The prescription pain reliever tramadol used by hundreds of thousands of people every day kills more people than any other drug, including heroin and cocaine.
The pain reliever does not cause harm if taken correctly, but it becomes very dangerous when mixed with other drugs or alcohol. Last year there were 33 deaths in Northern Ireland, only related to Tramadol. Among the dead were a 16-year-old girl and a 70-year-old pensioner. Opioid-based medication is used to treat moderate to severe pain and should only be taken with a prescription. In 2014 it was classified as a class “C” illegal opioid drug that cannot be dispensed without a prescription.
The problem is that many people are already addicted to Tramadol and are turning to the black market for it because they can no longer get prescriptions to finish their treatment or because their doctor has prescribed another drug.
“Because it is such a commonly used and prescribed drug, I don’t think people realize the potential risk they have if they use Tramadol without medical supervision,” explains Jack Jack, a Northern Ireland state pathologist.
Crane requires the Tramadol classification to be updated again in order for it to be upgraded to class “A”.
Pain management: tolerance and addiction.
Some medications used to treat pain can be addictive. Addiction differs from physical dependence or tolerance. In cases of physical dependence, withdrawal symptoms occur when a substance is suddenly stopped. Tolerance occurs when the initial dose of a substance loses its effectiveness over time. Addiction is a psychological and behavioral response that some people develop with the use of narcotic pain relievers.
People who use opioid medications long-term can develop tolerance and physical dependence, although this does not mean they are addicted. In general, addiction only occurs in a small percentage of people when drugs are used with proper medical supervision.
Opioid pain relievers with effects similar to opium or morphine can be very addictive and work by attaching to receptors in the brain that block the sensation of pain.
They should not be used for more than 3-4 months unless this is done under the direct supervision of your doctor.
Some names of opiates: