Citation: Teufelhunden. "First Experience With Addiction: An Experience with Tramadol (exp66420)". Erowid.org. Feb 20, 2021. erowid.org/exp/66420
I have used tramadol off and on for about 2 1/2 years since a botched shoulder surgery while I was in the military. Originally I took 7-8/ day for the first 3 months after the surgery (After a week of hydrocodone directly after the surgery). After stopping I felt no withdrawal except insomnia.
After being discharged shortly after I returned to a doctor as the shoulder was causing me more pain and I received a cortisone injection and another prescription for tramadol. I used it this time for about a month and stopped.
Fast forward 1 1/2 years (6 months ago), I return to the doctor after starting weight training again. Again another tramadol prescription, this is when the problems start. I was going through therapy for the shoulder and thus stayed on for 3 months of the tramadol. Sometimes I would save a pill here or there so I can take 3 or 4 at a time on the weekend for fun. After attempting to stop out of concern that I might become addicted I realized I already was. The first day off I had migraines, body aches, my shoulder was killing me more than it was post-surgery, I couldn't think straight, I was depressed, I was falling asleep standing up, my breathing was off (I don't really know how to describe it, just off), I got cold sweats. I couldn't take it. I started the tramadol again and tried researching withdrawal and addiction. I must be psychologically addicted, but trust me, it is just as bad as a physical addiction. You can NOT 'will' yourself out of a psychological addiction.
After learning about changes with dopamine receptors in the brain and the physiological effects of tramadol, along with the continued controversy about whether tramadol is truly physically addictive or not, I am trying to slowly step down off of it.
The good aspects of tramadol include a a nice euphoria effect, but it is not overpowering to the point I can work and interact with clients. It tends to boost my energy in the day and help me sleep at night. It seems to work as an anti-depressant in some ways. The cons are that is IS addictive, the addiction creeps up unlike anything I have ever heard of, and to my knowledge (and my doctor) there is no 'methadone' or step down drug to help a person get off of tramadol.
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