Soma has become more popular as it is a popular alternative for drug users who are addicted to opiates (or opiods) like OxyContin, Vicodin, Fentanyl, and even heroin.
Soma is the brand name for carisoprodol, a muscle relaxant that’s prescribed for relief from pain caused by muscle spasms, strains and other injuries.
Soma works by acting on the central nervous system. It is recommended for the short-term treatment of pain and is available only by prescription. According to the Mayo Clinic, Soma should not be used in place of exercise, physical therapy and rest for the long-term treatment of muscle and bone conditions.
Potential for Abuse and Dependence
When taken under a doctor’s care, Soma is generally safe. However, Soma abuse has escalated in the last decade. Those who abuse Soma run the risk of becoming psychologically and physically addicted. When Soma is taken above the recommended dosage levels, effects include:
• Blurred vision
• Loss of coordination
• Racing heartbeat
• Tightness in chest
• Unusual weakness
• False or unusual sense of well-being
• Uncontrolled movements of the eyes, neck, trunk, arms or legs
• Unusual excitement, restlessness or nervousness
An overdose of Soma can be fatal. Signs of overdose include breathing difficulty, shock and coma. Many abusers combine Soma with alcohol and other drugs including hydrocodone (especially Vicodin), heroin, codeine and diazepam.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the following combination of drugs is referred to as The Holy Trinity by substance abusers:
• Soma (carisoprodol) – muscle relaxant
• Vicodin (hydrocodone) – narcotic painkiller
• Xanax (alprazolam) – anxiety medication
When taken in combination, this trio of drugs gives abusers a feeling of euphoria similar to the effects of heroin. On the street, Soma is referred to as Da, Dance, Las Vegas Cocktail (when combined with Vicodin) and Soma Coma (when combined with codeine).
Because of the Soma’s potential for abuse, it is a controlled substance in 18 U.S. states (Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming). The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency currently lists Soma as a drug of concern and has conducted hearings to determine if it should be classified as a controlled substance at the federal level.
Who Abuses Soma?
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Soma is abused by people of all ages. The 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that at least 2.9 million Americans over the age of 12 will use Soma for nonmedical purposes at least once in their lifetime.
Treatment for Soma Addiction
Prolonged Soma abuse at high dosage levels can lead to dependence, tolerance and withdrawal symptoms. When someone who has been abusing Soma stops taking the drug, withdrawal symptoms including headache, abdominal cramps, nausea, insomnia, seizures and other medical complications may be experienced. Supervised medical detoxification is often required as part of Soma addiction treatment, followed by follow-up recovery treatment.