Soma, also known by its generic name Carisoprodol, is a muscle relaxant. It works by blocking nerve impulses (or pain sensations) that are sent to the brain. Soma is a centrally acting muscle relaxant that works on the nerves to relieve muscular pain.
The liver metabolizes this drug into Meprobamate, a Barbiturate medication with anti-anxiety and sedative properties.
Soma is not considered to be a controlled substance, but is frequently abused similarly to opioid pain medications.
Why is Soma Prescribed?
Soma is a prescription medication used to treat the symptoms of short-term pain and discomfort. Usually this medication is prescribed for muscular injuries such as sprains, strains and spasms. These injuries usually occur in athletes who are under consistent physical exertion. Soma is supposed to be used along with rest and physical therapy treatments. It is also prescribed to treat backache and/or muscular spasms in the back area. It may be combined with other anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin, Codeine and caffeine to help relieve the symptoms of short term pain as well.
Statistics Relating To Soma
Soma works to relieve muscle spasms by blocking the nerve impulses in the brain and spinal cord and not directly on the muscles themselves. The liver metabolizes this drug into Meprobamate, which is a barbiturate medication that causes sedation and has anti-anxiety properties. It has been reported that because of this Soma has an increased potential for abuse. Although Meprobamate is considered to be a controlled substance in the United States Soma is not. Though it is thought to be uncommon, the long-term use of Soma can lead to addictive behaviors.
A person using Soma should not increase their dosage or take this medication more frequently than prescribed. The use of this medication should be discontinued as recommended by a patient's doctor; this will lessen the chance of someone becoming addicted to Soma. This medication will cause some withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include stomach ache, cramps, insomnia, nausea and headaches.
The use of Soma should not be discontinued abruptly. A doctor will usually advise a patient to taper off this drug.
How is Soma Abused?
The abuse of Soma is becoming more popular every day in the United States. This is because this drug is much easier to get than some other narcotic pain relievers. Soma is frequently prescribed because of its low potential for abuse but when Soma is ingested and broken down, it metabolizes into Meprobamate which is a Schedule IV controlled substance. Some abusers take large amounts of the Soma tablets by mouth in order to achieve a drunk like effect that causes them to be sleepy, relaxed and woozy. Other abusers combine Soma with other types of drugs for recreational use.
Many Soma users were once or still are heroin addicts and will combine Soma with Vicodin because the drug induced high is very similar to the high they receive when abusing heroin. Combining Soma with Alcohol is also quite common as well as dangerous. Chronic abuse of Soma especially when combined with other toxic drugs and substances can be deadly. Soma is also known by its street names which are Ds, Dance, Las Vegas Cocktail (when combined with Vicodin) and Soma Coma (when combined with Codeine).
What Effects Does Soma Have on the Body?
Soma may cause some side effects that are very common and may go away without seeking medical attention. These include:
- Upset Stomach
- Fast Heart Rate
There are a number of possible side effects with Soma that you should report to your health care provider immediately; these include seizures, depression and any signs of an allergic reaction. Signs of an allergic reaction to Soma may include an unexplained rash, hives, itching, unexplained swelling, wheezing, or difficulty breathing or swallowing.
Soma Abuse Treatment Options
Long-term substance abuse treatment may be needed for a hardcore Soma abuser who combines this drug with other illicit drugs. For those abusers residential in-patient therapy at a drug rehabilitation center is advised.
Individuals who have developed a psychological dependence to this drug may seek short term treatment at an outpatient behavioral health facility. At these facilities patients are offered therapy in a controlled environment that also offers counseling and psychological therapy. Many chronic prescription drug abusers find residential rehabilitation to work well and will help to prevent relapse during their recovery.