It’s the same old story. Soma is yet another prescription medication that was said to be safe and non-habit forming…until it was discovered that it is indeed prone to abuse and addiction. Soma is a popular muscle relaxant that is prescribed for relieving pain associated with muscle injuries, such as sprains or strains, and is, unfortunately, often misused.
The problem with Soma is, as with other pharmaceuticals, that tolerance to its effects increases with time and more of the drug is needed to produce the positive effects. As dosage escalates the individual can become addicted. Soma abuse has similar effects to benzodiazepine abuse, including the very unpleasant soma addiction withdrawal symptoms. As with detoxing from benzos, Soma detox must be done according to a tapering plan to ease the individual through the detox process, and to avoid any serious withdrawal effects.
A medical detox program is the best setting for detoxing from Soma. Soma addiction withdrawal symptoms can include psychosis and other worrisome effects, which can be best monitored in a supervised setting.
Soma, the brand name for carisoprodol, is a popular muscle relaxant often prescribed in tandem with Xanax (to reduce anxiety) and Vicodin (to reduce pain). This trio of prescription drugs produces just the right effect that the patient may be resistant to giving them up, even after their skeletal muscle injury has healed. These three drugs together are commonly abused recreationally, as each drug enhances the effects of the others.
The normal daily dosage of Soma is 750-1050 milligrams, and the drug is available in tablet form. Because of its high propensity for misuse, Soma is typically prescribed for a short term, such as 2-3 weeks.
Soma acts on the central nervous system, acting as a muscle relaxant and sedative. Because of its effects alongside other prescription drugs, those who use Soma recreationally may develop an addiction.
Soma Short Term and Long Term Effects
In addition to the pain relief that Soma can provide, there are other effects of this drug that should be noted. Common side effects include:
- Lack of coordination
- Rapid heart rate
- Changes in vision
- Difficulty speaking
- Lightheadedness, fainting
- Extreme weakness
- Giddiness, euphoria
- Sleep disturbance
Long-term Soma abuse can lead to health risks as well. These include damage to the lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, and brain. One very serious condition is called transient quadriplegia, which involves a temporary weakness of arms and legs.
An unintentional overdose of Soma can result in permanent brain damage or death. A Soma overdose is a medical emergency requiring immediate intervention. The signs of Soma overdose include:
- Heart palpitations
- Respiratory distress
- Extreme sedation
- Fever, chills
There is a good reason for the guidance to only prescribe Soma for a short period of time. Soma is very habit forming, as the giddy, euphoric effects are attractive for some who may want to continue experiencing this sensation. Other people simply procure this drug on the street, known as Da, Dance, and Las Vegas Cocktail (when used with Vicodin). Individuals with an opiate addiction may use Soma as an alternative drug. Soma impacts the GABA receptors in the brain, which triggers a flood of dopamine and a reward response in the brain.
Because tolerance to this drug escalates rapidly, the need to use increasing amounts of it can quickly evolve into addiction. Signs of Soma addiction include:
- Obsessed with obtaining and using Soma
- Mood swings
- Doctor shopping
- Obtaining the drug illicitly
- Continue to abuse Soma regardless of the consequences
- Lie to others about how much Soma is being taken
- Declining performance at work
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Low energy
- Social withdrawal
- Attempts to stop taking Soma fail
- Suicidal thoughts
- When unavailable Soma addiction withdrawal symptoms emerge
Becoming addicted to Soma, or multiple drugs including Soma, will cause a steady decline in quality of life. If an addiction has developed, it is necessary to get help from an addiction recovery professional. The first step in recovery is the detox and withdrawal phase.
Soma Detox and Withdrawal
When someone has decided they are ready to tackle a Soma addiction and break free from its grip, they will have to first undergo the detox and withdrawal phase before beginning treatment. Soma detox is similar to benzodiazepine detox, meaning that it is necessary to slowly taper off of the drug rather than stop Soma cold turkey.
A medically supervised detox is the safest setting for detoxing from Soma. These detox programs offer personnel who are specifically trained to assist individuals through the withdrawal symptoms by providing medical and psychological support. Additionally, these detox specialists are prepared in the event of a medical emergency. With regard to Soma addiction withdrawal symptoms, serious reactions to absence of the drug might involve seizures or heart distress.
The first withdrawal symptoms emerge after 12-24 hours from the last dose of Soma. Severity of the symptoms will be dependent on the length of Soma abuse history, the amount of consumption, whether there is polydrug abuse, the age of the person, and their general health status.
Soma addiction withdrawal symptoms might include:
- Muscle twitching
Throughout the detox process the medical detox team will continue to monitor vital signs and offer medications to help relief discomfort and pain. Emotional counseling is provided as needed to help the individual successfully endure the detox and transition into treatment.
Soma Addiction Treatment
Even though the detox process will rid the body of the drug that is simply not enough. The engrained addiction behaviors that keep the individual reaching for the Soma must be conquered and changed for there to be lasting recovery. Addiction treatment is the program that guides individuals through the process of making fundamental changes in the way they think and behave, which can then alter their need or desire for drugs.
For an addiction treatment program to be successful it must contain various treatment elements that are designed to work in tandem. Some individuals will respond better to group therapy, some will benefit from holistic therapies, and others may find that addiction education helps them finally understand. Because each person is wired differently, a quality treatment program will include a menu of different interventions that will hopefully resonate with various individuals in recovery.
A comprehensive Soma addiction treatment program includes:
- Evidence-based psychotherapy. An evidence-based approach to therapy means that the methods have been clinically studied and research has indicated that they are indeed effective for treating a particular disorder, such as addiction. For Soma addiction, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective of these proven methods. CBT works well for substance use disorders because it guides the individual toward replacing dysfunctional thought and behavior patterns with healthy ones, becoming an effective coping tool in recovery.
- Group therapy. Some individuals are more comfortable opening up in a small group of peers than in a one-on-one therapy session. A clinician who provides topics related to sobriety and overcoming addictive behaviors, guides the group sessions. These meetings enable participants to bond, providing the peer support so important in treatment.
- Family therapy. Many times, a Soma addiction has impacted not only the individual but the whole family. In family-focused groups, loved ones are guided toward better communication skills, setting healthy boundaries, and having realistic expectations for their loved one in recovery.
- Dual diagnosis. Addiction often is accompanied by a mental health disorder, which is referred to as a dual diagnosis. If so, the individual will need a program that is proficient in treating both disorders simultaneously for optimal recovery outcomes.
- 12-step programming. Recovery communities, such as AA or NA, can provide an extra layer of social support, as well as accountability. Attending these meetings has been shown to contribute to higher rates of sustained sobriety.
- Nutrition and exercise. Addiction can take a toll on the body and the mind, so engaging in restorative activities is key in recovery. A quality rehab will place importance on clients getting regular exercise, as well as consuming a nutritious diet.
- Holistic elements. To help bridge the mind-body connection in recovery, holistic activities have been shown to be useful. These activities help individuals learn how to quiet the mind and decompress, which can help reduce the risk of relapse. Holistic activities might include yoga, massage, and meditation.
- Aftercare services. One sign of a high quality rehab program is the attention they pay to aftercare. The first several months following completion of a program is critical to long-term success, so accessing these services is key. These include alumni meetings, outpatient group therapy, individual therapy when needed, participation in ongoing recovery community meetings, and even sober living housing.
With commitment and patience, a Soma addiction can be overcome and one’s quality of life restored.
Ken Seeley Communities Treats Soma Addiction in Palm Springs
Ken Seeley Communities provides top-level addiction recovery services including medical detox for Soma addiction withdrawal symptoms. Ken Seeley became known through his appearances on A&E’s Intervention series as a professional interventionist. He then founded Ken Seeley Communities, which is an addiction treatment complex located in beautiful Palm Springs, California.
Ken Seeley Communities offers all aspects of addiction recovery, including professional intervention services, medical detox, outpatient rehab, residential treatment, and sober living housing. Ken Seeley Communities sees addiction recovery on a continuum, with each phase of the process leading organically to the next. Alumni are provided with excellent continuing care options to help reinforce recovery for a sustained and successful outcome. For more information about the various programs, please contact Ken Seeley Communities today at (877) 744-0502.