How Addictive is Ultram?
Fortunately, tramadol has a much lower dose of opioids present, making Ultram a safer painkiller than many of its competitors. This increased safety does come as a result of decreased potency though, so it is less effective in pain management than many alternatives like morphine. In recognition of this, the United States Drug Enforcement Agency classifies tramadol and all its brand names as Schedule IV controlled substances. This is a notable contrast because most opioids are placed in Schedule II, which is the second highest risk category for a drug to be in. Of course, this does not mean that Ultram is a risk-free drug, and its inclusion in Schedule IV denotes that it is a drug with valuable medical purposes still holding a risk high enough to warrant caution.
The reason that Ultram is considered addictive is because of the pleasure chemicals that the drug prompts the body to produce. These chemicals do occur naturally, but the drug produces a much greater quantity than the body would normally create. This leads to the body becoming overwhelmed by the abundance of chemicals, causing the euphoric high that the drug is known for.
The high is considered one of the leading factors in Ultram addiction because it often encourages people to abuse the drug for pleasure rather than taking it as it is intended. When this happens, the drug quickly begins to alter the person’s brain while their body also adapts to handle it better.
In the beginning this causes a phenomenon called tolerance, which is when the body changes itself to more efficiently manage the drug, and as a result, will require the user to take higher doses to experience the same effects. At later stages of abuse, tolerance grows into dependence, and the user enters a state where their body has adapted so much that it relies on Ultram to function normally. If these individuals go too long without taking an adequate dose, they will enter withdrawal and experience painful symptoms as their body struggles to cope.
Once a dependence has formed, the user becomes locked in a cycle where they need to continue using to avoid withdrawal, in turn changing their body more and strengthening the addiction. At this point, it is incredibly difficult and often dangerous for the addict to quit without outside help.