"Which means that, typically, people start taking it innocently. They have an injury, so they get a 10- or 14-day prescription. And they like the effect. They feel calm. They sleep well. They may even get a subjective sense of emotional well-being," Brodsky added. "And so they continue it inappropriately, and often combine it with other medications, particularly other sedatives. In that way it's very similar to the problem with traditional prescription painkillers like codeine, Vicodin, Percocet, or morphine," he noted.
"So this report is not a good sign, because it suggests that the upswing in the abuse of this drug is part of a tidal wave of change, a shift away from concern over illicit drugs to a major concern over prescription drug uses, misuses and abuses. It's definitely not good news," Brodsky said.
For more on carisoprodol, visit the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
SOURCES: Peter Delany, Ph.D., LCSW-C, director, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality; Michael Brodsky, M.D., psychiatrist, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, and medical director, Bridges to Recovery program, Pacific Palisades, Calif.; Oct. 27, 2011, Drug Abuse Warning Network" (DAWN) Report
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