Soma as an Addiction | 703-844-0184 | Addiction Doctors Fairfax, Va 22304
Addictiveness: Is Carisoprodol Addictive?
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Yes, carisoprodol can cause dependence and addiction. When first manufactured, carisoprodol was not a controlled substance. But after becoming an extremely popular and frequently prescribed muscle relaxant, users started to abuse it more and more. This was one of the main reasons why on December 12, 2011 the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classified carisoprodol (known by its brand name, Soma) a schedule IV, controlled substance.
When taken, the body metabolizes carisoprodol into a drug called meprobamate, which is itself a minor tranquilizer. Meprobamate is classified by the DEA as a Schedule IV drug because it is considered addictive.
Carisoprodol addiction usually occurs when users take this medication:
a) Non-medically. b) In excess of prescribed parameters. c) Chronically/repeatedly for a prolonged period of time.
Additionally, many people abuse carisoprodol by mixing it with other drugs to enhance the effects and produce a long lasting and intense “high”. Carisoprodol is usually used in combination with:
Abusers who combine carisoprodol with Vicodin claim that this combination produces effects similar to those of heroin.
Q: Why do people abuse caripsoprodol? A: Those who abuse carisoprodol often take it to self-medicate health problems such as:
Am I Addicted To Carisoprodol?
Sometimes, you may not realize you have an addiction problem. Many people ignore the symptoms, others simply refuse to accept them. But running away from the truth won’t make your addiction problem disappear. You can’t pretend that things are under control forever, when in truth they are not.
Some symptoms of a carisoprodol problem include the following:
Appearing to have much more or less energy than usual.
Changes in sleep patterns.
Claiming to have lost carisoprodol, and constantly looking for refills.
Doctor shopping (seeking carisoprodol prescriptions from multiple doctors).
Stealing or forging carisoprodol.
Taking higher doses of carisoprodol than prescribed.
Unexplained mood swings.
Still, there are three main signs of an addiction:
Loss of control of drug use (amount, frequency, inability to quit.)
Craving the drug.
Continuing to use the drug in spite of health, work, or social problems.
Safely Breaking Free
There is a belief that there are two ways to change a behavior. You can either change the world around you, or change the way you see it. Recovery from addiction includes both changes.
Medical practice and research studies on addiction came to the conclusion that there are three main pathways you can consider to overcome your carisoprodol addiction.
Pathway 1: You can do nothing and wait for change to come. Pathway 2: You can try to change on your own, using self-help techniques, which might be sometimes dangerous over your health. or Pathway 3: You can change (recover) with professional support.
Q: What’s the safest way to quit carisoprodol? A: Medical treatment is considered the best option for recovery from carisoprodol addiction.
Different Treatment Options
There is no one treatment model for addiction. Because we are all unique, there are many treatment modalities which can be adjusted to your individual case. So, in order for a treatment plan to work your addiction counselor must understand and personalize the approach toward your addiction issue.
Another important asset of a successful addiction treatment program is that it needs to cover all areas of your life. A reputable treatment program will help you work on the physical, mental, emotional, nutritional, and spiritual aspects of addiction. What are some of your basic options? Some of the basic choices you can pick from include:
1. Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab Treatment.
The selection of an inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment setting is influenced significantly by your current situation and other factors, including:
Current employment status
Mental and medical health history
Severity of addiction
Inpatient (residential) treatment is often recommended for people with high amounts of stressors and triggers in their environment, who have low or no recovery support, or who have a history of chronic substance abuse issues and have previous unsuccessful treatment attempts.
Outpatient (nonresidential) treatment centers can work for those who need carisoprodol addiction but are unable to stop working or attending school to get it. Although these programs may provide the level of flexibility that you need, their effectiveness can be limited, especially if you require medical and psychological recovery services.
2. Programs that last 30, 60, 90 days or more if needed.
The required minimum time spent in addiction treatment is 30 days. However, 60 and 90 day programs offer significantly higher success rates as they allow more time for physical and psychological stabilization, therapy, and education.
3. Therapies and amenities included in your treatment.
Addiction programs usually offer a combination of 12-step philosophies, evidence-based therapy protocols, and alternative holistic options that when applied together can maximize your chances of successful recovery and long-lasting sobriety.
4. Dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring disorders.
The vast majority of people addicted to carisoprodol have underlying psychiatric problems that need to be addressed as issues separate from the substance use problem. These issues can be addressed in psychotherapy, in which professional counselors can help the client learn to relax and set realistic goals.
What Are The Stages Of Treatment?
In order to make a commitment to recovery, it’s essential to know what recovery is going to look like. Recovery is usually a predictable transition from one phase of treatment to another. The main stages of treatment include:
STAGE #1: EVALUATION AND ASSESSMENT.
When you arrive at a rehab, treatment staff will interview and ask you several questions about your drug use. Be prepared to talk about:
The age at which you first started carisoprodol abuse.
Patterns of your carisoprodol use.
Changes in carisoprodol use over time.
Assessment and evaluation are not meant only to serve as data collecting methods. During these informative sessions, an addiction counselor or intake staff can carefully explore your feelings and objections about past treatment attempts. Discussing previous treatment attempts provides necessary information to create an effective plan using the best suiting treatment methods. Assessment and evaluation should be based on trust and understanding …and can even include drug testing, a physical exam, and medical history.
STAGE #2: DETOX
Detoxification is the process during which your body becomes carisoprodol-free. A primary focus of carisoprodol detox will be to:
Stabilize your acute and immediate medical and psychiatric condition.
Ensure your safety during drug removal.
Set you up for ongoing addiction treatment.
Medical detox can help you manage the symptoms of acute carisoprodol withdrawal in a controlled environment to improve comfort, minimize any health risks, and improve future prognosis.
STAGE #3: THERAPY
In addition to a safe and drug-free environment, programs should provide psychotherapy and behavioral therapies that can help you get to the root causes of your addiction. This is essential because you need to understand which thoughts, emotions, and behaviors lead you to drug use in order to prevent returning to self-destructive behaviors. These therapies may include:
Access to medical services
Individual and group therapy sessions
Nutritional counseling and wellness activities
Psychotherapy and behavioral therapies
Thorough planning for aftercare programs
…and other supportive services.
STAGE #4: AFTERCARE
Treatment facilities for carisoprodol addiction often continue their help even after you leave their facilities. Aftercare and relapse prevention are a crucial step of the recovery process and can increase your chances of rehab success. (We talk more about “Aftercare” further down in the article).
Hotline Or Not?
Some people feel good about making an anonymous hotline telephone call. Others do not. So, what would happen if you were to call the number listed on this page?
After you dial, trained staff have a standard set of questions to ask you. Together, they can work with you on:
1. The effects carisoprodol abuse is causing to you or to your addicted loved one. 2. Provide information and treatment referral to the best rehab centers according to your:
Changes you want to make
3. Offer practical solutions for helping you address the problems you are seeking help for. 4. Give you a list of professionals and other resources and services that can help you.
Worried about confidentiality? Your information is confidential and you may choose to remain anonymous during the call. Worried about cost?
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Call us.
Find a recovery center today and start working towards sobriety…today.
Carisoprodol + Mental Health Disorders
Carisoprodol addiction can be accompanied by a host of other mental health issues such as:
Anxiety Disorders. Anxiety is a sense of worry that doesn’t seem rational. When people are anxious, they feel concerned that they’ll somehow lose control or that bad things are coming their way. Since anxiety can be very uncomfortable, some people get involved with activities that distract them from these feelings. Some people start to abuse carisoprodol when they feel the need to defuse a high level of anxiety.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). People with OCD have repeated frequent obsessions and compulsions that interfere with their ability to function normally. Obsessions are repeated and unwanted thoughts and impulses that cause distress, whereas compulsions are repeated behaviors or rituals which are difficult to stop. Sometimes people abuse drugs because they are obsessive compulsive. For these individuals quitting carisoprodol is very difficult.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). People who experience PTSD have frequent thoughts and feelings about the event, they may have trouble sleeping. Carisoprodol abuse can become an effective distraction that offers temporary relief from the discomfort associated with PTSD.
Mental Health Treatments
The good news is that with the right course of treatment, strong support network and continued care you can manage both conditions successfully. Here are some therapies that often apply to cases of dual diagnosis treatment.
Medication. Doctors may prescribe medication to complement talk therapy..
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT works to minimize problematic beliefs and behaviors and develop healthier thinking and behavioral patterns to sustain sobriety.
Dialectic behavioral therapy (DBT). This type of therapy has the goal of reducing self-harming behaviors that often accompany mental health conditions and substance use disorders.
Individual psychotherapy. This type of therapy treats behaviors related to substance abuse and/or particular behavioral or mental health problems.
Integrated group therapy (IGT). Treats the symptoms of both substance use disorders and mental health illnesses all at once.
How To Help A Loved One
If you are a loved one, it can be challenging to get through everyday life. Indeed, only about one out of three people seek help for themselves. If you love someone who is experiencing addiction issues and needs support and assistance beyond what you can provide, the resources and recommendation as below can guide you to finding the right kind of help.
First, educate yourself on carisoprodol addiction:
Is Soma Addictive?
Know that it is important that you act as an ally rather than a critic. People facing addiction get irritated when they receive criticism and/or are told what to do and how to behave. Instead, offer understanding about the situation and try to listen to what they have to say. This doesn’t mean that you have to agree with what they are doing, but it does mean that they need to understand that you really care and are ready to offer help.
Do not rush into any conclusions. It is not important what you think of the problem, but what your loved one says about his/her problem. Once you’ve helped them identify the problem, acknowledge the importance of looking for professional help. This decision must not be forced, if your loved one does not feel ready to enter treatment, you can work on his/her readiness for change with:
An addictions counselor
A licensed clinical social worker
An addiction board-certified physician
What People Fear Most
Aafter years of facing problems and experiencing life through the altered perceptions caused by drug abuse, most people are terrified of life without carisoprodol. Some common fears that people have before entering rehab include:
Will I be able to experience happiness without carisoprodol?
How will I react to issues at home and work?
What will treatment look like?
Will leaving carisoprodol be painful?
What happens if I fail?
During treatment, therapists help people accept change. Indeed, the purpose of treatment is to work on cognitive and behavioral changes. So, rather than directly telling the addict what to do, people come to their own conclusions without getting defensive.
Finishing a treatment program it’s just the first step in the ongoing process of recovery. People are never fully cured of an addiction, it’s just in “remission”. That’s why aftercare programs are designed. Aftercare programs usually follow right after treatment and are based on a personalized plan.
Once you finish your rehab stay, there’s often a vacuum. You return to your life, having to deal with situations and feelings that may not be easy to handle. In fact, relapse is a concern during the first six months after recovery. For this reason, it’s recommended that you participate in an aftercare program for at least six months after you complete a treatment program.
Aftercare programs teach you how to:
Identify and avoid environmental and emotional triggers.
Control your urges.
Manage relapsing situations.
Relapse prevention coaching should also be part of your discharge process. Relapse prevention techniques for carisoprodol addiction should involve:
Addressing pleasant memories of stimulant use.
Coaching in addressing slips.
Developing a lifestyle that’s protective.
Developing coping skills and stress-management skills.
Learning about the relapse process.
Reminding users not to test the limits of their sobriety.
Training in identifying warning signs and high-risk situations.
This is a long task list, which is why aftercare help extends into the weeks and months that follow formal treatment. You can receive this ongoing support in the form of:
These elements will help you stay involved with the sobriety community, and prompt you to continue to work on your recovery, so you don’t slip back into destructive habits.
Does Treatment Work
Yes, addiction treatment works.
The process of recovery affects your whole life, not just your emotional state or your physical health. It’s a combination of all the parts of yourself. Even if you do not succeed to accomplish all your recovery goals immediately, you move closer to sobriety each day simply by trying.
Deciding you want to make a change is a victory in and of itself. Change is journey, so is addiction treatment. Energy flows where attention goes. So, if you direct all your efforts and energies in your recovery, success is inevitable. Medical treatment provides you with all the necessary tools to make your dream of a sober life reality.
Reference Sources: NCBI: Abuse Potential of Soma®: the GABAA Receptor as a Target
US Department of Justice: SOMA
SAMHSA: Treatments for Substance Use Disorders
NIH: Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide
Soma is the trade name for the prescription drug carisoprodol.
Carisoprodol is a centrally acting skeletal muscle relaxant that is a colorless, crystalline powder with a bitter taste.
Soma is sold under the name Sanoma or Carisoma in other countries. Carisoprodol is available by itself or mixed with aspirin or codeine and caffeine (Soma compound with codeine). Carisoprodol was developed in the late 1950’s by Wallace Laboratories.
Carisoprodol abuse has escalated in the last decade in the United States. According to 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data, non-medical use by U.S. population aged 12 and older of Soma (1.1%) was similar to or greater than other commonly abused schedule IV controlled drugs such as Klonopin (1.5%), and Librium (0.3%).
Street Names include: Ds, Dance, Las Vegas Cocktail (soma and vicodin) and Soma Coma (soma and codeine).
Carisoprodol is metabolized into hydroxycarisoprodol, hydroxymeprobamate and meprobamate. Meprobamate is a schedule IV drug that has sedative properties and significant potential for abuse, dependence, overdose and withdrawal. Carisoprodol is considered a prodrug as it is an active drug only when metabolized. Due to the significant abuse potential, some countries have taken Carisoprodol off of the market (Sweden in 2007). According to the DEA, meprobamate was introduced as an anti-anxiety agent in 1955 and is prescribed primarily to treat anxiety, tension, and associated muscle spasms. More than 50 tons are distributed annually in the United States under its generic name and brand names such as Miltown® and Equanil®.
Carisoprodol use causes analgesia, anxiolysis (decreased anxiety), muscle relaxation, sedation and somnolence. It has a rapid onset of action usually within 30 minutes and the effects can last two to six hours. It is metabolized in the liver and excreted by the kidneys.
Carisoprodol is taken orally in pill or tablet form. It is frequently taken in combination with other drugs and alcohol to enhance its effects. Soma and Vicodin is a common combination as is Soma, Xanax and Vicodin. In 2006, the FDA required labeling changes to the package insert to stress the risk of abuse and dependence.
Overdose can lead to chills, palpitations, vomiting, sedation, difficulty breathing, shock, coma and death.
Withdrawal symptoms include abdominal pain and cramps, depression, headache, insomnia and nausea. Soma should never be abruptly stopped but should be slowly tapered.
On November 23, 2009, the Department of Justice, DEA has given notice of a proposed rule change making Carisoprodol a Schedule IV drug
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