I've been chronically ill for over 16 months now with symptoms ranging from constant severe discomfort to moderate pain. I've recently decided that it's in my best interest to start taking a medication for pain management because my condition has gotten to the point where I don't feel well enough to leave the house or do much of anything. Unfortunately I just turned 18 in the U.S, and although I can legally take these types of medication without parental consent, it seems the numerous doctors I see are still not taking me completely seriously (for example, when I told my doctor today that if someone didn't prescribe me something soon I was going to start taking heroin, he started cracking up). Anyway, I requested he give me vicodin as I've heard a lot of good things about it and it seems to be the universal painkiller of choice. He wouldn't prescribe me vicodin, but prescribed me "Tramadol" instead. He said that it's not an opiate like Vicodin, but it fits into the opiate receptors, and thus gives the "exact same effect as Vicodin," without being as addictive. I had a feelin he was just telling me what I wanted to hear, but I was out of ideas so I took the prescription and hoped for the best. I took 1 50mg tablet half an hour ago, and another one five minutes ago. I feel no symptom relief at all, no euphoria whatsoever, but I do feel sleepy, as well as really angry that this doctor apparently lied to me. I'm obviously no expert, but I thought opium turns to morphine in your body and becomes endorphins, or something like that? If Tramadol isn't an opiate, then how can it do that? And if it can't then how does it have the same effect as Vicodin? Anyawy, for those who you don't feel like reading all of that: How does Vicodin differ from Tramadol in terms of the effect? Do the two really give the user the exact same effect, like my doctor said? And slightly off topic, If I can't get a doctor to prescribe me a painkiller that actually does something, is taking heroin orally in small doses a good alternative (because it seems like my only one at this point), or is there something else I could do? Thanks a lot. Any help would be much appreciated as I'm in a very bad place right now and I can't deal with my health symptoms anymore without some sort of help.