Soma, otherwise known as Carisoprodol, is primarily used for muscle relaxation. Doctors often prescribe it for patients struggling with muscoskeletal pain and muscle spasms. You may also receive this medication if you have suffered an injury and need it to deal with any pain that you may be feeling.
Once you take Soma, it will make you feel relaxed, giddy, and drowsy. It is these effects that may cause you to start abusing the medication. You may also desire the sedative effects that it causes.
Soma is a trade name medication for Carisoprodol. This muscle relaxant medication is often prescribed to treat muscle spasms and pains. However, it also comes with a high abuse potential due to the sedative effects that it causes.
Meprobamate is the primary metabolite in this drug. It is habit-forming and gives rise to effects that are similar to those from benzodiazepines. You may start abusing it because you assume that it is safe to do so on account of the fact that Soma is a prescription medication. You may also assume that it does not cause effects that are as dangerous as those you would typically derive from street drugs. However, this is not always the case.
After a period of abusing Soma, you may develop tolerance to its effects. As a result, you will increasingly find yourself taking it in higher doses or more often than you used to before you can experience its desirable effects.
Over time, tolerance will be replaced by physical and psychological dependence. Once you get to this stage, you could be said to be struggling with a substance use disorder. This condition can only be managed medically after you check into an addiction treatment and rehabilitation program.
That said, taking Soma as your doctor prescribed is considered to be safe. It is for this reason that this medication has not yet been listed by the Drug Enforcement Administration - the DEA - as a controlled substance.
Even so, you need to realize that it can also lead to the development of addiction. It is for this reason that some states have already listed it as a controlled substance that can lead to abuse and addiction.
Other Names for Soma
On the streets, people who abuse, sell, and deal in the trafficking of Soma often refer to it by a variety of names. Most of them do this to avoid detection by law enforcement officials and other authorities. Examples of these street names include:
- Las Vegas Cocktail (when mixed with Vicodin)
- Soma Coma (when mixed with codeine)
Signs and Symptoms of Soma Addiction
If you have been abusing Soma and find yourself struggling with a substance use disorder, you may start displaying some of the following signs and symptoms of addiction that could be hard to miss:
- Appearance or feeling of being drunk
- Flushed skin
- Impaired ability to think lucidly and clearly
- Impaired concentration
- Impaired physical coordination
- Inability to sleep or insomnia
- Irritability when you try to stop abusing soma
- Making appointments with different doctors so that you can get more prescriptions for soma
- Rapid heart rate
- Withdrawing from friends, families, and the social activities that you used to enjoy before you started abusing soma
Short and Long-Term Effects of Soma Abuse
The physiology of drug addiction is not the only problem that you will have to deal with once you have started abusing Soma. In fact, ongoing drug abuse could lead to the following short and long term effects:
a) Short Term Effects
- Allergic reactions
- Altered heart rate
- Blurry vision
- Double vision
- Fast heart rate
- Frequent drowsiness
- Impaired coordination
- Issues with judgment
- Loss of coordination
- Loss of vision, albeit temporary
- Low blood pressure
- Occurrence of seizures
- Pain relief
- Poor concentration
- Problems with breathing
- Problems with memory
- Sleep disturbances
- Sleeping uncharacteristically for extended time periods
- Stomach ache
After using Soma, there is also a high risk that you could develop transient quadriplegia. This condition might not be long lasting but it can lead to severe weakness in all your four limbs.
When this condition arises, it is essential that you seek emergency medical services. This is because it can lead to debilitating outcomes, including but not limited to accidents that could end up being fatal.
b) Long Term Effects
When you continue abusing Soma in the long term, there is a high risk that you may develop a substance use disorder because you would become dependent on its effects. The following are some of the adverse side effects that could arise with long term use of this drug:
- Changes in mood
- Organ damage
- Respiratory problems
- Strained relationships
- Thoughts of suicide
Abusing Soma could lead to the development of tolerance to the effects that it causes. To this end, there is a risk that you could overdose in the course of your drug use and abuse.
Tolerance will, in particular, cause you to start taking the drug in higher doses or more frequently than you used to before you can experience the pleasurable effects of Soma. This could turn out to be dangerous in the sense that it can increase your risk of suffering a drug overdose.
The following are some of the signs and symptoms of Soma overdose:
- A dangerous drop in your blood pressure
- Dangerously shallow breathing
- Difficulties breathing
- Double vision (or diplopia)
- Going into shock
- Impaired vision
- Jerky and uncontrolled eye movements
If you have taken Soma recently and you start noticing any of these signs and symptoms, it is recommended that you call 911 or your local poisons control center as soon as possible. This is because this type of drug overdose could turn out to be fatal unless you seek emergency medical assistance.
Soma Withdrawal Symptoms
One of the signs that Soma causes addiction is that abusing it could lead to the development of withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms will become apparent if you suddenly stop taking the drug or significantly reduce your normal dose of it.
The only good thing is that Soma withdrawal is not as life-threatening, dangerous, or as severe as withdrawing from other narcotics and alcohol. However, you may still suffer some discomfort and pain due to the following symptoms:
- Abdominal cramping
- Heightened stress
- Memory problems
- Stomach pains
- Strong cravings for the drug
These symptoms of withdrawal might turn out to be so uncomfortable that you will soon find yourself looking for and abusing Soma. For this reason, it is recommended that you only stop abusing the drug once you have checked into a medically managed detox center where these symptoms can be taken care of by medical professionals and other addiction treatment experts.
The Best Options for Soma Addiction Treatment
After you have decided to stop abusing Soma, the best thing you can do is look for an addiction treatment and rehabilitation program. There are both inpatient and outpatient programs that offer a wide variety of recovery services and they can help you overcome your Soma use and abuse.
Often, these programs will provide you with medically supervised detox services. The goal of these services is to ensure that you withdraw from Soma abuse and addiction safely and with medical guidance and management of your symptoms. Medical detox is the best option while trying to overcome the physical dependence you have developed due to abusing this drug.
After completing detox, you can be provided with other evidence-based and/or alternative addiction treatment services. These include but are not limited to group and individual therapy, family therapy, couple's counselling, yoga, meditation, animal therapy, art therapy, massage therapy, and many others.
That said, the following are the main forms of addiction treatment that could prove useful if you have been abusing Soma:
- 12-step group meeting programs
- Aftercare planning
- Alternative therapies such as yoga, Ayurvedic medicine, and many others
- Evidence based therapy options like cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and more
- Inpatient treatment
- Medically managed detox
- Outpatient treatment
- SMART Recovery
Instead of continuing to abuse Soma and suffer the various consequences that your growing addiction is going to come with, you should seek help as soon as you realize that you have been taking this drug in ways that you should not. Check into an addiction treatment center today to overcome your Soma addiction.