Help! I'm Addicted to the Painkillers I Bought Online!
Contents of this Article:
I am definitely addicted to tramadol (Ultram). I have tried
to stop the drug several times, but the withdrawal symptoms
are so unbearable (depression; diarrhea; lethargy; sweats;
aching body much more worse than ever before taking the drug,
especially upon wakng up in the morning; irritability; increase
in tremor), that I get through a day or two and then I know
that just "one" will take the withdrawal symptoms
away, so back on the drug again!!! I know I am addicted (been
buying the drug over the net from Thailand). I started taking
the drug for aches and pains because it was "non-narcotic"
and "non-habit forming - yeah right!!!!! (I have no medical
insurance at this time).
Well, for me, it also produces a "euphoric"
type of feeling, like I can get more accomplished when I
take it. However, I had no problem getting things done before
I ever took the drug!!! I noticed you have "Ultram"
listed under the "Treatment" heading (first paragraph),
and so now I know I am not abnormal (I guess this must be
addictive for many people!!!).
At any rate, I really do want to quit taking this drug.
I also have essential tremor (familial - mother had it)
and am taking diazepam for the tremor (about 10 mg/day,
no more than 20 mg/day, and that's only if I am going to
be in a very uncomfortable social situation). I can even
go without the diazepam. When I have tried to stop using
the tramadol (Ultram), my head tremor gets worse. If I could,
I would just hide at home for a week or so and detox; I
would have no problem doing that, but I have to function
for work, day-to-day LIFE, etcetera (no vacation time, and
Monday comes around pretty quickly, hence me only getting
through two days of trying to detox). Please............Do
you have any suggestions on herbs, etcetera to help ease
withdrawal from tramadol?.......just so I can function somewhat
during the detox/withdrawal period. Also, do you have any
experience with other cases of withdrawal from this drug,
and if so.........how long do the extreme symptoms last?
Thank you so much for your time.
Right on, T.S.. It's great that you can admit you have a problem
While browsing online, I was pretty amazed by how many addictive
prescription drugs you could buy illegally. The websites said,
"comes in a discrete package," and "nobody needs
to know!" I understand that sometimes people are recommended
drugs that are embarassing to be on
but the dangers here
are misuse, addiction, and overdose.
If I can beat an old drum for a minute, drugs should be prescribed
by doctors, and chinese herbs by acupuncturist/herbalists.
As you know from your experience, it's dangerous to treat yourself-
even doctors shouldn't do that.
However, there are some legitimate websites that allow
you to buy your prescriptions online. They require a doctor's
prescription, as they should. The main advantage of using an online
pharmacy is much lower prices than your local drugstore.
Check out Imported
It's not my place to recommend what to do with meds that are
already being taken... even though it's a little different when
you're taking self-prescribed, illegally-purchased meds. It's
best to work with an MD and an acupuncturist/herbalist. What the
literature suggests is:
One should TAPER off the Ultram rather than just suddenly stopping.
That means reducing the dosage gradually over a number of days
Herbs and Acupuncture for Withdrawal from
NADA (the proven ear acupuncture detox protocol - more about
that in my article on Acupuncture
and Addiction) could make the withdrawal period easier. So
would the formulas:
- Chai Hu Long Gu Mu Li Tang (Bupleurum Dragon Bone and Oyster
- Xiao Chai Hu Tang (Minor Bupleurum)
The first one (Chai Hu Long Gu Mu Li Tang) would be better for
someone with a tremor disorder. Neither formula should be taken
longer than a couple of months. My upcoming book on Chinese Herbs
will contain reviews of websites that sell chinese herbal formulas...
For now, here's a link to the Bupleurum
Dragonbone formula at healthstores.com.
Instead of Painkilling Drugs...
Your prospects in the future for treating the aches and pains
and tremor would be great with acupuncture and chinese herbs.
I would suggest you find an acupuncturist in your area and see
them for at least a few months.
Anything else you need, please let me know!
All the best,
Keep Reading Below for Reader Feedback to
- Freye E, Levy J. Acute abstinence syndrome following abrupt
cessation of long-term use of tramadol (Ultram): a case study.
Eur J Pain. 2000;4(3):307-11.
- Tobias JD. Seizure after overdose of tramadol. South
Med J. 1997 Aug;90(8):826-7.
- Desmeules JA. The tramadol option. Eur J Pain. 2000;4
Suppl A:15-21. Review.
- Arcioni R, della Rocca M, Romano S, Romano R, Pietropaoli
P, Gasparetto A. Ondansetron inhibits the analgesic effects
of tramadol: a possible 5-HT(3) spinal receptor involvement
in acute pain in humans. Anesth Analg. 2002 Jun;94(6):1553-7,
table of contents.
- Mason BJ, Blackburn KH. Possible serotonin syndrome associated
with tramadol and sertraline coadministration. Ann Pharmacother.
- DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE. http://opioids.com/tramadol/prescribe.html
- Tramadol Hydrochloride (Ultram), 50 mg tablets; Healthcare
Professional Version. http://www.nursing.uiowa.edu/sites/PedsPain/Opioids/Tramtch.htm
April 1, 2003:
My wife has been taking up to 8 Ultram's a day
that were prescribed by her doctor. Why is there not a class action
law suite against the maker? It is classified as non-narcotic
and non addictive. This is a bunch of bull! How many other folks
are addicted and just don't know it yet? Just wait until they
try to do without or go on a trip without it. My wife has had
2 seizures and is going through pure hell. This incorrect information
must be stopped
Thanks for listening
March 27, 2003:
Hi, I enjoyed reading about the article, about
the withdrawal symptons of Ultram. But I need more information
on what I can do to help ease the withdrawal symptons since I'm
pregnant and I can't taper myself off of the medication. Also,
I was looking for the length of time it takes for the withdrawal
symptons to go completely away.
The FDA lied. They stated that this drug is non-habit
forming, non- narcotic.
I 'm very upset that I took this drug for pain for a degenerative
disc disease and now
I'm faceing the horrible withdrawal symptons from
the drug.. ALL I WANT TO KNOW IS how long does it take to get
over the withdrawal symptons and what can I do to help speed up
February 26, 2003:
I have fibromyalgia and my doctor prescribed Ultram
2 years ago, because my stomach couldn't tolerate anti-inflammatory
drugs (Advil, Tylenol, nor any of the prescribed medications).
I, myself, do not notice any form of addiction. I can go days
without it and then if my chronic symptoms are bad, I take anywhere
between 2-6 tablets a day. Most times it doesn't relieve my discomfort,
this is where I just eliminate the medication all together.
Maybe this person whose addicted to it is over
dosing, has mentally psyched herself to the fact that this medication
is or isn't working or she has some other medical problems which
could relate to some of her symptoms while taking Ultram. No two
people are designed the same, so maybe there's a possibility her
body can not tolerate Ultram. I'm sorry, but I'm a firm believer
that this medication is not addicting and can be stopped cold
turkey any time without any physical/psychological drawbacks.