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Tramadol Addiction, My Story - Long Post
Tramadol Addiction, My Story - Long Post
I’ve been a reader here for about 3 months now and I’ve finally decided to post a little about my story so that I’m not completely alone with this.
I’m a tramadol addict. It started many years ago when I had some back problems. My mother who had been prescribed the drug for her arthritis and spinal stenosis gave me a few of her pills to see if it would help me. And boy did it! She had been given Ultracet, which is tramadol mixed with acetaminophen. I noticed that if I took three or four of them instead of one or two, I’d feel in a very good mood.
When my back problems cleared up, I would ask her for more, as a just in case and she would gladly give them to me since she had a very large supply. I would use them recreationally, usually on a Saturday evening, and at most take 4 pills in one shot. I wouldn’t drink or do any other type of drug. Tramadol was the best ever. I loved the feeling of being happy, full of energy and being completely in control and focused. Those of you who have taken tramadol know, this is one of the kickers about it – that you don’t seem to be or act as though you are drugged at all and can completely function.
Initially my taking of tramadol was pretty limited. I could go months at a time without taking a single pill. And then my back would act up. I would ask my mom for some pills and since I wasn’t taking large amounts and not constantly asking her for more and was going months without them, she never suspected.
Now just so you know a little of my background, I was an abused child. I lived with my mom who was an undiagnosed (at the time) borderline schizophrenic that was not medicated and used alcohol to help her get through. My childhood was very rough. I was an only child and my father had divorced my mom and left. So I was pretty much alone with her starting at age 4. And it was made clear to me by her, that I was the cause of all her problems. I’m mentioning this not for pity – it was what it was and many children have less than ideal upbringings – I mention this cause I know for a fact that it is related to my tramadol abuse.
I did the best I could growing up, went to college and am a successful adult, who has a great career and a partner who loves me very much. I am a believer of never letting the past dictate who you become and I fought very hard to do the right thing. But by my mid 30s I began having severe panic attacks, literally waking up in the middle of the night being terrified and throwing up. In fact one night, I almost threw up right in bed. There was nothing in my current adult life that would be a cause for such stress. None of my friends knew anything about my childhood and I had no other relatives in the States except for my mom. The only person I ever told about my earlier life was my partner and even then to a limited degree. I had bottled down all my pain and terror of my childhood and the cork was now popping.
So what did I do – I knew tramadol made me feel good and I knew that you could get it online without a prescription (I had heard news reports of people buying prescription drugs online without scripts) and I did. I also figured out that instead of getting Ultracet which had 37mg of tramadol, if I got tramadol itself, it would be 50mg and without the acetaminophen would be less toxic to my liver (there’s addict thinking right there).
So I began taking it and the amount began to increase to the point where I was taking 6 or 7 pills every day. The survivor me realized that this was not a good strategy and so I decided to see a therapist to finally deal with my childhood issues. I also went to see a psychiatrist to get Zoloft and klonopin (for the times when the panic would bust through). I stopped taking tramadol, went through withdrawal, which really sucked and within 3 months stopped taking the Zoloft and the klonopin with no more panic attacks. I felt great – for awhile. I continued to work with my therapist and I thought everything would be fine.
But I really missed the tramadol. Nothing in the world felt like it. Plus going to the therapist uncovered a lot of very painful stuff. I knew I needed to continue going to see her to get better emotionally but some of the pain was almost intolerable to me. So, unbeknown to her, I started taking tramadol again. And this began the roller coaster of me taking it and then stopping cold turkey, starting, stopping, starting, and stopping. Each time I started again I thought, hell I’m taking care of me, no one else ever cared about me and they don’t know what’s best for me. Taking tramadol makes me feel better. I can go to work, be productive, live a normal life and not be in emotional pain - all from a pill. But the pill amounts became greater and greater to the point where I was taking up to 30 a day.
Now, I’m a big guy – 6’1”, 220, built like a football player, but 30 a day is a lot for any one. Tramadol has become a noose around my neck. I remember trying to order them online and not being able to, and going into a panic cause I knew I’d go into withdrawal since I only had a 2 day supply left. Going cold turkey at 6 pills a day was bad enough, at 30 a day I can only imagine what hell it would be like.
The entire time my partner was unaware this was going on. He noticed that I was a happier person but attributed it to my therapy until he found a credit card bill of mine with a list of online pharmacies and asked what this was for. So I came clean to him. At first he flipped out, not knowing what the drug was and the fact that I was hiding this from him the entire time – almost a year.
After his initial shock and upset, he made it clear to me in no uncertain terms that he would not/could not live with an active addict. This coupled with the fact that I was constantly worrying about my pill supply and that it had me by the throat, I began a taper schedule which has been tough. It has taken me 3 or 4 months to get down to 6 pills a day. And the reason it’s taken so long is at certain points I just wanted to continue taking the drug and so would stay at a plateau for three weeks straight – taking the same number of pills or even increasing by 2, 3 or 4 pills for a small bit of time.
But now I am resolved that by March 26th I will be completely off tramadol. And I am scared of that date. But it has to be. I’ve cut up all my credit cards. I used to pay off my own credit card bills but now he does that and has access to all my card accounts online (so that I can’t try to buy the drugs online without him knowing). One of the hardest things for me is talking to other people about it or letting other people in. I didn’t tell my therapist, I didn’t tell my partner (whom I love very much), I didn’t tell anyone. I was so used to not having anyone to turn to whenever I had problems or was feeling bad that I pretty much figured that I’m the only one I can count on. It’s something that I am working on and it’s slowly changing, which is why I decided to post here. I felt like I needed to get my story out. I am also thinking about going to NA. That’ll be another big step in not being alone with this but it’s also going to be a tough one for me.
The withdrawals have been tough - brain zaps, aches, sleeplessness, all the standard withdrawal symptoms of tramadol. I've read about the Thomas method and having been taking vitamins and other supplements like SAMe and L-tyrosine to combat some of the brain affects. But it's been tough. Some days worse than others, including today. But regardless, I am committed to getting off this.
Sorry for the long post but thank you for taking the time to read it.
I am with you my friend and this is my 2nd try to get off this stuff. I have heard that stopping cold turkey is unhealthy and the chances of getting off the stuff is not good. So, I am going to be tapering as well. Today, I will be taking 1/2 pill 3 times a day for a few days and then 1/2 pill 2 times a day for another 3-4 days. Eventually I will get off, as I have faith in myself.
You might want to try a small dose sleep aid to help with the anxiety at night as you will undoubtedly get night sweats and not sleep well.
I will make my own thread in a bit to give my back ground as well. Just hang in there SomeGuyNJ, I have faith in people like you. You already posted here and thats a great step in my opinion!
your story is eerie. It is exactly the same as my own. Well Not exactly, but close. I have been getting tramadol from my mother. I also originally started for back pain. Yes, the mood is fantastic when you take 3 or 4 at a time. Not a high, really, just a feeling of strength and ability to get things done. I typically take no more than 7 a day. Usually in groups of 2.
Well, I too have been feeling bad. It started with sleeplessness. My thoughts were racing so quickly that I couldn't get to sleep. Then I started noticing a weak >>>>>> when I urinated. Moreover, I could not reliably have sex anymore. The urge was there, but not the power. If you no what I mean. It is has if my genitals were weak...
Anyways, I started to have more severe symptoms, especially if I forgot to take some, or could not get any. Extreme fatigue, to the point where I was afraid I would collapse during the day while walking across the parking lot, became the norm.
Strange, depressed thoughts, too, started occurring. Mostly when I would try and wean myself. Diarrhea was also prevalent..I mean, really bad diarrhea.
I am here because I was researching Tramadol withdrawal. This drug is evil, especially if you abuse it. I am scared something is wrong with me, and I really hope it is the Tramadol. I am weaning myself now. I have a bunch left, but refuse to continue. I will take only 1 1/2 each morning, then 1, then none. This drug has got to go.
I hope all works out for you,
Would you care to describe the brain zaps you're feeling? I know they're common with SSRI withdrawal but I hadn't heard of it with opiate withdrawal. Then again Tramadol isn't quite the same as hydrocodone, etc... Just wondering because I was recently prescribed Tramadol 50mg for back pain due to a skydiving related incident.
be very careful with that Tramadol, It is an opiate and dependancy and addiction are real. I just got clean from these things and I am 12 days in. I feel pretty good, but the slope is VERY slippery. Before you know it you will be buying them on line and hiding it from the people you love.
I need help
I am a 27 year old female who is battling an addiction to tramadol as well. I am finally ready to get help but no one knows anything about this and I do not know where to turn. I struggle each and every day but I am so scared to begin thinking that I can't do this any longer. I've read the stories above and it's amazing how similar they are to my story.
I need to get my life back, if not for me, but for my two baby girls and husband. I am in a desperate state right now and I seriously am at a loss of where to go for help. I do not want to go to rehab b/c I do not want anyone to know the real me...I really don't have money for a therapist. (Well I would, but the online prescriptions cost so much)
Does anyone have any advice for me?
I am 2 weeks clean from a 500-600 mg daily tram addiction. I just quit cold turkey. I used some of the methods in the Thomas Recipe to help with the withdrawal symptoms. I am really not sure how it worked because by the time I saw it I was on day 4 clean, so some of the symptoms were already starting to subside. Anyway, the first few days were rough, but not unbearable. After day 5 I was really starting to feel normal again, the runs were gone, the chills were minimal, I started to sleep again. I think the key is to keep very busy the first 4 or 5 days. Do things that you don't normally do, this helped me keep my mind off the tram. Paint a room, cut the grass, take the kids out somewhere new, anything that you wouldn't normally do while you were using tram. I don't know the duration of your addiction, or the amount you are using so cold turkey may not work for you. For me it was the only option, I know I would never be able to stick to a taper plan.
Hope this helps!
LSD/Acid Addiction: My Life Story
I never really thought of myself as one to indulge in LSD, well when i was a teenager i didn't. I'm 34 now, about 13 years ago i became addicted to Acid, it was the biggest mistake of my life.I grew up in the middle part of South Philadelphia, where I still live now. I had quite decent marks in my three years at the Center High School of Philadelphia. In my third year they, my graduating year, I was introduced to Acid at my friend Darren's party in the first quarter. Darren is now buried at Woodlands Cemetery, he died by driving a car under the influence of Acid and he crashed on the highway, him and his girlfriend. My marks dropped before the end of the year and I didn't graduate, so I dropped out. It was right after high school when I became a construction supervisor, that's when I became addicted. I didn't have a wife and hardly any family at all, I was broke, and all I had was my job and my friends. So every Friday night, we would go to the bar then take Acid in the alley. IT dipped into my pocket every week, something i could hardly afford, but I couldn't stop my urge to take it, that's what being addicted is. It affected my life in so many ways, I became broke, the little family I had stopped talking to me and when I was 26 I lost my job. Even on the days i wasn't on LSD, I still hallucinated sometimes, it wasn't healthy or right. In the winter, I became homeless, so i started going to a help group called Above & Beyond. After going to this program for about 3 months, I got a job as a waiter in a cafe and rented a small condo above it. Going to Above & Beyond helped me so much, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Today I'm still struggling, but my life has gotten better. -Seymour Rothschild