Mixing Tramadol with Alcohol

tramadol with alcohol

Opioids like tramadol are dispensed with a warning not to drink alcohol while taking these drugs. Mixing prescription pills and alcohol can result in suppressed breathing and even unconsciousness. Read on to learn more about the dangers of mixing tramadol with alcohol.

Learn about Tramadol

Tramadol is a prescription pain medication that is sold under the brand name Ultram. This drug is similar to other synthetic opioids, in that it blocks the pain receptors in the brain. Tramadol is prescribed to manage moderate to severe pain. It is unique among this class of drugs, as it also works as an antidepressant.

Tramadol is helpful for treating pain caused by stroke, diabetes, injuries, and chronic pain. Tramadol is a common veterinary drug as well.

When compared with other opioids, tramadol is considered less apt to lead to abuse and addiction. This explains why it has a Schedule IV status instead of a Schedule II status like other opioids. The potency of tramadol is about one-tenth the strength of morphine.

Even so, tramadol use can result in a substance use disorder. Not only does tramadol pose the danger of addiction or dependence, but it is also known to cause neurological adverse effects. These include Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Why It’s Risky to Mix Tramadol with Alcohol

Alcohol and tramadol, an opioid, both have a depressive effect on the brain and central nervous system. This means that both substances slow down the nerve activity in the body.

Tramadol will attach to the opioid receptors in the brain and block the sensation of pain. When mixing the opioids with alcohol, dangerous symptoms can result. These include extreme drowsiness, dizziness, dehydration, seizures, respiratory failure, coma, and even death.

What are the signs of Tramadol and alcohol overdose?

Because mixing tramadol and alcohol will cause the nervous system to slow down, it can lead to an overdose. This occurs as the result of ingesting more of these two substances than is safe. The body cannot process the substances, causing a toxic level. This results in an overdose.

The signs and symptoms of alcohol and tramadol overdose include:

  • Repressed breathing.
  • Slowed heart rate.
  • Clammy skin.
  • Mental confusion.
  • Frequent vomiting.
  • Bluish lips or fingertips.
  • Respiratory arrest.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Coma
  • Death

Are You Addicted to Tramadol and Alcohol?

With extended use of tramadol and alcohol, there is a risk of becoming addicted. Both these substances affect the brain’s reward system due to the release of dopamine. This prompts the person to continue using these drugs, which may lead to addiction or dependence.

Signs of tramadol addiction include:

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  • Sleep problems.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Lack of energy.
  • Constipation
  • High blood pressure.
  • Increased heart rate.
  • Pinpoint pupils.
  • Hyper-arousal.
  • Lack of motivation.
  • Mood swings.
  • Mental confusion.
  • Irritability
  • Euphoric mood when high.
  • Anxiety
  • Psychosis
  • Withdrawal symptoms.

Signs of alcohol addiction:

  • Bloated belly or face.
  • Flushed face.
  • Glassy eyes.
  • Hand tremors.
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Sleep problems.
  • Weight gain or loss.
  • Disheveled appearance.
  • Reduced coordination; unsteady.
  • More bruises than normal.
  • Numbness or tingling in the feet.
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Withdrawal symptoms.

Tramadol and Alcohol Detox and Withdrawal

If you are dependent or addicted to tramadol and alcohol, you will first complete a medically supervised detox. Here is what to expect:

Tramadol withdrawal. Tramadol detox is very uncomfortable and should be done under a doctor’s supervision.  Because tapering the dosage is a common practice in aiding in withdrawal, a doctor may schedule a stepped down dosing protocol and monitor the withdrawal symptoms over a period of weeks.

Because tramadol is an opioid, withdrawal symptoms can mimic symptoms of other opioids Tramadol also has non-opioid properties, however, which can cause psychological withdrawal effects. Symptoms include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Restless legs
  • Poor appetite
  • Sweating
  • Muscle pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Tingling sensations
  • Diarrhea
  • Nightmares
  • Dizziness

Alcohol withdrawal. Alcohol detox can be unpredictable and risky, depending on how severe the alcohol use disorder is. This explains why it is always advised to be under the guidance of a medical doctor during alcohol detox. Alcohol withdrawal takes about one week on average. Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Increased heart rate.
  • Increased blood pressure.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Mood swings.
  • Insomnia
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Brain fog.
  • Depression
  • Nervousness
  • Seizures
  • DTs

To reduce the discomfort, over-the-counter or prescription drugs are prescribed to help manage the symptoms.

Polysubstance Addiction Treatment Options

After detox is complete, you should begin treatment immediately. Treating the addiction disorder is essential for achieving sustained sobriety. Addiction behaviors have developed over a lengthy period of time and must be replaced with new thought/behavior patterns. Treatment helps by teaching these methods, along with the 12 steps of A.A.’s new recovery tools, and a relapse prevention plan.

If you have found yourself with a polysubstance addiction, outpatient treatment is simply not going to be sufficient. To be successful long-term, a residential treatment program is a wise choice. The length of time in treatment depends on how severe the polysubstance addiction is, with three months as the minimum stay.

Here is what to expect while in treatment:

  • Group Therapy. You will join your peers in recovery to discuss topics related to your personal journey. This allows you to bond with others and gives you a sense of peer support while in treatment.
  • Individual Therapy. Private therapy sessions with a licensed therapist provide a more intensive approach to tackling dysfunctional thought and behavior patterns.
  • 12-Step Program. The A.A. model is infused into the treatment program to provide structure in recovery.
  • Education. You will learn how the tramadol and alcohol impact the brain and result in addiction.
  • Holistic Methods. Learning how to manage stress will help you while you’re in treatment, and also as a coping tool in recovery.

Rehabs Malibu Offers Comprehensive Treatment for Polysubstance Use Disorder

Rehabs Malibu provides individuals seeking sobriety with a luxury recovery setting. We combine expertise with premier accommodations and amenities to offer the perfect start for your recovery journey. If you have been mixing tramadol with alcohol and it’s resulted in dependence or addiction, we are here to help you. Call us today at (424) 425-3541.