Carisoprodol, The New Prescription Drug of Interest
Did you know that the pharmaceutical industry plans to submit more than nine-hundred new pharmaceutical drugs to the Food and Drug Administration for approval between now and 2022? This is the gravity of the world we live in, a world where we use pharmaceutical drugs as a solution to just about everything.
In spite of all the lessons learned over the last twenty years in overdose deaths, economic turmoil over pharmaceutical addiction problems, the vast cost of the War on Drugs, and all of the other crisis brought on by the pharmaceutical nightmare, the biggest lesson we have yet to learn is that more pharmaceutical drugs are not the answer.
Case in point, there is a relatively new prescription drug on the market that, yes, is very addictive. It’s called Carisoprodol and it is taking the addiction scene by storm. The drug is a muscle relaxant, but it is causing addiction, causing overdose, and landing people in the ER left and right.
What is a Muscle Relaxant?
First, let’s clear up this term. What is a muscle relaxant? A muscle relaxant falls into the category of a sedative. It is a central nervous system depressant. Muscle relaxants are designed to address the musculoskeletal system. Muscle relaxants are supposed to only be used as a supplement to physical therapy, rest, chiropractic care, and other muscle remedies. However, muscle relaxants are often overused and, when they are, a chemical dependence is right around the corner.
Carisoprodol is a good example of this happening. The drug was responsible for more than thirty-thousand visits to the ER in just one year. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration investigated this issue and found that ER visits from Carisoprodol had more than doubled in just five years.
When SAMHSA investigated this phenomenon more closely, they found that the vast majority of those who overdosed on Carisoprodol were taking other drugs in tandem too. Multi-drug use is always more dangerous than only taking one type of drug is.
Carisoprodol; Another Risky Pharmaceutical
According to Peter Delany, the director of the SAMHSA department on the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality:
“We're not talking about an epidemic, but we are talking about a larger number of people ending up in the ER with misuse of this medication. Either they have been prescribed it, or they get it from other people. But, either way, they think it's a safe drug…”“We're not talking about an epidemic, but we are talking about a larger number of people ending up in the ER with misuse of this medication. Either they have been prescribed it, or they get it from other people. But, either way, they think it's a safe drug, in the sense that it's not heroin or something like that. But it is a drug. And if it's misused, it can be a problem.”
In their research, SAMHSA research scientists found that Carisoprodol does have anti-anxiety properties, even though it is only supposed to be a muscle relaxant. When people take the drug, even if they take it exactly as prescribed, the mind-altering effects of the drug and the actual, physical sensation of the drug both serve to make it potentially addictive.
Another factor here is in the discrepancy between the recommended use of the drug and how patients actually use it. While the FDA recommends that patients only take Carisoprodol for a period of two to three weeks and that they never take it in tandem with other drugs or alcohol, doctors and patients alike often ignore these recommendations.
We have to start looking for other sources for muscle relief and general physical relief from ailments. It doesn’t make sense to keep turning to pharmaceuticals when such drugs carry with them so much risk for other problems.
There are natural and alternative approaches to muscle relief. Just some calcium and magnesium supplements can do wonders for muscle tension, and other holistic remedies like ginger, turmeric, and valerian root can help for more serious aches.