Here at Pomarri we offer drug detox programs for a variety of drugs, including muscle relaxants. Here is what you need to know about muscle relaxants, muscle relaxant addiction, and the dangers of muscle relaxant abuse.
What are muscle relaxants?
Muscle relaxants, also known as muscle relaxers, are a group of various medications that function as central nervous system depressants. These medications are commonly used to treat acute or chronic lower back pain, muscle tension, muscle spasms, and limited mobility. Some of the most commonly prescribed muscle relaxants are carisoprodol (Soma), cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), metaxalone (Skelaxin), and methocarbamol (Robaxin).
A related class of drugs called benzodiazepines (benzos) includes some medications that are commonly prescribed to function as muscle relaxants. Diazepam (Valium), for example, may be used-short term as a muscle relaxant to relieve painful skeletal muscle spasms. Keep in mind, however, that you should not use the terms “muscle relaxant” and “benzo” interchangeably.
Muscle relaxants and addiction
Muscle relaxants do carry some risk of dependency, and some individuals need to undergo detox and comprehensive treatment in order to overcome dependency or addiction. Because of this, muscle relaxants are usually restricted to short-term use in order to prevent the development of dependency.
Muscle relaxants are especially dangerous when used with other substances such as opioids, benzos, codeine, and alcohol—and unfortunately they often are. In fact, some combinations have well-known nicknames, such as the “Houston Cocktail” (an opiate, a benzo, and a muscle relaxant), which some people concoct in order to achieve a heroin-like high. But especially when these sedatives are combined, they can suppress one’s respiration even to the point of death.
Dangers of muscle relaxant abuse
Muscle relaxants need not be combined with other drugs to be dangerous, however. Abuse of a single type of muscle relaxant can cause a variety of negative health conditions, including sudden headache, chest pain, bruising, bleeding, fainting, seizures, nausea, fainting, hallucinations, and rapid heart rate. It can even lead to coma or death.
Taking a muscle relaxant for even slightly longer than the prescribed period can lead to symptoms of withdrawal once you stop taking the drug. Symptoms of muscle relaxant withdrawal include impaired cognition, lack of coordination, sleep disturbances, stress, nausea, vomiting, shaking, tremors, rapid heart rate, and emotional fluctuations.
If you or a loved one have developed a dependency or addiction to muscle relaxants, do not hesitate to get help. Contact us today to get started on the road toward better health and recovery.