What is Sublocade and how does it help treat opioid addiction?
In 2020, 10 people died of an opioid overdose every hour, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Getting individuals who are addicted to opioids treated for their disease is critical to saving lives all over the country.
However, this can be difficult when people are trying to juggle work, childcare, school and other responsibilities. They often feel as though there’s not time for them to leave their job, family and daily life to enter an inpatient treatment facility for weeks or months at a time.
This is why medication-assisted addiction treatment (MAT) can provide the needed balance between getting help and remaining present for daily responsibilities. Sublocade is a medication that offers these benefits and more. Many people have not heard of Sublocade; or, if they have, they may not really understand what it is or how it works.
What is Sublocade?
Sublocade is a controlled substance containing the partial opioid agonist buprenorphine. It is injected into the body and then released over the course of about a month. During that time, a steady stream of buprenorphine trickles into the body from the injection site.
This medication gained approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on November 30, 2017. It is meant for treatment of opioid use disorder in people who have already started using a buprenorphine-based product like Suboxone. Once someone has stabilized on the buprenorphine treatment for at least a week, they can begin receiving their monthly Sublocade injections, typically administered no less than 26 days apart.
How does Sublocade help with addiction recovery?
Sublocade is not meant to be used alone to manage someone’s recovery. It’s most effective in combination with other treatment modalities, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), 12-step meetings, animal-assisted therapy or residential treatment programs.
When combined with methods like these, the Sublocade injection helps with recovery by reducing withdrawal symptoms and risk of relapse, as well as allowing for a more convenient addiction management schedule.
Minimized withdrawal symptoms
Sublocade helps drastically reduce the number and severity of withdrawal symptoms people experience when battling opioid dependency. These symptoms can range from mildly annoying to debilitating and severe, and they include conditions such as:
- Sensitivity to light
- Muscle cramps
The discomfort of these conditions can be unpleasant. Anything on this list can cause people to call out sick from work, skip school or even be admitted to a hospital if the symptom is bad enough. When coupled with the responsibilities of doing things like child rearing, finding or holding a full-time job, keeping up with homework and projects at school or caring for sick and elderly loved ones in the home, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and burned out.
But the larger issue is that this level of stress can push people to relapse. In an attempt to get rid of the symptoms they are experiencing each day, some may start their drug use again. Indeed, they might be doing it just to feel normal, not even necessarily to get high. This is a difficult spot to be in. The person with an addiction may have every intention of abstaining from using opioids, but the pain and unease of these symptoms grinds on them until they finally break and relapse, just to relieve the pain.
By adding Sublocade to their treatment plan, these same people – even if they have experienced a relapse in the past – can maintain their opioid-free lifestyle. They are able to go about their daily routine with mild withdrawal symptoms or even no withdrawal symptoms at all. Managing daily living responsibilities and recovery steps, such as therapies, group meetings, etc., becomes easier when the withdrawal symptoms are reduced to this degree.
Convenient administration schedule
Sublocade also creates a more convenient addiction management regimen than something that has to be taken on a daily or even weekly basis. This allows people to more quickly get back to their daily routine. Spending more time out in the real world and less time in medical facilities can help people struggling with addiction adjust to a new life without the abuse of the drug to which they’re addicted.
With Sublocade, people dealing with addiction can safely and comfortably take care of their households, jobs and families without having to fit in multiple medical visits each week or month to help manage their addiction symptoms.
This encourages them to believe the idea that they can live a healthy, fulfilling life without using the opioids upon which they have become dependent. And not because someone is simply telling them this is the case, but because they are doing it on a daily basis!
Sublocade could be just what you’re looking for
Treatment for addiction to opioids can still involve sleeping in your own bed each night. It doesn’t have to mean spending weeks or months of time away from your loved ones, your job or your studies.
SaVida Health can help organize an outpatient addiction recovery treatment plan for you to get you back to your normal life more quickly and comfortably than you thought possible. We offer medication-assisted outpatient services to help those with alcohol or opioid addiction heal and step into a new lifestyle that is free of the chaos and pain drug addiction causes them and their families. Contact us now to learn more or start your recovery today.