man struggling with soma abuse and addiction. carisoprodol abuse and addiction

Muscle relaxant medications, specifically carisoprodol (Soma), have been used for non-medical reasons by 3.69 million individuals 12 and older. In the last decade, Soma abuse has significantly escalated as a result of its rewarding effects, including euphoria, sedation, and drowsiness. However, there is a risk of carisoprodol overdose, which can result in loss of consciousness, coma, shock, respiratory depression, and death.

What is Soma (Carisoprodol)?

Soma is the brand name for the muscle relaxer carisoprodol, prescribed to treat muscle pain and discomfort. Carisoprodol is an FDA-approved medication for short-term use, typically three weeks or less, depending on the patient’s situation. Producing similar effects to that of other central nervous system (CNS) depressants, Soma is habit-forming and causes withdrawal symptoms when stopped. Symptoms may include headaches, nausea, trouble falling and staying asleep, and stomach cramps. While it is a prescription medication, individuals taking Soma can quickly become dependent on the medication and develop an addiction.

muscle pain and carisoprodol abuse

As a centrally acting muscle relaxant, Soma’s most common side effects include sedation, drowsiness, dizziness, and reduced alertness. Carisoprodol acts on the brain and spinal cord to relax specific muscles or relieve short-term discomfort in the muscles or bones. It acts on the central nervous system (CNS) to relax the muscles and is typically accompanied by physical therapy, rest, exercises, and other treatments for muscle injury or spasms.

The Effects of Soma Abuse on the Body

When used as prescribed, carisoprodol’s therapeutic effects can help individuals who may struggle to relax or fall asleep at night due to their pain. Some patients may become dependent on the effects of Soma to help them find any relief, which can escalate to misuse and potentially harmful outcomes. Using carisoprodol as part of a pain management or rehabilitation program still holds the risk of abuse and dependency.

Soma abuse can lead to a range of short-term and long-term effects on the body, including coordination and cognitive impairment, liver damage, dependency, withdrawal, and increased risk of overdose. While Soma can have various bodily effects, it can contribute to different psychological and social consequences. Carisoprodol abuse can lead to a range of mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation. It can cause users to isolate themselves, leading to loneliness, employment issues, financial difficulties, and relationship struggles.

woman struggling with muscle pain and soma abuse

Short-Term Effects

The short-term effects of Soma abuse include drowsiness, sedation, euphoria, coordination impairment, and a heightened risk of addiction and overdose. One of the most immediate and expected effects of carisoprodol is sedation, ranging from mild drowsiness to severe impairments in mental and physical performance. Soma helps individuals with acute musculoskeletal conditions who experience difficulty relaxing, falling, and staying asleep.

Muscle relaxers like carisoprodol can be a beneficial short-term solution for pain management but are also incredibly habit-forming. Some users also report feeling a sense of euphoria from Soma, which can also facilitate misuse and dependency. As a skeletal muscle relaxant, carisoprodol may cause impairments in physical coordination along with slow reaction times. These muscle relaxation effects from Soma may also contribute to an increased risk of accidents and injuries in users.

Especially when combined with other substances such as alcohol, opioids, or other depressants, Soma abuse can lead to overdose. Soma overdose symptoms include blurred vision, hallucinations, difficulty in breathing, vomiting, shock, coma, and potentially death.

Long-Term Effects of Carisoprodol Abuse

Carisoprodol’s long-term effects can cause dependency, withdrawal symptoms, cognitive impairment, liver damage, and increased risk of substance use disorder (SUD) and overdose. Soma is a muscle relaxer intended for short-term use due to its potential for users to develop a physical and psychological dependence on it. Long-term Soma use can result in withdrawal symptoms when tapering off of carisoprodol, including insomnia, anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and vomiting. Chronic use of Soma can also cause impairments in cognitive function, such as memory deficiencies, reduced alertness, slowed reactions, and trouble concentrating and making decisions.

woman with insomnia from soma abuse and needing addiction treatment

Prolonged use of carisoprodol can also stress the liver, potentially causing liver damage or failure from Soma abuse. Taking Soma with other medications can heighten the risk of overdose, harmful side effects, and drug-induced hepatotoxicity.

Carisoprodol’s drug interactions include:

  • Opioids (oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, tramadol)
  • Antidepressants (Zoloft, Cymbalta, Prozac)
  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana (cannabis)
  • Antihistamines
  • Depressants (Xanax, Klonopin)
  • Anticonvulsants (gabapentin, clonazepam, pregabalin)
  • Sleep-inducing drugs
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines

Drug-induced hepatotoxicity is an injury or inflammation of the liver from the consumption of a toxic amount of substances or medications. While there is minimal evidence on the subject, there is a potential for drug-induced liver injury (DILI) or liver disease from long-term carisoprodol abuse. Additionally, overconsumption of any medication or substance with a potential for abuse can lead to the development of dependency and addiction. Individuals who abuse Soma are at a higher risk for developing a substance use disorder (SUD) or addiction to other substances. Mixing substances is also known as polysubstance use when someone consumes more than one drug at a time. Other substances used in combination with Soma may include alcohol, marijuana, or opioids to enhance Soma’s euphoric or sedative effects.

Carisoprodol (Soma) Abuse: Prevention, Awareness, and Rehab Treatment

Soma, a prescription muscle relaxant, when used as instructed by a healthcare provider, can provide therapeutic effects for those with chronic musculoskeletal pain. However, users must be aware of its potential for abuse and dependence when taking carisoprodol. Addressing Soma abuse requires spreading awareness and providing prevention strategies and support for those struggling. Understanding the potentially harmful effects of Soma and the signs of abuse can help identify the issue before it exacerbates addiction. Withdrawal from Soma may require a professional detox treatment program for a safe and effective withdrawal process.

Individuals struggling with Soma abuse, dependency, or addiction can benefit from a drug rehabilitation program at a professional treatment center. Drug addiction treatment centers can help those with carisoprodol addiction address the physical and psychological aspects of their addiction problem. For drug rehab centers in Palm Beach, FL, contact Rock Recovery Center. Our addiction treatment programs in South Florida can help those battling addiction get sober and achieve a life of long-term recovery.