For people who've used opiates for a long time, opiate withdrawal becomes a "normal" part of everyday life.
Likewise, people in the process of breaking an opiate addiction experience withdrawal effects in full force.
Soma, a commonly used muscle relaxant and anxiety medication, works well when used as prescribed.
Like most any other type of prescription drug, Soma can cause some real problems when not used as prescribed.
Soma's effects do offer a certain degree of relief for opiate withdrawal symptoms. However, when asking does Soma help with opiate withdrawal, the short- versus long-term effects of Soma make all the difference in terms of whether Soma actually "helps."
In effect, the question "does Soma help with opiate withdrawal" can be misleading when taken at face value.
What is Soma?
First developed by Wallace Laboratories in 1959, carisoprodol has been marketed under the trade name Soma, according to the National Institutes of Health. Soma can also be combined with other ingredients, such as codeine and aspirin to intensity the drug's effects.
Like opiates, Soma produces analgesic effects that work well for relieving lower back pain and pain symptoms associated with acute musculoskeletal conditions. Soma's analgesic effects can also help in alleviating anxiety symptoms.
As some people battling opiate dependence do use Soma to lessen withdrawal, a few of them will likely say "yes" when asked does Soma help with opiate withdrawal. The ones that say "no" will likely have used Soma for a longer period of time. Probably the better question to ask is when does Soma help with opiate withdrawal and for how long.
Soma's Abuse Potential
As a muscle-relaxant/anxiety drug, Soma produces sedative-hypnotic-type effects on the brain. As with any other sedative or hypnotic drug, Soma carries a high potential for abuse and eventual addiction. As far as "does Soma help with opiate withdrawal" goes, the drug's abuse and addiction potential pretty much tell the story.
Soma contains a key metabolite agent known as meprobamate. Once ingested, the body converts Soma into meprobamate. Soma, itself produces the drug's sedative effects while meprobamate produces the hypnotic effects. Ultimately, the combined effects of Soma and meprobamate enhance the drug's addiction potential.
While Soma can relieve opiate withdrawal at the outset, continued use will result in increasing tolerance levels, withdrawal effects and physical dependency in much the same way as opiates do. So, does Soma help with opiate withdrawal? The answer is: for the first week or so, yes. Otherwise, users are likely to develop yet another set of withdrawal symptoms on top of the ones they already have.
Soma Withdrawal and Addictive Effects
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Soma's effects in the brain offset a key neurotransmitter chemical known as GABA. GABA helps regulate a person's feeling of calm and well-being.
As with all addictive drugs, the brain soon becomes dependent on Soma to regulate GABA levels. After a while, brain functions start to deteriorate causing widespread chemical imbalances to develop.
Considering Soma's overall effects on brain function, the question "does Soma help with opiate withdrawal" can only be a resounding no."