Developed in the late 50s, Soma — also known as Carisoprodol — was originally thought to have potential as an antiseptic. Instead it was discovered that it had potential as a drug for relaxing muscles. For a long time, Soma wasn’t linked in particular to abuse or dependence. It wasn’t until 2010 that the DEA sought to make it a schedule IV controlled substance. In many countries around the world, Soma is completely off the market as a pharmaceutical, though it does remain in circulation in the United States as a prescription drug. Unfortunately, many people do acquire it unlawfully and it is commonly abused.
Some other drugs that are similar to Soma, in that they are also muscle relaxers, that you may be familiar with are Vanadom—which is a different trade name for Carisoprodol, Lioresal, Dantrium, Flexeril, Norflex, and Zanaflex. Carisoprodol is set apart from the others, due to its tranquilizing effects and the way it interacts with other drugs. Soma on its own is addictive and prone to abuse, but there is a higher risk of addiction and abuse when it is used with other CNS depressants. This is because Soma potentiates the effects of these other substances, particularly in the case of Opiates. The majority of reported cases of abusing muscle relaxers involve Soma over others and this is probably the reason why.
There are some severe dangers associated with Soma abuse, especially when it is used in combination with other CNS depressants. It is extremely easy to overdose, because of the drug’s potentiating effects. Soma can cause transient quadriplegia, paralysis of the limbs. As with all CNS depressants, Soma abuse can cause the heart rate to become irregular, too slow or weak, and respiratory depression. You may have difficulty breathing, slow or shallow breathing, or cease breathing altogether. This can result in stoke, coma and other very serious health prospects including death.
Abusing Soma, especially when it is in combination with other drugs, can cause long-term damage in major organs such as the liver and kidneys. Long-term abuse of Soma, as with any substance, can put strain on personal relationships and cause difficulty in someone’s personal life. It can result in lower productivity, time management, and quality of work. It is also common for someone to experience personality shifts when abusing Soma long-term. He or she may develop depression or have mood swings, possibly becoming irritable and volatile easily and frequently. Individuals who have developed an addiction to Soma may isolate themselves from loved ones and withdraw from the activities they previously enjoyed.
Not only is it dangerous to abuse Soma, it is also dangerous to experience withdrawal symptoms. Unlike many narcotics, withdrawal symptoms from Soma can be deadly. If the individual has abused the drug long-term, the risk of dangerous withdrawal symptoms is exceedingly higher. Some who may abuse Soma in order to enhance the effects of other substances may take their addiction to, say, Opiates more seriously than their addiction to Soma. Ironically, the withdrawal symptoms for Opiates are, while uncomfortable, not life-threatening. Withdrawals from Soma, on the other hand, must be medically supervised in a hospital or detox center that has the proper medical professionals to ensure an individual’s safety.
It can be incredibly difficult to get off Soma for this reason, but there are many resources and services available to people who are suffering from addiction. Not only are there Detox facilities where it is safe to cease Soma use, but there are many different rehab treatment centers and services, there are groups such as Narcotics Anonymous, and programs like the Twelve Step that incorporate networks of support involving sponsors and more. There are various styles of therapy that are useful to the process of recovery as well, which will be an imperative aspect of any treatment center’s services.
If you are concerned that a loved one is struggling with addiction to Soma or any other substance, there is help. An intervention may be the appropriate measure to take if you want to help this person. Interventions can show people suffering from addiction that they matter, that people still care about them, and that they are not alone. A key aspect of recovery from addiction is a solid structure of support and an intervention is a great way to show your loved one that you are willing to provide that support. Interventions are delicate events and it may be best to get help from an Interventionalist to ensure that yours is successful. A professional will have methods of approach that are careful not to make your loved feel attacked or judged, increasing his or her likelihood of entering treatment. Picking up the phone and making the call could be the exact thing your loved one needs to find recovery.