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Soma, the trade name for Carisoprodol, is a skeletal muscle relaxant, producing similar effects to central nervous system (CNS) depressants with a rising concern for its abuse potential. Carisoprodol is purposed for short-term use when prescribed, heightening the severe health consequences associated with the long-term use and abuse of Soma.

Understanding the Use of Soma (Carisoprodol)

Carisoprodol (Soma) is a centrally-acting muscle relaxant prescription drug used to treat acute muscle or bone conditions. The use of Carisoprodol is prescribed for short-term pain relief, typically two to three weeks, as long-term use can lead to tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal symptoms. Soma is a schedule IV controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act and is generally prescribed to relieve pain and discomfort from muscle pain, injuries, strains, and sprains. Its pain-relieving effects work by acting on the central nervous system (CNS) and relaxing the muscles.

doctor explaining the lasting effects of soma abuse on the body

Side Effects of Carisoprodol (Soma)

The side effects associated with Soma medication can range from mild to severe depending on the dose, duration of use, and the user’s health status. Carisoprodol’s side effects may include but are not limited to:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Sensation of spinning
  • Sedation
  • Anxiety
  • Deep or fast breathing
  • Dry mouth
  • Nervousness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Vomiting
  • Trembling
  • Pain or discomfort in the chest, upper stomach, or throat
  • Numbness in the hands, feet, and around the mouth

The severity of Soma’s side effects may interact with the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and hematologic systems. Carisoprodol’s effects are exacerbated when combined with other substances, such as alcohol, codeine, heroin, diazepam, opioids, meprobamate, and propoxyphene.

The Long-Term Effects of Soma Abuse on the Body

Soma has been labeled a controlled substance in certain states, such as Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Oregon, and Hawaii, as a result of its reported abuse. Carisoprodol’s potential for dependence and abuse, along with its significant health consequences, are some of the main reasons it is prescribed for short-term treatment. Taking carisoprodol medication for longer than advised by a healthcare professional can lead to tolerance development and severe health risks, including liver damage, psychological issues, and overdose risks.

man needs drug detox treatment for soma abuse and addiction

Soma Addiction and Dependence

The effects of muscle relaxers can often become addicting as they offer users pain relief and help with falling and staying asleep. The body can become dependent on muscle relaxers like Soma, making it more difficult to stop taking it after the prescription is out. Carisprodol’s sedative effects

Withdrawal Symptoms

Long-term use of Soma can lead to withdrawal symptoms when having to stop the medication.

Soma withdrawal symptoms can be severe, including:

  • Tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle twitching
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Stomach cramps
  • Chills
  • Palpitations
  • Suicidal ideation

The withdrawal process from Carisoprodol may vary depending on the patient’s Soma dose and duration of use. Chronic Soma users may continue taking the medication to avoid the withdrawal process, further exacerbating their dependence and addiction.

Cognitive Impairment

Chronic Soma abuse can significantly impair cognitive functions that can dramatically affect daily functioning and quality of life. Users may experience cognitive impairments such as long-term memory loss, decreased attention span, slowed mental processing, and difficulty concentrating.

Liver Damage

Carisoprodol (Soma) is metabolized in the liver and excreted through the kidney. Therefore, for individuals with existing kidney or liver conditions, such as damage, dysfunction, or disease, Soma may not be a suitable medication. Taking Soma may increase liver enzyme levels, leading to liver disease or exacerbating an existing liver or kidney disease. Additionally, individuals with porphyria, a disease caused by low levels of a specific enzyme, should not take Carisoprodol as it can be life-threatening.

Increased Overdose Risk

Soma abuse can lead to a psychological and physical addiction to the drug, heightening the risk of overdose. Signs of Soma abuse may include loss of coordination, chills, racing heartbeat, chest tightness, and vomiting. A Soma overdose can be life-threatening, resulting in breathing difficulties, shock, coma, and potentially death. Understanding the overdose risks associated with carisoprodol abuse is critical for safe use and treatment under the care of a healthcare professional.

Psychological Issues

Since Soma produces effects similar to that of CNS depressants like alcohol and benzodiazepines, chronic substance abuse may provoke mental health issues. While these substances may facilitate feelings of relaxation or euphoria, the aftermath can induce feelings of depression and anxiety. Similarly, carisoprodol abuse may trigger the development of or exacerbation of psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.

struggling with mental health and soma abuse and drug addiction

Physical Health Decline

Drug users with a substance use disorder (SUD) may witness a decline in their general physical health from Soma abuse. Poor nutrition and nutritional deficiencies are everyday in individuals with SUDs or struggling with addiction. Other factors contributing to this decline in physical health include reduced physical activity and exercise and neglect of self-care and hygiene, all of which can lead to various health issues and conditions.

Social and Behavioral Issues

Soma addiction, much like alcoholism or drug addiction, can affect one’s close relationships and social involvement. The effects of Soma may lead users to self-isolate, be lazier, and withdraw from social activities or professional responsibilities. These social and behavioral changes not only impact personal relationships but can also lead to job loss, legal issues, and increased risk of mental health issues.

Treatment for Soma Abuse and Addiction in Stuart, FL

Medical detox programs for Soma abuse and addiction provide patients with the necessary professional assistance and treatment modalities for long-term recovery. The drug detoxification process for Soma addiction may include medication-assisted treatment (MAT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), individual and group therapy, and an inpatient or outpatient drug rehabilitation program.

If you are struggling with Soma abuse or a substance use disorder (SUD), reach out to us at Coastal Detox today!