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Tramadol Rehab and Recovery Guide – What’s Best for The Recovery?

Last Updated: February 7, 2024

Authored by Roger Weiss, MD

Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN

Tramadol is a relatively recent medication, existing in the U.S. markets only since 1995. Today, it is one of the most popular painkillers available and is in use for medical and non-medical reasons.
In 2014, over 40 million prescriptions for the drug were written. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, over 3.2 million U.S. citizens used tramadol for non-medical purposes at some point in their life.

The best chance is to enroll in a rehabilitation program, and the first step to the recovery is to seek information about ways to do so.

Stages Of Tramadol Recovery

Tramadol recovery occurs in three stages: detox, rehab, and aftercare. Detoxification involves the removal of tramadol from the body, which can include flu-like symptoms. After detoxing, the user will need to address the psychological addiction with therapy. Aftercare involves maintaining one’s sobriety.

What are the options for tramadol recovery?

Tramadol users have many options for tramadol recovery, including inpatient facilities and outpatient treatment programs. Inpatient facilities involve medical supervision and are best suited for those who require serious help with recovery. Outpatient facilities do not require admission to a facility, are useful for users who have responsibilities they can’t forsake.

How can one choose the best recovery program?

The right treatment program will be one that fits the privacy needs, the length of treatment that an individual is seeking, and the cost of the program. Additionally, any other drug addictions or health problems that a person has should be taken into account.

Tramadol Addiction Treatment

The process of overcoming tramadol addiction in professional setting involves three stages: detoxification, rehabilitation, and continuing aftercare.

Detox Stage

The first phase of recovery is to remove all traces of tramadol from the body. Most people start experiencing the first symptoms of tramadol withdrawal within the first two days after taking the last dose of the medicine.

Luckily, compared to other drugs withdrawal symptoms from tramadol are not as drastic. The entire detoxification process typically lasts only one week. In severe addiction case, it can last two weeks. But most people restore their chemical balance between seven and ten days. Typical symptoms during these first days include:

Even though Tramadol withdrawal is not extremely painful, the individual has the choice to go through that phase in detox centers. There, the detoxification process and withdrawal symptoms are under the supervision of medical staff.

Doctors often recommend to gradually taper off of tramadol, rather than the “cold turkey” method of quitting. As a result, the withdrawal effects are less intense.

Rehabilitation Phase

After a user is free from their physical dependence on the drug it is time for the next step: tackling the psychological addiction to tramadol. That period takes at least one month but can take several months if the patient needs it.

Each rehabilitation center has its own therapy program. But it always includes a combination of individual counseling and group meetings. The following therapeutic methods are examples of possible treatments one may encounter during rehab:

That is the critical stage of the recovery, where one will learn how to cope with the needs and how to avoid triggers and relapses.

Aftercare and Recovery

After the rehab phase, the patients return to normal life, and it’s up to them to continue the recovery work. This is the time when they implement what they learned during rehab. Staying sober and functioning well without Tramadol are ther two main goals now.

But don’t worry if that sounds overwhelming: there is no need to do it alone. In fact, most ex-addicts that have successfully recovered continue one-on-one counseling. Many of them say that attending support groups is the most helpful because they regularly meet with other recovering addicts. It is a safe place to exchange, grow together and help each other. One can find different support groups in various locations. But almost every town has a local Narcotics Anonymous group, where attendance is usually free.

Tramadol Addiction Treatment Centers

Should one go to a rehab center or do the whole work alone?
If the person is not sure, they should read on about the various options. Many people are reluctant to go to professional facilities because:

  • They feel ashamed. There is no need to feel bad. On the contrary: making the decision to get over addiction is worth congratulations. Besides, the staff is not there to judge. They are there to help people.
  • The cost. Treatment certainly involves paying quite some money. But there are many different payment or insurance options.
  • The time investment. Some people will say that they can’t afford to spend so much time separated from their work, home, and other commitments. But there are solutions for that problem as well.

Tramadol Addiction Treatment Centers

Tramadol Inpatient and Outpatient Options

Inpatient Rehab Programs

In inpatient programs, patients live in the facility for the whole duration of the rehabilitation phase. They are under the supervision and have access to medical attention. There is no distraction and no access to tramadol, so they won’t have temptations to relapse.

Such a program is well-suited for people that need close supervision:

  • Individuals who have a hard time recovering on their own
  • People with severe addictions
  • People who abuse other drugs or substances
  • Those that suffer from co-occurring mental or physical health conditions

Outpatient Treatment Facilities

In outpatient centers, patients don’t have to stay in the treatment facility for the whole time. They live at home and continue regular life, but attend regular meetings. The intensity of schedule depends on the program. Typically they need to devote between 5-30 hours a week for therapy, education, medical check-ups, and support groups.

The outpatient programs are the best options for people that don’t want or need to have constant supervision:

  • People who can handle daily temptations
  • Parents of small children
  • Students in intense programs
  • People with professional or personal commitments that they don’t want to leave for several weeks

Luxury or Executive Rehab Facilities

Executive Facilities

If patients are tied to business but would otherwise choose an inpatient center, then they’re in luck. There are specific inpatient programs dedicated to people in business. In these centers, patients benefit from the same treatments and advantages as standard inpatient centers. But individuals also have access to a computer or a phone, which is restricted to patients in rehab.

Luxury Residencies

People that value a high standard of daily living can choose between many luxury rehab centers. Health is the major goal of course, but these luxury centers have lots of excellent amenities and additional services and benefits. One can enjoy fine linens, gym facilities, and house-keeping. Individuals benefit from massage therapies, excellent cuisine and various types of luxurious recreational activities.

Choosing the Right Tramadol Treatment Program

Take some time to research, contact and think through various rehab choices. Start by assessing the needs and preferences. We’ve already covered inpatient and outpatient options as well as executive and luxury centers. Here are some other important aspects one should take into account when choosing the right program.

Factors to Account For


For tramadol rehab, make sure that the programs an individual is looking at address opioid addictions. Not all centers will specialize in Tramadol addictions, but an opioid-focused center can be helpful.

Does a person have other health issues? Do they have a dual-diagnosis? Are they addicted to other substances? If yes, they should aim for a center that deals with co-occurring disorders and poly-drug abuse.

Is the user a teenager? In that case, one may want to attend a center dedicated to youth. The program is adapted to younger people, and one will surely feel more comfortable around peers.


If privacy is something a person cares about, they can always ask for confidentiality policies in the centers. It is standard procedure in private rehab facilities to guarantee patient privacy and not release their records without their approval.

Also, one might want to consider a program in a different city or state. That way individuals don’t risk running into someone they know as much.

Duration of Treatment

A standard program takes 30 days, but the stay can be longer if needed. In general, it is always better to stay too long than not long enough. It allows to complete each phase thoroughly.


The cost is very different for every program. It depends on many factors, such as:

  • The standard
  • Inpatient/outpatient
  • Special needs
  • The duration
  • The location
  • Availability of funding

Luxury and inpatient programs will be much more expensive than standard low-intensity outpatient programs. Ask the centers one considers for payment options. Usually, they have several financing possibilities so that most people benefit from rehab as soon as possible. Here some hints:

  • Most centers accept credit card payments.
  • Ask for possibilities of long-term payments.
  • Ask the insurance company, whether they cover the chosen treatment.
  • People under the age of 26 can sometimes benefit from their parents’ insurance.

Here are some great ideas for after reab, but one can start using then even today:

  • Continue therapy. Both counseling and group support are beneficial over the long-term.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Eat healthily and drink 2-3 liters of water daily.
  • Identify and avoid triggers.
  • Build the supporting network.
  • Stay busy, in a creative, active and constructive way.
  • Find other methods of dealing with pain. Yoga, for example, is often an excellent way to improve overall health.

Page Sources

  1. https://www.addictioncenter.com/treatment/motivational-enhancement-therapy/
  2. https://www.addictioncenter.com/treatment/holistic-therapy/
  3. https://www.addictioncenter.com/treatment/biofeedback-therapy/

Published on: February 3rd, 2024

Updated on: February 7th, 2024

About Author

Roger Weiss, MD

Dr. Roger Weiss is a practicing mental health specialist at the hospital. Dr. Weiss combines his clinical practice and medical writing career since 2009. Apart from these activities, Dr. Weiss also delivers lectures for youth, former addicts, and everyone interested in topics such as substance abuse and treatment.

Medically Reviewed by

Michael Espelin APRN

8 years of nursing experience in wide variety of behavioral and addition settings that include adult inpatient and outpatient mental health services with substance use disorders, and geriatric long-term care and hospice care.  He has a particular interest in psychopharmacology, nutritional psychiatry, and alternative treatment options involving particular vitamins, dietary supplements, and administering auricular acupuncture.


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