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Soma Abuse: Addiction Signs & Treatment Options

Soma is a brand-name for Carisoprodol. It is a prescription medicine used to treat acute muscle pain from injuries such as sprains and strains. It also cures the discomfort brought about by muscle spasms.

Carisoprodol falls under the category of muscle relaxers. These are drugs that act as depressants to the central nervous system. They prevent the nerves from transmitting pain signals to the brain and cause a sedative effect. They, therefore, help one to fall asleep.

In many ways, the Soma drug is similar to the barbiturate class of drugs. It has the same effects on the body and the brain. This drug is available in tablet form, and you can also take it orally. When consumed, its effects occur rapidly in the body and can last from 4-6 hours after use.

Physical therapy, rest, and other injury treatments accompany the administration of Carisoprodol for effective treatment of muscle pain. However, some people become addicted to Carisoprodol and use it wrongly.

Soma Usage

When treating an injury, doctors often prescribe Soma, which is taken several times a day, usually up to four times. The typical dosage is 350mg. This amount works well for many people and doesn’t result in profound side effects of the medication.

Some of the common side effects of Carisoprodol are dizziness, extreme drowsiness, headache, and sedation. This makes it dangerous for people to drive or operate machinery. The less common side effects are nervousness, anxiety, nausea, dry mouth, and irritability.

Soma is a short-term treatment medication. A patient should use the medication for a maximum of three weeks unless the physician instructs otherwise. Long-term use could lead to undesirable effects on the body. The longer one uses Soma, the higher the risk of them getting addicted and physically dependent. This risk is especially higher for individuals with a past of substance abuse or addiction.

It is therefore very important to stick to the prescription and dosage. When one takes large doses of Soma, they experience euphoria and a sense of intoxication. The same happens when you combine Soma with other substances.

Due to the increasing cases of its abuse, doctors prescribe Soma sparingly. Doctors advise people with skeletal pain to try out alternative treatment methods and therapy before going for Carisoprodol. These include massage, yoga, stretching, and over-the-counter medicine. There have been several emergency cases brought about by the abuse of Soma and the accidents caused by its side effects.

There are cases, however, when over-the-counter medications can’t be an option. These include the treatment of kidney problems and liver disease. Even in these cases, its intake should not exceed three weeks.

Soma is a Schedule IV drug under the Controlled Substances Act. This means that it is a controlled drug. The federal government recognizes its potential for abuse and addiction. Before using Soma, you should inform your physician if you have a history of substance abuse. This allows the physician to assess the risk before prescribing the drug.

They will then determine the proper length of treatment that will not result in another addiction. It is also important for doctors to educate their patients on the risk of addiction that Soma usage comes with. This keeps the patient cautious and minimizes cases of addiction and dependence.

Physical dependence is not the same as addiction. One can become physically dependent without getting addicted to the drug. Dependence refers to a state where a person’s body and brain have become used to the drug’s presence. When one stops taking the drug in this state, they experience withdrawal symptoms. Doctors advise patients to let go slowly as opposed to stopping suddenly.

Effects of Soma

When consumed, Soma causes reduced anxiety, sedation, and muscle relaxation. However, strong muscle relaxers also cause unintended side effects. The most common side effects of Soma usage are not severe. When a patient follows the prescription, the side effects may include headache and drowsiness. However, when abused, the side effects are usually more severe and dangerous.

The typical short-term prescription and dosage of 350mg will not lead to addiction and dependence, but long-term use and higher dosage will. Misuse of Soma causes euphoria, which puts one at risk of abuse. Withdrawal normally occurs when one has become dependent on the drugs and is trying to stop. In severe cases, the withdrawal symptoms may resemble those of alcohol withdrawal.

The following comprise the side effects of Carisoprodol as per the National Library of Medicine:

  • Drowsiness
  • Increased clumsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Upset stomach and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Skin rash
  • Increased heart rate

These effects usually set in within the first 30 minutes after taking Soma. They last for about 4-6 hours. When heavily misused, however, one may experience:

  • Agitation
  • Extreme weakness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Cervical spine injury
  • Depression
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Hypotension
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Tachycardia
  • Double vision
  • Temporary loss of vision
  • Euphoria
  • Disorientation

With continued usage, one may end up permanently damaging their essential organs. These include the kidneys, liver, lungs, heart, and brain.

Soma Overdose

An overdose of Soma could be fatal and therefore requires immediate medical attention. The New York Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) lists the following symptoms of Soma overdose:

  • Chills
  • Palpitations
  • Extreme sedation
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coma
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Shock
  • Hallucinations
  • Stupor
  • Shock
  • Seizures
  • Respiratory depression
  • Coma

Repeated abuse of Carisoprodol may lead one to overdose on the drug unintentionally. Overdose risk is also higher among people who have been through detox. This is because the use of Soma leads to a high tolerance. One will, therefore, need to take a higher dose for the drug to have the same effect in the body. Tolerance usually reduces when one stops taking the drug. Hence a dosage that the body used to tolerate may become too large and lead to overdose.

Use of Soma With Alcohol

Soma acts as a muscle relaxant as well as a tranquilizer. It is a depressant, meaning it slows the activity of the central nervous system. People are increasingly misusing Soma and combining it with other substances such as alcohol.

This works to increase the drug’s effects and hence puts one at a higher risk of getting addicted. People usually use the combination of Soma and alcohol to increase the intoxicating and hypnotic effect of Soma. Some use it to help them relax or fall asleep. What they don’t know is that it can be a deadly mix.

Both alcohol and Soma affect the central nervous system and the brain’s neurotransmitters, including GABA. This combination causes thinking, judging, and coordination problems. The other effects include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Memory problems
  • Urine retention
  • Fainting
  • Liver damage
  • Extreme dizziness
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Increased risk of overdose

The central nervous system could slow down to the point of dangerously affecting the breathing rate and heart rate. When the respiration rate slows down too much, it could lead to death.

It is important to avoid alcohol when you are under a Soma prescription. If you or a loved one struggles with Soma abuse, we can help you get back control over your life here at Granite Recovery Centers.

Addiction to Soma

People often confuse drug abuse with drug addiction. Abusing drugs means that one takes it in a way outside what the physician prescribed. This includes taking the drug more often than required, taking a higher dose of the drug, taking the drug longer than the prescribed time, or combining it with other substances such as alcohol. When one abuses drugs, it means that they are at a higher risk of getting addicted to the drug.

Prolonged use of Soma increases your body tolerance and dependence on it. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Soma is one of the most commonly abused drugs. When it gets inside your body, it breaks down to produce a metabolite called meprobamate, which causes addiction.

The interaction of Soma with GABA receptors in the brain also triggers dopamine production and leads to a reward response. These positive reward responses result in addiction as the brain will always want to feel the effect. Many people addicted to Soma are patients who purchased the medication to treat muscle pain or injury. The chances of getting addicted increase when one abuses the drug.

Other people acquire Soma through illegal means. Because it is relatively easy to acquire, the abuse of Soma has increased in recent years. Physical dependence and addiction have become more common.

Once physical dependence occurs, the body doesn’t function properly in the absence of the drug. An individual will, therefore, experience withdrawal symptoms when reducing or stopping the use of Soma.

Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Muscle twitching
  • Hallucination
  • Ataxia (loss of control over body movements)
  • Delusions

Half-Life of Soma

This refers to the duration half a dose of Soma takes to leave the body. This can range from one hour to two hours. It, therefore, takes about 11 hours for it to leave the system. It, however, leaves its metabolites behind. The meprobamate metabolite takes up to four days to leave the body after the drug.

Certain variables can influence how long Soma stays in your body. These include how you used the drug and the dosage you took. If you combined it with other drugs, it could take longer to leave your system.

It is also affected by personal factors such as age, overall health, metabolism, genetics, and body mass.

For Soma to appear on a drug test, the test would have to be specific. A standard drug screening panel does not include it. When tested, it is possible to establish both the drug presence and meprobamate metabolite presence.

They are detectable in urine several days after the last dose. A blood test will show the presence of Soma within 24 hours of last use, and a hair follicle test will show for up to a month after tested.

Signs of Addiction

Addiction to prescription medications like Soma not only affects an individual’s physical state but can affect every other area of their life. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), addiction is an enduring relapsing brain disease that can lead to drug-seeking and using behaviors despite negative consequences.

Individuals addicted to Soma will spend most of their time thinking about, acquiring, and using the drug. They may spend less time with family and friends and stop participating in activities they used to enjoy. It eventually leads to the deterioration of one’s quality of life.

Sometimes, people who are addicted don’t realize that they are. Symptoms of abuse and addiction, however, can be observed by loved ones and include:

  • Taking higher doses than prescribed
  • Unexplained mood swings and agitation or excessive hostility
  • Forging prescriptions or stealing
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Frequent claims to have lost prescriptions
  • Appearing to have much more or less energy than usual
  • Seeking prescriptions from multiple doctors

You should keenly monitor your use of Soma. If you are concerned about your use, consult your physician. They could screen you for dependence and other issues that may have arisen. If positive, they will refer you to a treatment center or mental health professional who will guide you through the process of letting go.

Treating Carisoprodol Addiction

Soma rehabilitation can help you to overcome your addiction and live life in a more fulfilling way. Addiction tends to disrupt every part of one’s life -their family, friendships, school, work, and other areas.

Granite Recovery Centers specializes in guiding people through their addiction and treatment journey to regain control over their lives fully.

We have a detox program that will help you taper off instead of quitting cold turkey. Stopping the use of Soma suddenly leads to severe withdrawal symptoms. This process usually takes about a week.

After detox, patients go to inpatient treatment. Those who are not adversely affected, however, can undergo outpatient treatment. Both treatments involve talk and cognitive behavioral therapy, which help you learn and establish the coping methods needed for long-term recovery.

Self-help and support groups are very useful when recovering from Soma addiction. What works for one patient may not work for another. We, therefore, tailor our treatment plans to meet individual needs. This makes the treatment more effective.

Are you struggling with Soma addiction? Reach out to us. We are always available to listen and to help you achieve full recovery.