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Is Tramadol An Opiate/Opioid?

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

June 13, 2019

Tramadol is an opioid analgesic used in the treatment of mild to moderate pain. As part of the opioid family, this medication comes with the potential for abuse and addiction. Formal treatment is often recommended to help overcome opioid addiction.

Tramadol, which also goes by the name Ultram, is a prescription opioid used to treat moderate to severe pain. As an opioid, this drug comes with the potential for abuse, dependence, and addiction.

Tramadol is available in regular and extended-release tablets and capsules. The extended-release version of this medication is primarily used to treat constant, round-the-clock pain.

This medication should be taken under the careful supervision of a doctor. Tramadol is rarely taken for an extended period of time, as doing so can increase the risk of dependence and addiction.

What Type Of Drug Is Tramadol?

Opioids, also referred to as narcotics, are drugs derived from the opium poppy plant. This category of medications is most commonly used in the medical setting to treat mild to severe pain.

Opioids include illegal drugs like heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and other painkillers like oxycodone and morphine. Whether illegal or prescribed, opioids can be highly addictive.

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This class of drugs works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain to block sensations of pain. While certainly effective at minimizing pain, opioids also can elicit feelings of relaxation and euphoria. These positive effects are the primary reason these drugs are abused.

When a person takes an opioid medication like Tramadol for an extended period of time, he or she can build up a tolerance to the drug. Tolerance is when a person needs more of the substance to experience the same effects. Many people will continue to increase their dosage of Tramadol or other opioid medications to continue experiencing the drug’s pleasurable effects.

Continued use or abuse of opioids can result in physical dependence and addiction. Opioid addiction can put people at an increased risk of negative side effects that may include constipation, nausea, or slowed breathing. Overdose is also a risk factor of opioid use and abuse.

Treatment For Tramadol Addiction

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to Tramadol, know that help is available. There are a number of treatment options to consider when seeking help for opioid addiction.

Many people who are addicted to opioids will first need to attend a medically supervised detox program. Opioid withdrawal can be incredibly uncomfortable and is a primary reason why people relapse in early sobriety. A detox program can help patients comfortably and safely withdraw from Tramadol.

After the withdrawal process is complete, many people will need to participate in a formal treatment program such as inpatient treatment. Inpatient programs offer customized recovery programs that are catered to meet each person’s needs.

To learn more about whether Tramadol is an opioid/opiate, contact a treatment specialist today.

Live Science - Tramadol: Dosage & Side Effects

MedlinePlus - Tramadol

World Health Organization - Tramadol

John Hopkins Medicine - What Are Opioids?

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