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Are We Experiencing a Tramadol Epidemic?

tramadol epidemic

The seemingly innocuous painkiller Tramadol is becoming a popular drug around the world. Hundreds of thousands of people use it. It sells more than marijuana, cocaine, and other drugs. Can a Tramadol epidemic be on the rise?

There seem to be a few significant reasons for this recent explosion of Tramadol abuse. First, it’s relatively inexpensive. Although prices have started to rise as a result of increased demand, it’s rare for individuals to pay over $3 per pill. 

The Beginning of the Tramadol Epidemic

While Tramadol abuse isn’t new in the United States, the trend comes from far away. In Egypt, street drug abusers are finding comfort in Tramadol, mainly thanks to its low prices. 

The growth of Tramadol addiction in Egypt could be due to the country’s shoddy work and social structure. Since the fall of former dictator Hosni Mubarak, the region has been rife with instability. Having two, or even three, jobs aren’t uncommon. Times are tight and hardworking individuals are looking for a way to unwind. According to The Economist,

“There is no social stigma when it comes toTramadol. At least 40% of those attending the clinic are addicted to the pills.”

Hisham Mamdouh, who heads a Cairo rehabilitation center.

The Tramadol Epidemic in the United States

The majority of heroin imported into America comes from the Middle East. More instability in the region could easily lead to increased production of heroin. The opioid epidemic in the country continues to worsen. In the US, the death rate for synthetic opioids like Tramadol has increased by 20-fold. However, death rates for Tramadol alone are challenging to find since they’re often grouped with other synthetic opioids. 

So far, we know that the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that from 2005-2011 Emergency Department visits for tramadol-related misuse or abuse increased 250%. Overall, 38% of ED visits for tramadol-related misuse or abuse resulted in hospitalization or transferred to another medical facility.

Tramadol is a dangerous and lethal drug. With Tramadol overdoses rising at the same rate as other dangerous opioids, it’s clear something needs to happen. 

Tramadol Addiction Treatment

At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, we understand how severe Tramadol abuse can be and the health dangers it represents. Our addiction specialists work alongside our patients to develop tailor-made treatment programs to help them navigate their addiction and find long-term recovery. 

Tramadol addiction treatment includes a combination of detoxification programs to help people tamper off the substance from their system. Then, most patients move to either inpatient rehab programs or outpatient treatment programs to continue their recovery. Here, a combination of individual and group therapy can help people develop the skills they need to fight their addiction. Sometimes cognitive-behavioral therapy is used to combat addiction behavior and help people treat the underlying issues that might trigger their addiction. 

Finally, we believe recovery doesn’t end with treatment. We offer aftercare recovery programs to help those in early recovery develop relapse prevention skills and build a healthy support system that encourages their sobriety. Please, if you or someone you know is struggling with substance use disorder, don’t hesitate to reach out today — we’re always ready to help.