Cyclobenzaprine is a skeletal muscle relaxant commonly prescribed for musculoskeletal problems among other uses. The drug is widely known by the brand name Flexeril, which contains the active ingredient. Cyclobenzaprine is not a controlled substance, however, it is only available by prescription. Despite being relatively easy to obtain, Flexeril does carry a risk for abuse, tolerance, physical dependence, and addiction. This risk increases if the drug is combined with other drugs such as alcohol or opioids.
Here we look at the factors contributing to the addictive nature of cyclobenzaprine, common withdrawal symptoms, and how to access addiction treatment.
What is Cyclobenzaprine?
Cyclobenzaprine is an FDA-approved prescription muscle relaxer used to relieve muscle spasms and chronic pain associated with musculoskeletal problems such as strains, tears, and aches. It is also commonly used in the treatment of the condition fibromyalgia. The substance belongs to a group of drugs called ‘tricyclic antidepressants’. Used in a variety of settings, tricyclic antidepressants can be used to treat depression, migraines, insomnia, tinnitus, ADHD, and as described, musculoskeletal conditions.
Cyclobenzaprine belongs to a group of central nervous system (CNS) depressants that decrease muscle activity, resulting in the desired muscle relaxant outcome. The substance can only be legally acquired via prescription, and any use should be supervised by a medical clinician. Cyclobenzaprine is available as quick-acting and longer-acting oral tablets.
Common brand names for cyclobenzaprine include the following:
- FusePaq Tramadol
Street names for cyclobenzaprine include the following:
- Mellow yellow
In the treatment of muscular conditions, Flexeril – a commonly prescribed brand of Cyclobenzaprine – is usually used in combination with physical therapy, massage, or exercise. If used for other forms of treatment, it is likely to be used in conjunction with other therapies.
Using Flexeril Safely
Due to the nature of Flexeril, there are some important instructions on how to use it safely. As the substance can result in drowsiness, it is recommended to avoid driving or using heavy machinery until you are familiar with the effects. It is also possible to become dehydrated when using Flexeril, and for this reason, it is recommended to use it with caution in hot weather and to ensure adequate hydration. It is also strongly recommended to avoid using any other form of prescription medication with it unless a doctor has approved it.
The Addictive Nature of Cyclobenzaprine
Cyclobenzaprine is only available by prescription in the USA, meaning that it has some potential to be misused.
Prescription drug abuse, such as cyclobenzaprine, is common to see in young adults as these substances are relatively easy to obtain. Some individuals may steal or be given them by friends or family members, while others may buy them illicitly on the internet.
Some individuals who abuse cyclobenzaprine may have started using the substance with an authorized prescription; however, this can quickly turn into tolerance and abuse if higher quantities of the drug are used or it is used for an extended period of time. An increased tolerance increases the chances of experiencing a Flexeril overdose. Much like most prescription drugs, abusing Flexeril can quickly turn into a fully-fledged addiction.
What is the Flexeril High?
Flexeril abuse is commonly associated with the ‘high’ it can produce in high dosages. Although not as intense as many other commonly abused substances, cyclobenzaprine can produce a feeling of calm, drowsiness, and even a ‘floating sensation’.
This gentle feeling of euphoria is what leads individuals to continue using the substance despite the associated risks.
These effects are not usually associated with prescribed doses of the drug, and if they are it would only be possible in first-time users.
Signs of Flexeril Abuse
Although it does not carry the same reputation for addiction as other drugs such as methamphetamines or heroin, it is possible to develop a debilitating and dangerous problem with cyclobenzaprine. If you are concerned about your personal drug use, or that a loved one may be addicted to Flexeril, it is important to familiarize yourself with the common signs of abuse.
Signs and Symptoms of Flexeril Addiction
Some typical indicators of problematic substance use include:
- Drug cravings for cyclobenzaprine
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug
- Failing to fulfill responsibilities due to abusing Flexeril, could be in your relationship, job or school work.
- A loss of interest in things previously enjoyed
- Isolation or breakdown of relationships due to Flexeril dependency
- Attempting to quit drug use but being unable
- Continuing to use the substance despite negative consequences
- Using the drug in risky scenarios
- Increasing your Flexeril dose
- Being preoccupied with using and obtaining the drug
- Stealing money or prescriptions, or doing dangerous things in order to buy the drug
- Mixing cyclobenzaprine with illicit drugs or alcohol
- Feeling numb or empty
- Asking for cyclobenzaprine prescriptions from multiple doctors
- Flexeril overdose
If any of these indicators are familiar to you, it may mean you need to seek addiction treatment for your substance use. Get in touch with a medical provider today to find out your treatment options.
Common Withdrawal Symptoms of Cyclobenzaprine
If you experience withdrawal symptoms when not using cyclobenzaprine, or as the drug wears off, this could be a clear indication that you are addicted to Flexeril.
Withdrawal from cyclobenzaprine is often assimilated with flu-like symptoms. This set of symptoms is often referred to as ‘Flexeril discontinuation syndrome’. It is not usually life-threatening, however, if Flexeril is being used in combination with other substances the danger increases and it could have fatal consequences.
Common symptoms of withdrawal
- Aches and pains
- Headache or migraine
- Nausea and vomiting
Dangers of Abusing Cyclobenzaprine
In some cases, Flexeril abuse can result in overdose. This is especially true if the substance is combined with other drugs such as alcohol. A Flexeril overdose can result in cardiac arrest, dangerously low blood pressure, central nervous system depression, or seizures. Flexeril overdose is a real and life-threatening possibility. Don’t delay seeking support if you suspect somebody has taken a large quantity of the drug.
A report by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 2010, found that there were over 10,000 references of cyclobenzaprine in calls made to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Furthermore, The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) reported in 2011 that more than 11,000 individuals received care from emergency departments for misusing cyclobenzaprine.
According to data going back to the early 2000’s, the trajectory of emergency department visits at the hands of cyclobenzaprine is on the rise. In 2010, it was estimated that there were around 12,411 emergency room visits linked to cyclobenzaprine. This is an increase of around 101% from 6,183 visits in 2004.
Who Is At Risk of Cyclobenzaprine Abuse?
Anybody can develop a Flexeril addiction, but there are some factors that make certain individuals more susceptible to developing a problem.
Risk Factors for a Flexeril Addiction
- Individuals with a personal history of substance or alcohol abuse
- Individuals with a family history of substance or alcohol abuse
- Those who spend time in drug-taking environments
- Individuals with a history of mental illness
- Somebody who has not been informed of the addictive nature of prescription drugs
The Role of Mental Health in Addiction Treatment
Going through substance addiction is an extremely difficult experience. In order to have a chance to fully recover, it’s imperative to understand the disease and how it manifests in you personally.
Substance abuse is frequently a symptom of untreated mental health problems; it is necessary to treat these simultaneously with the addiction. Substance abuse can occur at any time, for anyone, but recovery is possible with the right support.
Although not exclusively, cyclobenzaprine addiction commonly begins in the teenage years. This is often a difficult time, with many changes and developments occurring. Depression, anxiety, and stress are common and often substance abuse seems like the best escape to mental health issues.
Starting Your Recovery Journey
Substance abuse is a serious illness. Flexeril addiction treatment should always be sought from a qualified and reputable medical provider. Flexeril withdrawal symptoms are not usually dangerous, so it may not be necessary to take part in medical detox. However, the support and safety of an inpatient treatment center can increase your chances of sustained recovery and decrease the likelihood of relapse or medical emergency.
Tapering off cyclobenzaprine can be uncomfortable, so detoxing in a comfortable environment such as a residential setting is often preferable. If you use any other drugs it may be necessary to have a medically-assisted detox.
Being an unscheduled substance with a perceived ‘low potential for abuse’, cyclobenzaprine does not carry a high reputation for abuse, but this can give a false sense of security. It’s possible to develop a damaging cycle of using this prescription muscle relaxer, leading to severe consequences.
Receiving quality health care and compassionate support is the most important element to getting you on your journey to sobriety.
Treatment Options for Cyclobenzaprine Drug Abuse
At Empowered Recovery, we recognize the need for individualized drug addiction treatment. We tailor your treatment program to suit your specific needs and desires for recovery.
Therapy Modalities at Empowered Recovery:
- Behavioral therapies
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
- Complementary therapy
- Experiential therapy
- Family therapy
- Trauma-focused therapy
- Group therapy
We focus on short and long-term goals to keep your motivation in the right place and ensure you remain on track. During your time with us, you will be able to take advantage of our treatment facilities while engaging in a range of skills-based sessions to complement your therapeutic work.
If you are ready to seek addiction treatment, we are here to guide you through. At Empowered Recovery, we recognize the unique nature of your substance use disorder, and we reflect this in our treatment process.
Flexeril abuse has the capability to profoundly affect your physical and mental health. Whether you started using with a legitimate prescription, you fell into a cycle of recreational use, or you have been self-medicating, we can provide the help you need.
We believe in offering treatment programs that are sustainable and achievable for all our clients. We work together with you to find the right path to recovery. We have a variety of treatment plans which are tailored to your needs, getting you to a place of health and sobriety.
Our highly-committed and qualified team is here to support you through the early days of the treatment process and give you a foundation from which you can grow and develop. We use a range of therapeutic modalities and offer fully customized packages suited to all of your needs. Flexeril abuse may be part of your past, but it doesn’t have to be part of your future.
Get in touch with us today at +1 770-220-7466 to talk to one of our team members about our addiction treatment services and to get the ball rolling.