Prescription medications can save your life, but when used incorrectly they can become addictive and harm your health. You may be familiar with the addictive properties of narcotics and similar prescription medication, but did you know that muscle relaxers are addictive too? Muscle relaxers are intended to be used short-term, often only being prescribed for about two weeks. Muscle relaxers are quickly becoming some of the most abused prescription medications on the market.

Commonly Abused Muscle Relaxers

There are many different kinds of muscle relaxers, and they all target different types of muscular and skeletal pain points. Muscle relaxers are either antispastics or antispasmodics. Antispastic medications treat “spasticity,” which is a disruption in muscle movement patterns. This often manifests as your muscles contracting all at once when moving or resting. This is usually brought on by an injury to nerve pathways. Antispasmodic medications are usually prescribed for musculoskeletal pain and muscle spasms, typically of the lower back. The commonly prescribed muscle relaxers are:

  • Carisoprodol (Soma®, Vanadom®)
  • Chlorzoxazone (Lorzone®, Parafon Forte DSC®, Relax-DS®, Remular S®)
  • Cyclobenzaprine (Fexmid®, Flexeril®)
  • Metaxalone (Metaxall®, Skelaxin®)
  • Methocarbamol (Robaxin®)
  • Orphenadrine (Norflex®)
  • Baclofen (Lioresal®)
  • Dantrolene (Dantrium®)
  • Tizanidine (Zanaflex®)
  • Diazepam (Valium®)

One of the most majorly abused muscle relaxers sits at the top of that list – Carisoprodol, often known as Soma. Research has shown that Carisoprodol has become one of the most commonly diverted drugs, with many people attempting to obtain multiple prescriptions from different doctors, or even going as far as forging prescription orders. This rise in muscle relaxer abuse is sparking high levels of prescription medication addiction.

Side Effects of Muscle Relaxers

All muscle relaxers have different side effects, and it’s important to be aware of the different things you may experience while using them. It’s important to note that many muscle relaxers impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle, and you should avoid doing so until you are no longer taking the medication. Common muscle relaxer side effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea 
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth

Muscle relaxers often make users very sleepy, and when abused they can make users experience a sense of delirium or altered mental states. When abused, you can also build a dependence on them and have a tolerance that increases every time you take them. The higher the dose of muscle relaxer, the more intense the side effects and the more challenging it is to detox and withdraw.

Dangers of Abusing Muscle Relaxers

It is possible to overdose on muscle relaxers, and it is even more likely to overdose when combined with alcohol consumption. The two substances are both depressants, and when consumed together they can have extreme side effects that may result in serious bodily harm or could become fatal. 

Symptoms caused by mixing muscle relaxers and alcohol include but are not limited to:

  • Extreme dizziness and drowsiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Low blood pressure
  • Fainting
  • Memory issues 
  • Liver damage

Alcohol also increases your risk of overdose, especially when both are used in large quantities. Signs of muscle relaxer overdose are: 

  • Changes in consciousness – passing out
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Respiratory depression
  • Cardiac arrest
  •  Coma

If you recognize these signs in someone around you, immediately contact 911. If you are worried about a loved one’s muscle relaxer use, but it has not yet become a medical emergency for overdose, you can also contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) hotline at 1-800-662-4357.

Ask For Help Before it Becomes Life or Death

It’s never too late to seek addiction treatment for muscle relaxer addiction. Whether you need help for yourself or a loved one, the Solution Based Treatment team is readily available 24/7 to ensure you can access the support you need to start your recovery journey as soon as you decide it’s time. We offer detox services and then transition you to one of our high-end sober living facilities where you can safely recover and learn relapse prevention strategies, all while building a sober community and getting your “spark” reignited. If you’re ready to unchain yourself from muscle relaxer dependency and abuse, give us a call and we’ll set you up with the right treatment plan for your needs.

About Solution Based Treatment

Solution Based Treatment is a national leader in detox and rehab programs. We offer inpatient medical detox, substance rehab, intensive outpatient programs, partial hospitalization programs, faith-based recovery, and sober living options. We maintain a 2:1 client to staff ratio to offer the best support possible to our patients within upscale living environments. At Solution Based Treatment, we support better living for brighter futures, all starting with our detox and rehab services. For more information visit our website at or give us a call at (833) 999-1941.

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