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Is Soma Addictive? Signs & Side Effects

Is Soma Addictive? Signs & Side Effects

Soma is the brand name for carisoprodol, which is a prescription skeletal muscle relaxant.

Soma is usually prescribed to alleviate pain caused by muscle injuries such as strains and sprains. This medication usually comes in the form of a tablet that’s taken by mouth several times daily when treating an injury. This medication is effective for treating muscle pain caused by injury and is often combined with physical therapy to alleviate patients’ symptoms. However, we wanted to look into whether Soma is addictive and possible signs of addiction. 

What Does Soma Do?

Like other muscle relaxants, Soma causes the muscles to become less stiff and tense, which also reduces pain and discomfort caused by injury. A generic compound of this medication contains both aspirin and carisoprodol to produce pain relief, while another version contains carisoprodol, aspirin, and the opioid painkiller codeine. 

Soma works by affecting communication between nerve cells in the central nervous system to promote muscle relaxation and pain relief. Soma’s specific mechanism of action is unclear, but it’s believed that the drug alleviates muscle pain and discomfort by acting on GABA receptors in the brain, inhibiting neural activity and reducing pain signals. 

Soma Side Effects
Carisoprodol causes muscle relaxation, sedation, and decreased anxiety. However, muscle relaxants like Soma can also cause various unwanted side effects. These side effects can become more severe and even life-threatening when the drug is abused. 

Common carisoprodol (Soma) side effects include: 
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Poor motor control 
  • Increased clumsiness
  • Impaired judgment
  • Headache 
  • Increased heart rate
  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Skin rash

More severe Soma muscle relaxant side effects - such as fever, weakness, difficulty breathing, and stinging eyes – can also occur and may indicate a severe reaction to the medication that requires immediate medical assistance. The effects of carisoprodol generally kick in within 30 minutes of taking the drug and may last anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. 

Can You Get High From Soma?

People often wonder if Soma is addictive, and for good reason. Prescription drug abuse is an alarmingly growing trend in the United States, and muscle relaxants are part of the equation. 

With that said, many people engage in drug abuse to experience a particular sensation referred to as a “high.” Like other drugs with a potential for abuse, you can get high off Soma if you take it in high enough doses or mix it with other drugs or alcohol. 

Although a Soma high isn’t the same as cocaine or methamphetamine high, some people abuse Soma for the feelings of sedation and relaxation it produces. Those who engage in Soma recreational use often do so in conjunction with other substances, such as alcohol or other prescription depressants. 

Other substances like alcohol, sedatives, and opioids can enhance the effects of Soma, producing an intense feeling of sedation and calm. In fact, people who are addicted to opioids or benzodiazepines will sometimes turn to Soma as an alternative if those drugs aren’t available. 

Is Soma Addictive?

Yes, Soma is addictive, especially the formulation of Soma that contains codeine. A carisoprodol addiction may occur as a result of drug abuse. 

Different ways that people may abuse Soma include taking higher doses than prescribed, taking it without a prescription, mixing it with other drugs or alcohol, or changing the form of administration, such as crushing and snorting the pills. Although Soma abuse doesn’t necessarily mean someone is addicted to the drug, this type of drug-taking behavior usually gives way to addiction if it’s not stopped in time. 

Why Soma is so addictive has to do with the high it produces. Short-term effects of Soma abuse include euphoria, sedation, and drowsiness. A person who abuses this drug may seem like they’re intoxicated with alcohol because both produce similar depressant side effects. 

Other short-term effects of Soma include sleep disturbances, impaired judgment, irritability, and impaired coordination. Not only can carisoprodol abuse increase one’s risk of addiction, but the drug’s sedative and cognitive-impairing side effects also increase one’s risk of sustaining an injury due to poor coordination, as well as car accidents and unsafe sexual behaviors due to impaired judgment. 

Signs of Soma Addiction

So how do you know someone is addicted to Soma? Addiction to prescription drugs like carisoprodol can drastically change a person’s life. 

Addiction is a chronic and relapsing brain disease that encourages drug-seeking and using behaviors despite the negative consequences it may have on the person’s life. Those suffering from drug addiction will find themselves spending more time thinking about, obtaining, and using the substance than doing anything else. 

They may begin to neglect their responsibilities at home, school, or work, and may withdraw from their loved ones. A substance use disorder of any kind can quickly deteriorate a person’s life and overall sense of well-being. 

When a person abuses any drug, they may begin to show some behavioral and physical changes. Common signs of Soma addiction and abuse include: 
  • Stealing or forging prescriptions
  • Taking higher doses than prescribed
  • Taking the medication longer than prescribed 
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Mood swings
  • Risky behaviors
  • Appearing to have more or less energy than usual
  • Lying about losing prescriptions to get new ones
  • Doctor shopping, or hopping from one doctor to another to get more prescriptions
  • Fluctuations in appetite and weight
  • Isolation from loved ones
  • Reduced engagement or performance at school, work, or home

If you notice that your loved one is using their prescription drugs incorrectly or recognize that their daily functioning has been affected by drug use, they may be suffering from an addiction. The use of carisoprodol and any other drug should be carefully monitored by the prescribing physician.

If you’re taking this medication and notice that you’re showing signs of dependence or are struggling to control your use of Soma, speak to your doctor right away about other safer alternatives. 

Soma Addiction Treatment

If you’ve become addicted to Soma or any other prescription drug, you may begin recovering by being slowly tapered off the substance. Physical dependence can occur as a result of long-term carisoprodol use, so it’s important to receive medically monitored detox to avoid unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. 

For those who require long-term care options for Soma addiction, our Pompano substance abuse treatment center offers prescription drug addiction treatment. This is only one treatment among a variety of other levels of care that provide the resources needed for long-term sobriety. Patients receiving addiction treatment at our facility will work with our counselors individually and in group settings to develop relapse prevention skills while receiving peer support from others in the recovery community. 

For more information about the levels of care for substance abuse treatment offered at our Pompano drug rehab, call Banyan Treatment Centers today at 888-280-4763.  

Related Reading: 
Side Effects of Muscle Relaxers
The Effects of Alcohol on Muscles & Joints
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.