Is Soma addictive?

The short answer is yes, Soma can be addictive. Learn who gets addicted to Soma and how to recognize proper use from abuse here.

minute read

Street names for Soma

Las Vegas Cocktail (Soma + Vicodin)
Soma Coma (Soma + codeine)

What is Soma used for?

Soma is the brand name for the prescription drug carisoprodol. Doctors prescribe Soma as a muscle relaxant to relieve pain from muscle injuries and spasms. However, some people take Soma for (illegal) non-medical reasons to achieve effects such as:

* drowsiness
* euphoria
* giddiness
* relaxation

Is Soma addictive?

Yes, Soma can be addictive over time and doctors recommend that patients not take Soma for more than two to three weeks.

Phamacologists believe that physical dependence on Soma is due to the fact that Soma metabolizes into a drug called meprobamate, which is a minor tranquilizer used to treat anxiety, tension, and muscle spasms. Meprobamate is classified by the DEA as a Schedule IV drug because it may cause dependence. However, the FDA says about Soma that people report Soma dependence, Soma withdrawal symptoms, and abuse of the prescription drug Soma after prolonged use. And that excessive use of Soma can result in psychological and physical dependence.

Who becomes addicted to Soma?

Most cases of dependence on Soma, withdrawal, and abuse of Soma seem to happen among people already diagnosed with addiction or among people who combine Soma with other drugs with abuse potential (Ex. Vicodin or codeine).

Am I addicted to Soma?

You must really take a look at how you are using and thinking about Soma to know whether or not you are addicted to the drug. There are two types of dependence upon drugs. Dependence can be either

1. Physical

2. Psychological

Are you physically dependent on Soma?

Physical dependence to any type of drug does not necessarily indicate addiction. This is true for Soma. You will know if you are physically dependent on Soma if you experience withdrawal symptoms once you stop taking the drug. Soma withdrawal symptoms include:

* abdominal cramps
* headache
* insomnia
* nausea

The intensity and duration of Soma withdrawal is related to the dose and administration route, frequency and duration of use (and whether or not combined with other drugs), as well as the age, sex, health, and genetic makeup of the user. Physical dependence on prescription drugs like Soma often disappear within days or weeks after drug use stops. But if psychological dependence occurs after physical dependence ends, a diagnosis of addiction is possible.

Are you psychologically dependent on Soma

Psychological dependence on Soma develops when a person “needs” or “craves” it in order to carry on their lives. People addicted to Soma feel that they cannot function without it and spend a great deal of time finding and using Soma. For a Soma addict, taking Soma is the most important activity in life. Psychological dependence is also characterized by a loss of control regarding drug use, and taking Soma despite serious medical and/or social consequences.

What can I do to avoid Soma addiction?

To reduce the chance of Soma (carisoprodol) dependence, withdrawal, or abuse, be sure to take Soma as prescribed. Report any misuse to your doctor (tell on yourself) and avoid taking Soma altogether if you have already been diagnosed with addiction or if you are taking other CNS depressants. Honesty is the best policy, so if you are worried that you may have developed Soma addiction…please let someone know. Feel free to leave your comments or questions below.

Reference sources:
Information about Soma from the DOJ
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. Soma! Relying on self control or self reporting of abuse is the stupidest thing that doctors are relying on when they prescribe this drug. Has anyone seen the effects of this drug on someone, on a loved one, a daughter or a son, or a parent for that matter? Will the same doctor prescribe this drug to his/her own daughter or son? The benefits of this drug (if any) are way negligible compared to the physical and psychological damage it is causing, not only for the individual who is on it, but to the family, friends, and employment, not to mention it is ruining their relationship with any one, foe or friend. Please, do yourselves and your loved ones a favor and get off of it. Once you’re off of it you’ll realize how much damage it was causing you.

  2. I have been taking Soma for over 6 yrs and I am not addicted to it. It’s a great medicine for muscle spasms and fibromyalgia pain. I am prescribed 4 a day but take as needed sometimes a few a day sometimes none.

  3. ok, whew. I am in AA now and have gotten it down to the prescribed dose and am cutting it down again today, was up to 30 a day. Then during Thanksgiving weekend went cold turkey using diazapam and otc sleep aids Fing tough, will have zero by monday. The support at my local AA is incredible and prayer hopefull

  4. Hi Celina. I’m so sorry to hear about what you’re going through with your mother. My first thought it to refer you to an addiction hotline such as the National Drug Information Treatment and Referral Hotline:1-800-662-HELP(4357). The hotline provides information, support, treatment options and referrals to local rehab centers for any drug or alcohol problem. It operates 24 hours, seven days a week, and might be the best place for you to start. Otherwise, consider seeking out an Al-Anon or Al-A-Teen meeting for support, or talk with a licensed clinical social worker, school counselor, or a trusted advisor. You need support, too. And if you’ve been in foster care, maybe it’s best that you take care of your own hurts and feelings, because I am sure that the emotions run deep. Does any of this help?

  5. hi my mom is my world my life an very much more but she is addicted to somas taking 20 to 30 max a day & i dont even recognize this person it breaks my heart when i take her ouy in public & she can barely even walk or talk. she has a problem with these horrible pills & im afraid one day i will find her dead & never be able to have my mother around aqain im 17 years old & i really need my mom i want her there when i qet married, graduate high school or even have my first baby one day but with the rate this drug is taking her im not sure that it will happen ive been raied in foster care alond with 3 other siblings & i believe this is how she numbs her pain. she needs help & i am very concerned.

  6. I first tried soma when I was 16. My dad had a prescription and there were some pills left in the bottle. He wasn’t taking them any longer so I decided to try them and possible sell some. I took a few each day for a week strait until I ran out. I loved the feeling it gave me so much I felt like I couldn’t function without it but I didn’t know anyone who had any in my town so I went crazy! I had to have been psychologically addicted considering how much I craved it. After I took my last couple pills I wasn’t acting normal…I started crying uncontrollably and I cut myself. I was so angry that I was completely out of my pills. I’m never gonna take it again because I know I’ll get addicted.

  7. Hi Kim. It sounds like you really know your body and your limits! Good for you. As long as you are taking Soma as prescribed, and avoid becoming psychological dependent on Soma to avoid emotional or psychological problems, you may develop physical dependence, but this is a normal outcome of long term use of Soma. Out of curiosity, what does your doctor say about the addictiveness of Soma?

  8. I have been prescribed Soma (350mg 3 X day) about 6 weeks ago to go along with my Savella for fibromyalgia. Because I watched a friend become addicted to prescribed meds, I am extremely careful of stuff I am prescribed. Although I am to take it 3 times a day, I only take it at night regularly since I know that my muscles won’t let me sleep and no sleep aggravates Fibromyalgia and makes it worse. If, on the rare occasion, I get up and am having breakthrough pain, I will only take one half of a Soma and try not to do that but on a rare occasion. Is there anything else I can do to prevent addiction since I do not want to be addicted if I can help it? I followed the same pattern with the Flexeril I took for almost 5 years before they switched me to Zanaflex (which I took for about 4 years), and then followed the same pattern with the Zanaflex. If my Fibromyalgia gets out of whack and I have to take it for more than a week to a week and a half as prescribed and it doesn’t work in that period of time to get it back under control, then I go to the doctor to be re-evaluated.

  9. John, I’m sorry to hear that. I also think I’m headed to exactly where you are now.

    Soma addiction for me is completely psychological, vs when I was kicking the oxycontin (easy mentally), it was just like a very physical ass-beating that lasted for 10 days.

    Not to encourage drug use or abuse but do you think something like GHB might be better in this case? My Dr told me the somas are bad on my body (and I can see/feel it) but I think it’s bad on anyone’s body if they’re taking 10-30 per day.

    He explained it converts into Meprobamate (or something similar in name) during first pass metabolism. Would it be ‘less dumb’ to source Meprobamate directly and save the liver to metabolize other things?

    I have been looking into GHB and Ketamine. Unfortunately trafficking in either is going to be a serious offense with serious consequences. However, after I have taken 8 Somas, I’m more likely to find these drugs and if I do … to buy these drugs.

    John, in your case, I would consider Ibogaine treatment. It may be possible you’re facilitating one addiction onto another and that’s why you can’t let go. (Probably what would happen to me if I found GHB or Ketamine for sleep)

    Don’t be scared to get off, be scared to stay on. Addicts tend to go through a spot where they lose a lot of people they love (me included) or FEEL like they’ll lose a lot of people they love. Rarely in life do you lose everything but an addiction is the fastest way to test that theory.

    Hang on John and go get off the sub and finish that kick.

    By the way, do you have any physical symptoms for withdrawal with Somas at this point or at any point? I don’t experience much now but with 25 a day I would think it might be a little bit physically demanding.

  10. Hi John. Have you talked with your family doctor yet or sought any medical help? If you want to stop taking Soma, you don’t need to do it alone.

  11. I’m up to 25-30 Somas a day and thats a light day but, i’t’s ruining my life and my marriage and I don’t know if I can quit. Mainly because I’m scared. I was Addicted to 800MG that of Methadome and that like to kill me so now I take suboxone and somas and I’m scared to get off. If I don’t stop I lose everything I love.

  12. I’m now a mid 20s male who has been on Somas for the better part of 4 years. I have athritis as well as bone problems throughout and work physical.

    In the beginning I was prescribed Somas and Vicodin (or percocet) together. At that time, Somas seemed unimportant and not useful. I was getting by on just the Vicodin or Percocet which eventually moved up to OxyContin. (Which I have been able to control and taper down to just 10mg now)

    But, in that time I have come to rely on Somas for sleep. Sometimes I will take 4 and be tired and other times I will need 11 over a 3 hour period. I go through about 300 per month now, for well over a year it has been my routine so I consider it an addiction.

    I have noticed some longterm effects:
    Skin/hair/nails issues. I see dry skin, more than ever. Unhealthy hair and nails appear unhealthy and ugly.
    Terrible mouth issues. I brush my teeth up to 15 times a day just to try and remove the “slime” that Somas leave behind in my mouth.
    My eyes will have a similar slime/discharge, especially affecting my vision for the day after a high dose. Not a direct vision side-effect but a discharge effect.
    Terrible headaches, which I counter with caffeine, to which I need more Somas to go to sleep.

    I have tried countless other sleep inducing medications, such as Diphenhydramine (Sominex, Tylenol PM, Benadryl), Ambien, an array of benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Ativan etc. I do sleep great with Ativan but I don’t like the the mind-erasing features of Benzos), Melatonin, L-Tryptophan, Phenibut & more I’m forgetting.

    Once in a while I will take (3) Somas and they will hit me like I’m brand new to them. I will start mumbling and lose all motor function. Walking is nearly impossible. Concentration is laughable. It is much like being blackout drunk. It will happen while I’m in the middle of a conversation with friends or family (before bed) and they’ll start to question if I’m ok. I don’t drink but it appears as if I’ve been pounding shots of Vodka into my rectum.

    The loss of motor function and stumbling to bed is embarrassing, the long term effects are not what anyone hopes for, especially not a young guy but I still haven’t found a better way to induce sleep and maintain a household/family/life. Benzo addiction would likely ruin me and I would forget it all.

    Now that time has passed, I do find myself taking them at improper times, as an addict would, as I did with the percocet and vicodin in the beginning. Such as when I first wake up, I will take 3 and try to go back to sleep, fail and decide I should be productive and I make irrational decisions. I’m sure much of the irrational decisions are from the somas though. I will buy things like Medicated Eyedrops (anticipating eye discharge) with no intention of ever actually using it. I have purchased many incredibly stupid things while under the influence of Somas. Including drugs I don’t have a use for such as Marijuana and Cocaine. I don’t ever use Marijuana or Cocaine so I will just throw them away or sell them to someone else who can use them.

    Another thing somas will do is make you talk too much about stuff you didn’t really want to talk about. You may find yourself getting extremely analytical and overly aggressive to defend an idea you don’t care about. You may tell your wife she looks fat in those pants or your husband does indeed have a small phallus.

    Somas seem to be the least consistent drug I’ve ever known. One good thing I can say about them though, they have never made me sick. Never been nauseas. I have never taken them at work or let them interfere with my work (where opioids control you, somas do not). I do think somas are terrible but I think Benzos are worse. Until I find a sedative, a personal Conrad Murray or a new job, I will likely continue this.

  13. I have been useing some 350 for over 6 years 2 tablets 3 times a day. I just changed doctors and he told me he would not give me soma i had no clue why till reading this. I never had a problem but i didnt abuse it. I thought it worked very well. I been off 3 months i have noticed i cant sleep and my muscles are in hard balls i guess this could be why. I wish they would tell you these things before they put you on something for so long.

  14. As of December 12th 2011, Soma has become classified as a schedule 4 medicine. They have worked on changing the law for quite some time and now have done so. While it was controlled in 13 States, it now is under Federal control and the penalty for illegal Soma use will be a Felony in all States. Same with any internet purchases. We have been advised!

  15. Hi Hanz. As you may know by now, Soma should not be used more than two to three weeks for the relief of acute musculoskeletal discomfort.

    Most medical experts recommend that you withdraw from any medication under medical supervision. Withdrawal symptoms associated with Soma dependency include abdominal cramps, headache, insomnia, and nausea. I’m not sure how long they last, if it’s better to taper your dose or not…so I’d suggest that you ask an addiction detox professional or MD for advice.

    Does that help?

  16. I’ve taken Carisoma (generic Soma) for about 6 months now. I began taking it in order to potentiate the effects of Opiate-based painkillers. It worked great for a while, but the rate in which my tolerance built up was cRaZy. It started with one with each dose, and now to get the same(ish) effects I currently need to take 4 and a half. So I’ve decided to quit taking them after this batch has ran out. The question is do I just pop my last 4.5 and stop or do I have to slowly reduce my dose in order to do it safely? Like you have to do with Benzodiazepines.

  17. Thanks for sharing your experience, Leann. I hope that someone who is struggling with Soma can read about your success. Your experience can help someone else who is trying to quit Soma. Thanks for sharing…and good luck. It sounds like you are facing some real consequences from the past…but staying positive. Let us know how we can help support your recovery.

  18. I was addicted to Soma for over 4 years. I was prescribed it, then ordered it on-line when that wasn’t enough, then ordered it and stole it from my employer. I stole over 26,000 pills in 2 1/2 years. I was taking 4-6 at a time and about 30-40 per day. I was caught, went to rehab and now I am facing felony embezzlement charges for it. I am “clean” now and very bummed by the mess I created. Soma is VERY addicting and your tolerence gets to be very high. I wish I had never been prescribed the terribly addictive drug.

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