But researchers now know that the drug can alter brain chemistry, and it has been associated with addiction when it’s taken for a long time.
That addiction starts with physical dependence. When it takes hold, you don’t feel well unless you have the drug in your body. In time, that morphs into a behavioral obsession with the drug, where you’ll jeopardize almost anything to keep a steady supply.
This addiction is serious, but it can be treated.
People with a prescription take a drug every day. So do people with addiction. But the two driving forces for each dose are very different, and understanding those differences can help you learn if you need help.
Have you ever found yourself:
Carisoprodol is considered a “prodrug,” says the New York Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. The ingredients within each pill aren’t dangerous on their own. It’s only when the body begins to break down the substances that the real danger emerges.
Soma pills are metabolized into several compounds, including meprobamate. This is a sedative drug that is associated with addiction and overdose. Once researchers discovered that the drug works this way, some countries moved to make the substance illegal. In Sweden, for example, Soma was pulled from the market.
But it’s still available here.
Pills take hold in about 30 minutes, and the effects can last for as long as six hours. During that time, says Mayo Clinic, you may experience the following:
In severe cases, you can develop serotonin syndrome. When that happens, you’ll feel the following symptoms:
High doses of carisoprodol have also been associated with comas. Researchers say that comas punctuated by seizures have been reported in adults taking about 15 grams of Soma, and the condition persisted for 33 hours.
As an addiction deepens, you’ll need bigger doses of Soma to feel a high that once came with one pill. And those bigger doses are associated with severe side effects that could cost you your life.
But you don’t need to let your addiction strengthen. Addiction is characterized by a lack of control over drug use, but treatment professionals can help you regain control.
Treatment works, and enrolling is easier than fighting the problem on your own.
Soma changes the way your brain works, and when you try to stop, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. In a medical detox program, teams will use medications and other therapies to help your body make the switch to sobriety. You’ll move through the process a bit easier than you would on your own, and that lowers your risk of an early relapse.
When you’ve moved past detox, you’ll need to do more work. Detox does not constitute addiction treatment on its own — therapy is needed.
Your program may be measured in months, not years. But the work isn’t done when the program draws to a close.
You will still need a little help on tough days, and sometimes, you might be tempted to slide back into addiction. Alumni work can keep you in touch with the concepts you learned in therapy. That could help you to stay sober.
Before you exit a formal program, you’ll make an aftercare plan with your therapist. This will serve as a foundation you can stand on in ongoing recovery.