Is Tramadol Addiction a Crime?

Tramadol is a synthetic version of the relatively weak opioid codeine. It differs from other opioids in its mechanism of action and does not tend to produce the euphoria associated with recreational use of other drugs. The original manufacturer claims that this difference makes tramadol much less likely to abuse. Rather than producing relaxation and euphoria, high doses of this drug cause convulsions, which may limit its abuse potential.

However, some evidence shows that tramadol can produce physical dependence and severe withdrawal symptoms. Tramadol produces withdrawal symptoms as well as symptoms that are atypical of opioids, including tremors, seizures and electric sensations in the body. Tramadol’s withdrawal symptoms also last longer than those of most other opioids.

Legal Status of Tramadol

TheU.S.government does not consider tramadol to have a high abuse potential, and has not scheduled the drug as a controlled substance. It is a controlled substance in some states, so its legal status varies from place to place. The following states list tramadol as a controlled substance:

  • Arkansas
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

Additionally, the U.S.military has scheduled tramadol as a controlled substance, meaning that possessing this drug on any military installation is subject to the Controlled Substances Act. In all of these cases tramadol is a Schedule IV controlled substance, which means that possessing it without a prescription is illegal, prescriptions may not be refilled more than five times and they may not be refilled more than six months after the prescription was written.

The Prevalence of Tramadol Dependence

Many people who become dependent on tramadol do so following legitimate medical use of the drug. Statistically there are significantly fewer people dependent on or addicted to tramadol than to other opioids.

However, this is cold comfort to those who suffer from tramadol dependence or addiction. These addicts recount horrifying tales of withdrawal. Also, some have resorted to replacement therapies such as methadone or suboxone that help heroin addicts get clean, but these substances are both highly addictive themselves and withdrawal symptoms can last much longer.

Tramadol Addiction Treatment

Possessing tramadol without a prescription may be illegal in your state. However, addiction is a medical condition that requires treatment. While law enforcement personnel can arrest you for illegally possessing tramadol, they cannot punish you for being addicted. If you seek treatment for tramadol addiction you will not be turned in to law enforcement authorities. Furthermore, seeking treatment for addiction is the best way to avoid legal troubles that may result from tramadol possession.

If you would like help finding treatment for tramadol addiction, or if you have questions about tramadol, treatment and recovery, call our toll-free helpline. Counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you have and can help you find the treatment you need.

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