Addiction to SOMA

Addiction to SOMA

What are SOMAs?

SOMAs, a brand name for carisoprodol, are muscle relaxers that block pain signals sent to the brain by the nerves. It is most often use to treat muscle spasms, cramps or to alleviate pain associated with other musculoskeletal disorders. SOMA has a slight odor and a bitter taste.

SOMA’s Action on the Central Nervous System

SOMA relaxes the muscles by blocking interneuronal activity in the descending reticular formation and spinal cord. Meprobamate is an intermediary produced from the metabolism of SOMA. It has a barbiturate like effect on GABA-A receptors. Both carisoprodol and meprobamate combine to produce the pharmacological effects of SOMA. In addition to its muscle relaxant effects, SOMA also acts as a bronchodilator, fever reducer and analgesic. It is thought that the muscle relaxant effects of SOMA result from a depression of the neurons at synaptic junctions within the central nervous system. The analgesic action of the drug differs from that of opium alkaloids. It occurs as a result of the drug’s effects on peripheral pain receptors, sensory pain pathways and their synapses.

SOMA Dependency and Withdrawal

Those who take SOMA for an extended period of time may develop a tolerance and dependency for the drug. Patients who use the drug longer than three weeks should not attempt to end use abruptly. Sudden cessation of use may result in withdrawal symptoms including:

• Sensitivity to stress
• Cyclic cravings
• Memory loss
• Difficulty sleeping
• Tachycardia
• Problems with physical coordination
• Nausea, vomiting and stomach problems
• Emotional distress
• Tremors
• Problems thinking clearly

Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS)

Those who are addicted to SOMA typically experience interruption of normal brain functions that lead to an inability to think clearly and emotional disturbances. In addition, Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS) may result in short term loss of memory, loss of coordination, difficulty sleeping and an over sensitivity to stress. This can make recovery from SOMA addiction a lengthy and difficult process.

During recovery from SOMA addiction, the brain acclimates to the absence of artificial chemical substances by returning to its normal level of neurotransmitter production. This may take quite some time, and the body’s response during the adjustment is the source of post acute withdrawal symptoms. As with many other prescription drugs, prolonged use of SOMA can result in dependence and addiction. Therefore, SOMA withdrawal symptoms are also similar to those experienced with other prescription drugs that produce sedative or tranquilizer action.

Seizure Warning

SOMA has been known to cause seizures in some patients. Most instances of seizure have occurred when SOMA was used in combination with other drugs, such as prescription and illicit drug and/or alcohol.

Important Facts about SOMA

SOMA use can become habitual. This medication should only be used by the person and in the manner for which it is prescribed. SOMA should never be shared with another user, especially those with a history of addiction or drug abuse. The medication should be stored in a secure place. SOMA use should not be ended abruptly without first consulting a doctor. Those who have used the drug for a prolonged period usually experience withdrawal symptoms. It may be necessary to gradually reduce the dosage to avoid adverse effects. Side effects of SOMA include impaired thinking and slowed reaction time. Extreme caution should be used if driving or performing activities that require you to be alert. Alcohol should be avoided since it increases drowsiness and dizziness caused by Soma. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Northbound Treatment Services can help individuals struggling with SOMA addiction develop coping mechanisms by adopting a lifestyle of recovery. They understand that no two individuals are the same and offer customized treatment plans to meet each patient’s needs. Northbound offers medically assisted treatment for drug addictions as well as counseling and education to treat the underlying causes. They provide a variety of residential and outpatient treatment programs to help patients through the recovery process while remaining productive in society.

Article Reviewed by Paul Alexander

Paul AlexanderPaul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.

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