Help! I’m Addicted to the Painkillers I Bought Online!
Q: Hi. I am definitely addicted to tramadol (Ultram). I have tried to stop the drug several times, but the withdrawal symptoms are so unbearable (depression; diarrhea; lethargy; sweats; aching body much more worse than ever before taking the drug, especially upon wakng up in the morning; irritability; increase in tremor), that I get through a day or two and then I know that just “one” will take the withdrawal symptoms away, so back on the drug again!!! I know I am addicted (been buying the drug over the net from Thailand). I started taking the drug for aches and pains because it was “non-narcotic” and “non-habit forming – yeah right!!!!! (I have no medical insurance at this time).
Well, for me, it also produces a “euphoric” type of feeling, like I can get more accomplished when I take it. However, I had no problem getting things done before I ever took the drug!!! I noticed you have “Ultram” listed under the “Treatment” heading (first paragraph), and so now I know I am not abnormal (I guess this must be addictive for many people!!!). At any rate, I really do want to quit taking this drug. I also have essential tremor (familial – mother had it) and am taking diazepam for the tremor (about 10 mg/day, no more than 20 mg/day, and that’s only if I am going to be in a very uncomfortable social situation). I can even go without the diazepam. When I have tried to stop using the tramadol (Ultram), my head tremor gets worse. If I could, I would just hide at home for a week or so and detox; I would have no problem doing that, but I have to function for work, day-to-day LIFE, etcetera (no vacation time, and Monday comes around pretty quickly, hence me only getting through two days of trying to detox). Please…………Do you have any suggestions on herbs, etcetera to help ease withdrawal from tramadol?…….just so I can function somewhat during the detox/withdrawal period. Also, do you have any experience with other cases of withdrawal from this drug, and if so………how long do the extreme symptoms last? Thank you so much for your time. T.S.
A: Right on, T.S.. It’s great that you can admit you have a problem with it.
While browsing online, I was pretty amazed by how many addictive prescription drugs you could buy illegally. The websites said, “comes in a discrete package,” and “nobody needs to know!” I understand that sometimes people are recommended drugs that are embarassing to be on… but the dangers here are misuse, addiction, and overdose.
If I can beat an old drum for a minute, drugs should be prescribed by doctors, and chinese herbs by acupuncturist/herbalists. As you know from your experience, it’s dangerous to treat yourself- even doctors shouldn’t do that.
However, there are some legitimate websites that allow you to buy your prescriptions online. They require a doctor’s prescription, as they should. The main advantage of using an online pharmacy is much lower prices than your local drugstore. Check out Imported Drugs.com.
It’s not my place to recommend what to do with meds that are already being taken… even though it’s a little different when you’re taking self-prescribed, illegally-purchased meds. It’s best to work with an MD and an acupuncturist/herbalist. What the literature suggests is:
One should TAPER off the Ultram rather than just suddenly stopping. That means reducing the dosage gradually over a number of days or weeks.
Herbs and Acupuncture for Withdrawal from Addictive Drugs
NADA (the proven ear acupuncture detox protocol – more about that in my article on Acupuncture and Addiction) could make the withdrawal period easier. So would the formulas:
Chai Hu Long Gu Mu Li Tang (Bupleurum Dragon Bone and Oyster Shell) and
Xiao Chai Hu Tang (Minor Bupleurum)
The first one (Chai Hu Long Gu Mu Li Tang) would be better for someone with a tremor disorder. Neither formula should be taken longer than a couple of months.
Instead of Painkilling Drugs…
Your prospects in the future for treating the aches and pains and tremor would be great with acupuncture and chinese herbs. I would suggest you find an acupuncturist in your area and see them for at least a few months.
Anything else you need, please let me know!