Can You Get High on Soma?

You might be thinking of Aldous Huxley’s fictional hallucinogen, one of several video game or anime characters, or even your favorite Australian dark-ambient band, but I am referring to none of those things here.

Soma, for the purposes of this exploration, is Carisoprodol, a muscle relaxant with barbiturate-like effects. The Soma high is similar to taking sedatives and has led to a growing level of detailed abuse. At least we know going in that this one has some actual recreational value, no?

Soma and It’s Uses

Soma is a brand for the drug Carisoprodol. It is a muscle relaxer used to alleviate acute pain caused by muscle and bone conditions and is most commonly coupled with plenty of rest and physical therapy to help achieve this goal. Carisoprodol has certainly stood the test of time; it was first prescribed in 1959.

Though there is a big deal made about the possibility of abuse, a la articles like:

Carisoprodol: a marginally effective skeletal muscle relaxant with serious abuse potential,” many have seen benefits from using this drug to treat their conditions.

Soma is effective at relieving muscle and skeletal pain, controlling muscle spasms, and, yes, providing a recreational high. The exact methods of action are unknown, but it goes to work fast (in 30-60 minutes) and lasts for good 2-6 hours. Soma potentiates opiate-based pain medications, so it’s often prescribed in combination with a low-dose opiate-based painkiller in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries. This combination can be dangerous and even fatal when the two medications are taken together in excess.

Recreational Use

Originally conceived in 1959 as an antiseptic drug, the developers of Carisoprodol soon learned that it had utility as a muscle relaxant.

Though it has plenty of legitimate use in treating injuries and helping patients deal with assorted pains, it has received more notoriety as a heavily abused recreational drug, prompting its classification as a Schedule IV drug in the United States. From the Department Of Justice:

“Abusers typically ingest Soma orally. Many abusers take it in combination with other drugs to enhance the effects of those drugs. Alcohol, codeine, diazepam, heroin, hydrocodone (especially Vicodin), meprobamate, and propoxyphene commonly are abused in combination with Soma.”

“Abusers who combine Soma with Vicodin claim that this combination produces effects similar to those of heroin.”

Sounds like a powerful high, but I was curious as to how the users of the drug would describe the Soma high. I decided to turn to some firsthand accounts for more information on the topic.

What Does Some High Feel Like?

What I found is that Soma

  • does nothing (this is often the case when used witout other drugs),
  • needs other drugs to help potentiate it,
  • brings an amazing high when taken in high enough doses.

One user claimed it did nothing for him:

“Most boring drug ever. Helps for insomnia, I guess. No recreational use, IMO. Never been a real big fan of downers though, unless you count opiates or booze. I get really depressed whenever I’ve taken Soma.”

To which one commenter replied with the need to mix in other compounds:

“The recreational use is when it’s mixed with opiates, which it potentiates. The famous “Las Vegas Cocktail” is just Vicodin and Soma. Not that I recommend it, I hate that drug with a passion. Watched some people very close to me destroy themselves with it.”

This tidbit, however, is contradicted by another user who had no problems getting that sweet Soma high by just jacking up the dosage:

“I feel like most people consider Soma more of a potentiator than a standalone substance. But 1000-1500mg is amazing for me, and easily trumps benzos in terms of recreational value. Takes away pain, helps with WDs, feels like a mix of alcohol and Xanax. Anyone else feel this way about soma?”

This user followed with a funny quip:

“When I woke up I saw 16 message