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Soma abuse: Assessment of its symptoms and addiction treatment

Soma abuse: Assessment of its symptoms and addiction treatment

The prevalence of Soma abuse has been under scrutiny for many years. Soma is the brand name of Carisoprodol and prescription medication for treating acute pain. Its high tolerability and efficacy make it a popular choice for its non-prescription usage. However, such users often use the muscle relaxer for recreational purposes. 

So far, there have been very few, if any, cases of severe side effects from the usage of Carisoprodol. Popular among the masses as a safe pain medication, Carisoprodol, is bought both from pharmacies and online stores. Carisoprodol abuse is more prevalent among users who buy Soma without a prescription.

To date, there is not enough information depicting the Soma abuse potency and the long-term side effects of the muscle relaxer. Thus, this blog focuses on determining the Soma abuse potency, signs, and addiction treatment in users.


Soma Abuse Potential

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies Carisoprodol as a schedule IV prescription drug, suggesting it has a lower risk of abuse. But the chances of occurrence of Soma abuse are not absent. A report by the DEA states that Soma abuse has significantly increased in the USA and has become one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs. 


Soma abuse in layman's terms 

Carisoprodol addiction and abuse include:

  • Taking Soma pill without a prescription

  • Buying Soma online 

  • Taking Soma dosage for a longer period than prescribed by your doctor. 

  • Mixing other medicines and compounds with the Soma pill.

  • Taking the muscle relaxer for recreational purposes and to achieve “Soma high”. 


Studies show that Carisoprodol is a popular alternative for people addicted to opioid pain medications. Based on data from a Nationwide survey on drug use and health published in 2018, approximately 6.4 million people aged 12 or older misused prescription analgesics, including the Soma pill.


A Robaxin vs. Soma comparative study suggests that the abuse potential of the Soma pill is higher than other muscle relaxers, such as Methocarbamol. The American Association of poison control center reports a total of 2925 Soma abuse cases in the year 2016. 

Like all other medications, the effects of the muscle relaxer depend on the mode of administration and use. However, using the muscle relaxer is safe and effective when taken as directed by the physician.

Carisoprodol addiction- What makes the muscle relaxer addictive?

The effects of the Soma pill can be appealing to users. It produces a sedative, calming, and euphoric effect when taken in a higher dosage, thus resulting in its recreational uses. 

These effects come from the muscle relaxer's interaction with the brain's GABA receptors. On reaching the human body, the Soma muscle relaxer induces dopamine secretion in the body, producing these effects on the user. 

It is a CNS depressant and is seen to work and function similarly to opioid medications. These effects may intensify when one takes Carisoprodol with other substances and compounds. 

How Do People Abuse Soma?

Carisoprodol addiction is typically done by misusing the muscle relaxer by taking it orally. Such people may take other medicines and compounds with the Soma pill to increase its effects. Some frequently taken compounds with Soma pill are codeine, propoxyphene, hydrocodone, and diazepam.

The Soma pill with alcohol is often done to enhance its sedative effects. People taking such combinations claim that the Soma high mimics heroin.

Many prefer “Las Vegas Cocktail” which involves taking the Soma pill with opioids that enhance its effect. It is often mixed with opioids such as Vicodin and Lortab.

The “Holy Trinity” or “Houston Cocktail” emerged as a popular choice for getting Soma high as it gives users heroin-like euphoria. It is a combination of Carisoprodol, hydrocodone, and alprazolam. 

Who abuses Soma?

Soma addiction is prevalent in individuals of all gender and ages. According to data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health states that 2,276,000 people in the USA from age 12 and older use the Soma pill nonmedically at least once.

Law enforcement officers report that such people often buy Soma online with discounts or get them from pharmacies in Mexico. It is available in Mexico under the brand name Somacid. 


Why do people abuse Soma?

Soma pill is often used illicitly to combat opiate withdrawal

  • To enhance the sedative effect of the muscle relaxer

  • For achieving a euphoric effect 

Teen Soma abuses

Prescription drug abuse is a growing concern in teens as it can be easier to access and thought of as less threatening than illicit drugs. 


Common risk factors for prescription drug abuse in teens include:

  • Family history of substance abuse

  • Risk-taking behavior

  • Behavioral health conditions include anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and depression.

  • History of trauma

  • A feeling of social rejection 

If you have prescription drugs, lock them away and monitor the amounts used. To prevent drug use in teens, educating them about the dangers and health risks is best. 

Are Carisoprodol Dependence and Addiction the Same?

Addiction and dependency are not the same, but they are very similar. Soma addiction means that the person is physically dependent on it. Such individual experiences the inability to discontinue using the medication. 

Individuals with Soma dependency do not often notice any negative personal consequences. Such people can continue with their day-to-day activities without any significant hindrance. 

Are you at risk for soma abuse?

It may come as a surprise to you, but there is a high chance of getting a Carisoprodol addiction without knowing it. In medical terms, experts refer to this as “denial.” Most people stay in denial as they think they are safe since they are taking a prescription drug.

Whether your Carisoprodol addiction is accidental or because of recreational use, it is vital to be aware of your condition. There are several addiction quizzes that you can take to help you recognize your state. These quizzes are significant to help you understand your relationship with the drug. 


How Can I Tell If I have Soma addiction?

If you have to ask that question, there is a fair chance that you are already addicted. To help you analyze your situation better, here are several questions that you should ask yourself. 

  • Do you hide your Soma medication usage– taking it when you’re alone, for example?

  • Do you lie about how much and often you take your muscle relaxer?

  • Have you unsuccessfully tried to stop using it?

  • Do you have multiple prescriptions for Carisoprodol?

  • Have you lied to your doctor to get a more potent dose of the Soma pill?

  • Are you having problems at home, work, or school because of your usage?

  • Does the thought of running out of Soma pills make you feel uncomfortable?

  • Do you spend a lot of time thinking about your next Soma dosage?

  • Has anyone ever confronted you about your medication use?

  • Do you feel uneasy without taking your Soma dosage?

  • Have you ever overdosed on the Soma pill?

Short-term effects of Soma abuse

The side effects of soma abuse depend on numerous factors. The key characteristic that can contribute to the side effects caused by recreational use of the muscle relaxer is-

  • The strength of the medication.

  • The number of doses taken.

  • The period of Soma abuse. 

  • Other medical health conditions. 

  • The administration and conjugation of other substances. 

The short-term effects of Soma abuse include the following symptoms- 

  • Euphoria in users. 

  • Sedation.

  • Drowsiness. 

  • Impaired coordination.

  • Irritability. 

  • Issues with memory and judgment. 

  • Depression.

Soma can cause sleepiness by lowering the functioning of the Central Nervous System; thus, taking it once before bedtime can help induce a good night's sleep. 

Long-term effects of Soma abuse 

The potency is low, but it can cause serious health issues in long-term use. The longer people take the muscle relaxer, the higher is their chances of experiencing addiction and withdrawal symptoms. The long-term side effects of Soma abuse include changes in the person's mood in addiction, causing suicidal thoughts. Such users also show a decline in their performance at work and strained relationships with their friends and family. These long-term side effects of Soma abuse also affect the person's physical health of the person thus causing respiratory problems, organ damage, and seizures. Such users also have a higher chance of developing tolerance to the muscle relaxer, thus showing minimal intended effect. 

Is it illegal to abuse Soma?

Yes, it is illegal to abuse Soma. Several reports of Carisoprodol addiction and abuse have resulted in scheduling Soma as a controlled substance. Soma pill is not scheduled at the federal level.

Carisoprodol use is a drug of concern in the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Agency Office of Division Control for its widespread abuse. 

The Drug Enforcement Administration monitors reports of Soma abuse, and it is now a schedule IV prescription drug. It cannot be purchased from a pharmacy without a valid medical prescription. 


  How to take Soma dosage?

Soma pill is known for its instant pain-relieving quality. This muscle relaxer can show its effects within 30 minutes. But it is essential to take the Soma dosage properly to enjoy its effects without any problem.

One should take carisoprodol dosage with physiotherapy and adequate rest. Soma pill has a half-life of 2 to 3 hours, approximately after which its effects come down to half. It is best to take Soma dosage under the observation of a doctor. As [2] mentioned, one can take the Carisoprodol dose three times a day. Soma is available in the market with a dosage range from 250 to 500 mg. Carisoprodol is not suitable for more than three weeks.

Soma withdrawal- Symptoms and health risk 

The side effects of Soma abuse and withdrawal are similar; they are usually mild and do not adversely affect the body. The sign of withdrawal is common in the long-term use of the muscle relaxer. Sudden discontinuation of the analgesic can thus lead to causing withdrawal signs in the user. 


The common signs of Soma withdrawal symptoms include-

  • Vomiting

  • Delusions

  • Anxiety

  • Insomnia

  • Muscle twitching 

  • Nausea 

It is essential to note that there are other possible side effects of Soma abuse and withdrawal apart from the ones mentioned here. These signs usually go away with time and do not require immediate medical attention. However, if the condition persists or worsens with time, such users should consult a doctor.

Carisoprodol side effects and precautions

Apart from the side effects of Soma abuse, improper dosing, and other health conditions may result in adverse effects from the muscle relaxer. These side effects are commonly familiar with the withdrawal symptoms. However, some distinguishable side effects of Carisoprodol are-


Table 1: Common side effects of the Soma pill

Common side effects

Seek doctor's help


Chest pain


Cold Sweat


Irregular heartbeat




Shortness of breath


Sudden loss of consciousness


These side effects are different from person to person. If you feel that these side effects last for a long time, then taking a doctor’s help is the best option.

Soma Abuse Treatment

Soma addiction involves more than being physically dependent on the drug. People with long-term use of the Soma pill may experience withdrawal signs from the muscle relaxer. In such cases, physicians often prescribe the “tapering-off” method.

Individuals with signs of addiction may require detox treatments. Your physician may refer you to an addiction specialist.

Carisoprodol changes how the human brain works, thus developing withdrawal signs in people who abruptly discontinue the muscle relaxer. In most medical detox therapies, old treatments with medicines are used to help you switch to sobriety.

Carisoprodol addiction may have cases of relapse and therefore, just getting detox isn’t enough. Such people require therapy to help you understand your condition and further assist you in staying sober. 

In an addiction treatment program, you can expect the following:


Counseling session-

This can take place in person or in groups. A counseling session can help you identify how your addiction began and how you can move forward from your current situation.


Support group works-

Most people feel lonely during addiction therapy, which may be a major cause of their relapse. Support group work will help you connect with other people in recovery. 


Smart recovery-

It is a therapy that involves a specific 4-point model for restoring your life and maintaining sobriety.


Adjunct therapy-

These include several complementary therapies such as music therapy, art therapy, and adventure therapy.




The prescription dose of the Soma pill is 3 to 4 times a day. The administration of a muscle relaxer higher than the recommended dose may cause "Soma high."

Soma high can lead to causing euphoric feelings. It can also cause a heightened sensation, increased energy, and better self-confidence.

No, Carisoprodol is a non-opioid pain medication.

No, overdosing on the Soma pill is not advisable. It can cause symptoms such as palpitation, Hallucinations, mental confusion, shallow breathing, blurry vision, and agitation.

Yes, numerous studies suggest that Soma helps with opiate withdrawal.

Improper dosing and administering the Soma pill can cause addiction, dependency, high blood pressure, and muscular incoordination.


  1. Carisoprodol, wikipedia

  2. Carisoprodol: Uses, interactions, Mechanism of action,

  3. Soma dosage,

  4. Soma side effects,