Ultram is a synthetic opioid medication used to treat moderate and severe pain. It was originally developed to provide an alternative to true opiates, which are highly addictive. Despite the fact that it is marketed as a drug with little potential for abuse, thousands of people suffer from Ultram addiction and struggle to get clean and sober.

How is Ultram Used?

Ultram is prescribed to people who suffer from injuries, who are recovering from surgery or who have conditions such as chronic pain or migraines. Forming an addiction to any medication is possible after regular use.

People who abuse Ultram typically swallow it in pill form instead of grinding it up to snort. Snorting the drug causes the same effects as taking it orally, but snorting is painful and causes a bad taste in the mouth. Because of this, most people choose to take the pills.

Ultram is manufactured in several different dosages: 50, 100, 200 and 300 milligrams. Common dosages for normal use are 50-100 milligrams. People who are abusing the drug typically take at least 200 milligrams to get high, although they may take more or less depending on their tolerance.

What Are the Street Names for Ultram?

Ultram has few street names because it is not widely abused. People who are looking to buy or sell prescription drugs may call them “trail mix” or “pharms.” Pay special attention to these terms if you suspect someone in your home is abusing prescription drugs, especially if another family member has a prescription for Ultram.

The generic name for Ultram, tramadol, may be used instead of the brand name.

What Does Ultram Look Like?

Ultram comes in several different dosages. Each one has a different imprint to reflect its content.

  • Ultram 50 milligram is a white oval pill. The name “McNeil” is imprinted on one side and “659” is imprinted on the other side.
  • Ultram 100 milligram is an extended release dosage. It is a round white pill with “100 ER” imprinted on one side. The other side is blank.

The 200 and 300 milligram dosages look exactly like the 100 milligram dosage. Instead of “100 ER,” these dosages have “200 ER” and “300 ER” imprinted on them, respectively.

What is Ultram’s Federal Classification?

Because of its low potential for abuse, Ultram is not a federally-controlled substance. However, some states have classified it as a Level IV controlled substance. This means that it has a low risk of abuse and it has a medical use, but it has the potential to cause physical or psychological addiction.

Abusing any medication prescribed for someone else is illegal, even if the medication is not a controlled substance.

How Does Ultram Affect the Mind?

Ultram produces a mild euphoric effect. People taking it tend to feel less anxious and experience improved mood. People who have untreated depression and anxiety often abuse the drug because of these effects.

Unlike stronger opiate medications, the euphoria people experience from using Ultram does not interfere with regular activities and is not overwhelming. A person using Ultram is typically able to conduct their normal activities without indicating that they are using drugs. They do not display the typical signs of drug use like slurred speech, loss of coordination or lethargy.

Some people experience side effects from using Ultram either as prescribed or illicitly. Confusion, memory loss and poor coordination can indicate a serious reaction to the drug. People using the drug without a prescription are often unaware of the risk of developing these side effects and may not be aware that they are signs of a serious problem. Continuing to use Ultram with these effects further endangers their health and lives.

How Does Ultram Affect the Body?

Ultram is intended to treat pain, so its primary effect on the body is a lack of pain. People using it as intended feel relief from the pain of acute injuries or from chronic illnesses like arthritis.

Ultram impairs the body’s ability to feel pain. Pain is an important response because it signals that the body is damaged and needs attention. Without this signal, a person may continue a harmful activity or fail to seek medical attention for their injuries, causing further damage to the body and placing them at risk for serious long-term consequences.

What Are the Symptoms of Ultram Overdose?

Ultram overdose can be life-threatening. Overdose symptoms resemble those of opiates.

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Overwhelming drowsiness
  • Slow, irregular heart rate

These overdose symptoms are related to a depressed heart rate. Without immediate medical attention, a person who has overdosed on Ultram may experience cardiac arrest, which can lead to death within minutes.

Ultram Addiction

Ultram addiction usually occurs in people who need the drug for pain and have a prescription from a doctor. However, it is only intended for short-term use. A person who is addicted to Ultram may not realize they have a dependence on the drug until they run out of their medication and cannot get more.

Although Ultram has a lower potential for addiction, it causes dependence in thousands of people every year. Around 6% of people entering drug treatment programs have an addiction to opiate pain medications, including Ultram.

Tolerance is a precursor to a physical dependence on Ultram. It occurs when normal doses of the drug become ineffective in treating pain. Many people increase their dosage in response, taking more and more just to feel the same effects.

People who consistently take high doses of the drug cause physical changes in their brain and body. These changes make quitting the drug so difficult that many people cannot stop using Ultram on their own.

Ultram Withdrawal Symptoms

People who try to quit using Ultram experience withdrawal effects that are so severe that they often use the drug again just to make the symptoms stop. These symptoms include:

  • Unpleasant tingling, especially in the hands and feet
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Pain in the muscles and joints
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Seizures

These symptoms make it impossible to perform at work and school, so the person needs to take Ultram again just to feel normal.

People with Ultram addictions need help quitting the drug. Medical detoxification is often necessary to help them cope with these symptoms so that they can get sober.