Sublocade hit the market in the U.S. in 2017, but why isn’t it talked about very much? There are a lot of elements and concerns that come with Sublocade and similar treatments for opioid addiction. Now that decades after the 1980s heroin epidemic that pharmaceutical “solutions” for addiction aren’t likely to produce outstanding success.
What is Sublocade? Does it Work for Opioid Addiction?
Sublocade is a Buprenorphine injection that is “extended-release” or that it disperses small amounts over time for a longer and more mild effect. It works only after the patient has received at least seven consecutive days of tincture buprenorphine or under-the-tongue treatment.
Allegedly this allows the mu receptors in your brain to heal. The Sublocade fits into the mu receptor so that other opioids will have difficulty attaching to it. However, that’s a key element. First, it cites “other opioids,” acknowledging that it is an opioid agonist and that it will provide feelings of pleasures. Secondly, it makes it difficult for opioids to attach to those centers, which means that the doctors are assuming that Sublocade is in use alongside opioids rather than instead of using them.
Now, with Sublocade and opioid use, the only thing that this drug is doing is allowing users to use smaller amounts to achieve the same effect. In theory, Sublocade is not something that, in theory, would be very effective, although it appears to reduce the harm of an injection. There are cases of misuse, and there are cases of deaths from various elements in using the drug.
The question of whether it works is still up in the air. It’s the complex discussion of managing an addiction. It is beneficial to the addict or not. Will it result in sobriety? Probably not as the person receiving treatment will first have to stop using their opioid of choice, and then stop using Sublocade. As seen with Methadone the result is usually just transferring from one substance to another.
Is This Another Methadone?
The prevailing claim is that Buprenorphine is a type of opioid that can’t be abused, but that was the claim when Methadone hit the market. Now it is a Schedule II drug, meaning that the government acknowledges it is methadone is likely to result in physical dependence. Now, Buprenorphine, or Sublocade, is a schedule III drug, meaning that it can be addictive but maybe not as much as Methadone.
In 2019 the DEA provided more information, including that data from various other countries, has shown that drug users do abuse Buprenorphine. Even that this injectable will replace the current opioid of choice.
One primary difference is that as an injection, Sublocade is only given through restricted program centers. They’ve also restricted the injection in that a certified healthcare professional must administer the injection. Basically, they’re making sure that they’re not giving opioid addicts needles or encouraging them to self-inject.
Buvidal Use and Misuse in the U.K.
Buvidal is essentially the same as Sublocade, but in the U.K. and no surprise, it was found to be abused shortly after hitting the market. However, many pharmaceutical companies claim that it’s substantially lowered the risks and damages associated with opioid use in the U.K. The issue is that there’s no hard proof that it’s helping people overcome addiction.
These drugs claim to help people kickstart their recovery by curbing cravings, but there are so many elements to addiction and treatment. The cravings are only one element of addiction, and replacing one substance with another won’t lead to complete sobriety.
The proof of misuse in the U.K. of an injectables extended-release of Buprenorphine should be the warning that we need to know that it would likely happen in the U.S. too.
Is Sublocade Part of Treatment for Opioid Addiction?
Addiction treatment centers rarely use Sublocade for opioid addiction, and many times they’ll attempt to avoid using synthetic alternatives. As seen with Methadone, you have full-blown methadone addicts now, whereas the drug initially entered the market to help curb heroin addiction and the heroin epidemic in the United States.
Of course, amidst the opioid epidemic, there’s now a new injection out there to “curb” addiction. The other side of this coin? Has the pharmaceutical industry found one more way to profit off of opioid addiction as pharmacists, doctors, and big pharma manufacturers are facing waves of losses as opioid orders slow down.
If you’re looking for ways to manage your opioid addiction and eventually lead your way into a sober life, then you should contact Rehab Carolinas. Rehab Carolinas is a local rehabilitation center for you to begin your path for a sober life.