How Long Does It Take to Get Addicted to Tramadol?

Many drugs are first introduced on the market with claims that they are non-addicting (or less-addicting) alternatives to other drugs available. Tramadol is not an exception, as in 2009 the United States Food and Drug Administration warned that the manufacturers of tramadol had minimized the addictive nature of the medication, and in 2010 the Physicians Desk Reference added new warnings about the drug and its addiction potential. Since tramadol was first introduced on the market, the “Drug Abuse and Dependence” section of the information which must accompany any prescription has been modified three times.

Variables Affecting the Development of Tramadol Addiction

There is no one answer to the question of how long it takes to become addicted to tramadol. There are many variables that affect addiction. It is possible to even be addicted to tramadol at birth if a mother used tramadol during pregnancy. However, the majority of people who become addicted to tramadol become addicted due to a personal choice to use the drug for medical or recreational purposes. Factors that influence the addiction timeframe include the following:

  • Differences in how bodies metabolize the drug
  • Drug dosage
  • Personal history of substance abuse
  • Family history of substance abuse

For those who use the medication for pain relief purposes, development of physical dependence on the drug may take about three months. For those who abuse the drug, the process typically takes less time. Tramadol can be both physically and psychologically addictive, and the psychological part of the equation is dependent on personal variables.

How Do I Know If I Am Addicted to Tramadol?

Tramadol users may be unsure if they have become addicted to a drug. One hallmark of physical dependence on tramadol is that users experience withdrawal symptoms when the drug is not regularly consumed. As with addiction the timeframe for withdrawal symptoms to develop is dependent on many factors, but symptoms typically begin 12 to 24 hours after the last dose. Serious tramadol withdrawal symptoms may last a week or more. Full addiction includes not only physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms but also drug cravings and a loss of control over the habit which includes taking the drug despite negative consequences.

Learn More about Tramadol Addiction and Recovery

If you or a loved one struggles with tramadol addiction, give us a call. Our toll-free helpline is available 24 hours a day, and we can answer your questions about addiction or help you find an addiction treatment program that meets your needs. We can discuss your options with you and check your insurance coverage if you wish. No matter how long you have been addicted or how long it took your addiction to develop, help is available. Call now.

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