Tag: Tramadol

Tramadol in Egypt Could Become The Next Problem in America

Tramadol Abuse…the Next Epidemic?

egypt tramadol abuse

The seemingly innocuous painkiller Tramadol is, according to a recent report from The Economist, the most popular recreational drug in Egypt. It’s used by hundreds of thousands of people and is bought and sold more frequently than marijuana, cocaine, or heroin.

There seem to be a few major reasons for this recent explosion of Tramadol abuse. First, it’s relatively inexpensive. On the streets of Egypt, and in corrupt pharmacies, pills can be bought for as little as fifteen cents.

Although prices have started to rise as a result of an increased demand, it’s rare for individuals to pay over $3 per pill. These prices are attractive for Egyptian citizens, thanks in part to the average household taking in less than $4,000 annually.

Another reason for the growth of Tramadol abuse is Egypt’s poor work and social structure. Since the fall of former dictator Hosni Mubarak, the region has been rife with instability. This is seen easiest in the economic sector. Having two, or even three, jobs isn’t uncommon. Times are tight and hardworking individuals are looking for a way to unwind.

Add into this equation the fact that everyone in Egypt seems to be taking the drug and, well, it isn’t hard to see why the drug’s so popular. According to The Economist,

“There is no social stigma attached to Tramadol,” says Hisham Mamdouh, who heads a Cairo rehabilitation centre [sic]. At least 40% of those attending his clinic are addicted to the pills.”

Egypt’s Tramadol problem isn’t a small time habit. It’s clear that something needs to be done and fast. What you may be wondering, though, is how a foreign drug problem impacts America? What does this explosion of Tramadol misuse mean for us fighting addiction across the ocean?

Why We Should Care about Egypt’s Drug Problem

If you’re anything like me, your first reaction to hearing about Egypt’s drug problem is momentary interest and…that’s it. Despite finding the above information troubling on an intellectual level, it took me awhile before I realized the real implication of what’s happened in Egypt.

It finally did hit me though. Egyptians abusing Tramadol is serious for two reasons. First, Egypt is one of the only stable countries in the Middle East. To see their society crumbling from the inside is troubling. Second, their problems with drug abuse mirror the United State’s problems.

This first point, the fact that Egypt has long been a friend of America and offered some stability in an otherwise tumultuous area, doesn’t directly touch on substance abuse. Still, if Egyptian citizens sink deeper into abusing opioids and, eventually, heroin, nothing good will come of it.

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. This, in turn, would lead to more heroin being brought into our country and more people using.

Following that logic, it’s not a stretch to say that what’s happening in Egypt can potentially impact levels of heroin abuse in the United States.

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Second, it was only a few years ago that our country was experiencing a prescription painkiller epidemic. Make no mistake, we still are but today we’re also experiencing a heroin epidemic. There’s no doubt in my mind that as Egyptian authorities crack down on Tramadol and other painkiller abuse, heroin use will rise.

The results of widespread heroin abuse have been devastating on America. Imagine what they’d be like in a country that isn’t as economically secure or well developed. It’s a scary prospect to think about.

We need to care about what’s going on in Egypt. Even if it doesn’t seem like their Tramadol problem impacts us, it does. It’s that simple.

How Can I Get Through Tramadol Withdrawal?

Tramadol Withdrawal

Tramadol withdrawal is nasty. Let’s get that out there from the very beginning. It lasts longer than normal opioid withdrawal. It has harsher symptoms. It’s just all around worse.

tramadol withdrawal symptoms

I’ll list individual Tramadol withdrawal symptoms below, but first let’s talk about what exactly Tramadol is. There’s a world of misunderstanding about this chemical, what it is, and more importantly what it isn’t.

Tramadol is an opioid. While many people seem to think it’s is somehow different than other opioids, this simply isn’t true. While Tramadol is weaker than, say, morphine, it belongs to the same family of drugs.

Make no mistake, Tramadol is physically addictive and habit forming. Although it was initially toted as non-habit forming, it 100% is. For proof of this simple point, search “Tramadol withdrawal symptoms” in Google. You’ll find hundreds of websites, including government resources, that all say Tramadol produces a physical dependence. You may even find this very article!

Now that we’re all on the same page about the addictive nature of Tramadol, let’s turn our attention to the actual withdrawal symptoms. What are they and why are they worse than other opioids?

Learn more about Tramadol treatment & how to get sober today!

Tramadol Withdrawal Symptoms

Detoxing from any opioid will produce a host on unwelcome symptoms. Tramadol withdrawal symptoms, however, are especially unpleasant. Why is this? Well, it’s because Tramadol works on the same areas of the brain as opioids and as SSRI antidepressants.

We’ll explore this in detail later. For now though, find a list of common Tramadol withdrawal symptoms below:

• Anxiety & depression
• Shocking sensations in the brain (“brain zaps”)
• Irritability
• Nausea & vomiting
• Diarrhea
• Muscle & bone pain
• Sweating & shivering
• Insomnia
• Confusion
• Hallucinations
• Tingling & numbness of the skin

Obviously everyone reacts differently to drugs. After all, our bodies and minds are different. So, you may or may not experience the above symptoms. Make sure to consult with a doctor before stopping Tramadol usage.

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Tramadol Withdrawal Dangers

Okay, none of those Tramadol withdrawal symptoms sound too pleasant. Still, none are life threatening, right? Here’s where things get complicated. While none of the above symptoms are deadly, they are indicative of something that is.

Because Tramadol acts on both opioid receptors and serotonin receptors, it can interact negatively with antidepressant such as MAOIs, SSRIs, or tricyclics.One of the side effects of mixing Tramadol with an antidepressant is something called Serotonin Syndrome.

tramadol detox

Serotonin Syndrome is a potentially deadly medical condition where there is too much serotonin in the brain. What does this have to do with Tramadol withdrawal though? Well, detoxing from Tramadol can also produce Serotonin Syndrome. Although scientists aren’t sure exactly how this happens, it’s a very real danger when considering how to best stop taking Tramadol.

Another major danger of Tramadol detox is the length. Acute withdrawal symptoms, like those listed above, can last for as long as seven days. Compare this with the three to four days of “typical” opioid withdrawal.

Secondary Tramadol withdrawal symptoms can linger for months. These are things like dysphoria, restlessness, altered sleep cycles, etc. These lingering withdrawal symptoms are one of the many reasons that consulting with a healthcare professional is recommended when getting sober.

What is New Jersey doing to end the heroin epidemic?

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