What is SOMA?
Soma (Carisoprodol) is a muscle relaxer that works by blocking pain sensations between the nerves and the brain. Soma is used together with rest and physical therapy to treat injuries and other painful musculoskeletal conditions. Soma may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Effects on the Central Nervous System
Soma acts directly on the central nervous system rather than directly on skeletal muscles. The drug seems to interrupt neuronal communication with the spinal cord and certain areas of the brain, resulting in sedation and altered perception of pain. The main effects of this drug may result from its general sedating effect.
Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms from Soma Addiction (PAWS)
While in active addiction, the Soma user experiences a disruption to the normal brain activity which impairs clear thinking and emotion expression. Additionally, short-term memory loss, lack of coordination, sleep disturbances and stress are all part of Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS) and can make the recovery process sometimes long and difficult.
As a result of continued abuse of Soma the brain needs to make an adjustment in order to "right itself" as neurotransmitters return to normalcy and acclimate to a life without mood altering chemicals. This sometime takes time and that is where post acute withdrawal symptoms come in, they are like lingering withdrawal. Like other prescription drugs, the prolonged use and abuse of Soma is associated with tolerance, dependence and addiction. The signs and symptoms are similar to those that can be found accompanying the abuse of other prescription medications with tranquilizer or sedative effects.
Dependency, Withdrawal and Abuse of Soma
Long-term use of Soma is associated with dependency and abuse of the drug; this is most commonly seen among people who have a history of addiction to drugs,. It can occur in anyone who takes Soma for an extended period of time. People who take Soma for longer periods than two or three weeks shouldn’t abruptly stop taking the drug due to the potential for drug withdrawal symptoms.
Some of the post-acute withdrawal symptoms stemming from Soma addiction are:
- Craving cycles
- Stress sensitivity
- Memory problems
- Sleep disturbances
- Inability to think clearly
- Physical coordination problems
- Emotional fluctuations or emotional “numbness”
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid heart rate
- Stomach problems
- Shaking and tremors
Soma has caused seizures in some users, while most of these seizures occurred when Soma was used with other drugs, including prescription and illegal drugs, and/or alcohol.
Important information about Soma
This medication may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Soma should never be given to another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it. You may have withdrawal symptoms when you stop using Soma after using it over a long period of time. Do not stop using Soma suddenly without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely. Soma can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase drowsiness and dizziness caused by Soma.
Treatment for Soma Addiction
Soma addiction recovery is a process that begins with detox and treatment. Soma causes dependence, and detox should be done under professional care in a residential facility. Continued treatment to address psychological dependence and spiritual healing is an important element in building a sustainable sober living plan. Long-term soma users don’t only develop a physical dependence, but psychological dependence as well. Residential soma addiction treatment—including psychological treatment and counseling—ensures the best chance for long-term abstinence.