Friend Hooked on Tramadol. How Can I Help Her?
Hi. I've got a friend who is hooked on Tramadol. She can take between 2 a day to up to 20 a day depending on the day. She wants to come off them but there is no support here in Luton, Bedfordshire for this sort of thing.
She admitted to her GP that she has a problem and his solution was that she has to cold turkey it which freaked her out. (Why oh why are some doctors so stupid?) She won't do rehab cos she has 2 young kids and won't be without them.
Any suggestions or any directions that I can go in?
A prescription drug problem
to a painkiller like Tramadol should be treated in the same way as any other form of drug problem.
A proper addiction treatment
program is always a good place to start - and even if your friend isn't prepared to go to an inpatient program, she could opt for an outpatient program that still lets her stay at home while attending regular treatment sessions.
So you could help her contact the rehabs/treatment facilities more or less in your area and enquire about what outpatient programs they offer and then take it from there. I would imagine the NHS should be able to also provide some kind of list of the programs available, so it's worth also contacting them to see what options they might have/know of.
Something your friend should also consider is getting herself to a local NA meeting. I'm sure there'll be NA meetings in Luton - you can check on their website, ukna.org - because that's an excellent place to start working a programme that can help anyone overcome an addiction if they work the 12 step program provided.
Many people overcome the worst of addictions simply by going to NA meetings and working the 12 steps, even if they never manage to go through a formal addiction treatment programme. And it's a great place to meet like-minded people who are going through something similar and that support is often invaluable.
So encourage your friend to get to an NA meeting. People are often scared to go because they think it's something weird or scary, but once she's gone to her first meeting she'll realise it's cool. You could even take her to make it easier.
GP's are often not that well-informed on how to handle addictions, so these suggestions should help. Good Luck.