take once a day and is doctor approved. I dont know a lot about Sub because usually tramadol addictions dont fall into the Sub category. However, tramadol W/Ds are fierce and I would rather be addicted to hydrocodone than tramadol to be completely honest. I even ordered a bunch of codiene once because I was going to try to switch over to codiene instead of tram and then just withdrawal off that. However I ended up just taking both together so it was a complete waste and only made my tolerance even higher.

At my dosage I think I fall into an area where Sub might be the start to getting clean. I definitely cant go cold turkey off a 30+ pill a day routine, and tapering from that many will take over 6 months. I want to be done with this, I want to be the guy I once was. I used to be a fitness nut, I maybe took off a single month from the gym in a 11 year time span. This past year I have been to the gym maybe 20 times total. Its all from the depression and the pills just deplete your testosterone levels to a point where you have no motivation anymore for that.

I am rambling now. I basically just want to know what Sub does and why is it considered a treatment even though its an opiate? Does it still affect your thinking like opiates do? Does it still release the dopamine that we all crave?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:20 pm 
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Hi Tramuser,

I just wanted to chime in here because I have lots of experience with tramadol abuse. It was never my drug of choice but I would use it as a fill in when I was out of opiates. The first thing I wanted to tell you is to please be careful with those high doses. I know you said you are aware of the risk of seizure and that you are lucky not to have them because you take up to 15 at a time and never had one. That could change at any moment. I was also used to taking very large doses, I had been doing so for well over a year when the seizure hit me. I didn't take any more than what I would have normally taken that day. In fact my usual dose for the day would have been between 20 and 25 and this day I was only up to about 18. Nevertheless it did get me and I was in the hospital for a couple days. We all think it won't happen to us until it does. Just be careful!

Anyway, I don't know alot about treatment for tramadol addiction. However my brother in law is in the same position you are in and I have been meaning to ask my doctor about how the suboxone treatment will work for a situation like this. I think your best bet would be to call around to some of the doctors in your area and find out what their normal procedure is for treating tramadol addicts. I would be willing to bet that it will work just fine for you. The only thing I wonder about is the extreme SSRI effects that you get with the tramadol which are kind of unique to that particular drug. This is probably what is causing your depression. It is also, I think, the reason that you are supposed to wean off this medicine. You could go into extreme depression if you discontinue it rapidly.

Good luck with your search. Please let us know what you find out. I can remember having other people come on here talking about taking suboxone for tramadol addiction over the last couple months. In fact I think there was one woman who completed induction and was doing well. If she is still around maybe she can comment here and let you know how it went for her.


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 Post subject: Not Sure
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:12 pm 
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At the end of my opiate addiction I was taking both Norco's and Tramadol's along with some Soma. Some days I took more Trams than Norco but mostly used it to fill in for the lack of Hydro I was able to obtain. If I remember correctly it was around 12-18 Tramadols with just about the same Norco's. Soma use was between 8-12 so you can see I was one messed up addict and had to stop the madness. I actually wrote it all down for my Sub doctor so he knows better than I what I was taking per day.

When I was put on Suboxone I gave up my tram habit along with the rest of the drugs I was taking. It did help with not feeling any w/d's from the Tramadol. I felt great just being on the Suboxone and have been on it ever since.

I don't know if this information will help or not but I put it out there anyway.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:57 pm 
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Regular pain meds a "full opiate agonists" whereas Suboxone is a "partial opiate agonist" which has a ceiling effect. Above that ceiling effect, which is where addicts on suboxone should be dosing at, there is no addiction effect if the dose goes up. That means there is no additional "feeling" nor any additional respiratory depression either. And once we are tolerant to suboxone, there is no high at all (although many people feel something the first day or two).

Suboxone stops our withdrawals in their tracks as well as all our cravings because we actually have an opiate on board, although one that does not get us high but allows us to feel completely normal. It's like not being on an opiate at all. People stay on it from anywhere from a few months to 6 months to years. It's all a matter of what the person needs and how much time they were in active addiction. It takes time to "practice" living "clean" while on suboxone before going off it and living "clean" without sub's safety net - if that makes sense. Suboxone also blocks other opiates if we do end up relapsing or trying to relapse while we're on it. People on it will tell you that a relapse is just a waste of time, effort, and money, because taking full agonists while being on sub will do NOTHING (assuming the sub dose is high enough).

It's a big change for you, yes, but it's a GREAT change and a good opportunity for you to get out of active addiction for good.

I hope this helps explain things better for you. If you need more info, just ask more. We'd be happy to go into further detail - as much as you need or want. Very, very few people go on suboxone and regret it. And those that do are usually the ones that didn't give it a chance or frankly didn't use it properly.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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