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Medically Reviewed

Opioid Addiction Treatment With Sublocade in Charlotte, NC

- 6 sections

Medically Reviewed: April 27, 2022

Medical Reviewer

Sahil Talwar, PA-C, MBA


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Overcoming opioid addiction isn’t easy. Even after detox is over, drug cravings can persist for weeks or months. While you are participating in treatment to reveal and heal the root causes of your addiction, opioid treatment medications like Sublocade can help you cope with cravings so you can make the most out of your time spent in rehab.

If you or a loved one are struggling with opioid addiction, speak with a team member at Charlotte Detox Center today to see if Sublocade treatment in Charlotte, North Carolina is right for you.

What is Sublocade (Buprenorphine Extended-Release)?

Sublocade is an extended-release medication containing buprenorphine. It is an injection that is meant for subcutaneous use (below the skin) for people struggling with moderate to severe opioid use disorder. It is the first FDA-approved monthly injection for the treatment of opioid addiction.[1]

Buprenorphine, the medication in Sublocade, is a partial opioid agonist that binds to and partially activates opioid receptors. In other words, buprenorphine acts similarly to opioids and can reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. It also blogs the rewarding effects of opioids, preventing patients from being able to get high.

Buprenorphine has been used for many years to treat opioid addiction, however, Sublocade is the first FDA-approved injection that serves as an extended-release medication.

How Does Sublocade Treatment Work?

Before starting Sublocade, your withdrawal symptoms must be controlled by oral daily buprenorphine for a least 7 days (one week).[2] As a result, treatment begins with medical detox. As soon as you are in full-blown withdrawal, your doctor will begin giving you daily buprenorphine to manage your symptoms and control your cravings. After one week, as long as you tolerate buprenorphine well, you may begin receiving monthly injections.

Sublocade can only be injected by a licensed medical provider, so you must go to your doctor’s office to receive your injections. The liquid medication is injected just below the skin, usually on the abdomen. Once under your skin, the liquid turns into a solid gel-like substance known as a depot (dee-poh). The depot delivers buprenorphine to your system continuously at a sustained level for an entire month.[3]

While the medication is active in your system you may notice that your drug cravings are controlled, making it easier for you to focus on your therapy and your recovery.

Sublocade Side Effects

Sublocade may cause mild to severe side effects. The most common side effects include pain, redness, itching, or skin changes at the injection site.[4] These injection site reactions are considered normal, are usually mild, and subside within a few days as the depot gets smaller.

Other common side effects include:

  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

These side effects also tend to subside within a few days, but if they don’t, one should speak with their medical provider.

Severe side effects from Sublocade are rare, but they include:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Respiratory depression
  • Coma
  • Liver damage
  • Adrenal gland problems
  • Physical dependence

If you receive a Sublocade shot and think your side effects are life-threatening, call 911.

What to Expect During Sublocade Treatment in Charlotte, NC

Sublocade is meant to be used as part of a comprehensive substance abuse treatment program. While the medication can alleviate cravings, it doesn’t treat the root cause of addiction–that’s what behavioral therapy and counseling are for. Treatment that combines behavioral therapy, counseling, and medication is referred to as “medication-assisted treatment” or “MAT.”

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with Sublocade consists of:

  • Monthly Sublocade injections
  • Regular doctor’s visits to discuss treatment progress and side effects
  • Group therapy
  • Individual therapy

Once you complete an inpatient or outpatient treatment program, you will work with your doctor to decide if you should continue taking Sublocade. This is determined on a case-by-case basis according to your needs.

Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) With Sublocade

Medication-assisted treatment is thought to provide a more comprehensive and individualized approach to recovery. Studies have shown that patients who receive MAT are less likely to relapse, engage in criminal behaviors after treatment, and contract a transmissible disease like HIV or Hepatitis C. Similarly, MAT can improve treatment outcomes and treatment retention.[5]

There are specific benefits unique to Sublocade treatment, too. These include:

  • Low risk for abuse and addiction because the shot is administered by a medical professional
  • Very few side effects
  • Not having to worry about taking a medication each day leads to greater medication adherence

When combined with behavioral therapy and counseling, Sublocade can be a powerful tool in helping you beat opioid addiction.

Start Opioid Addiction Treatment With Sublocade in Charlotte, NC Today

Each client at Charlotte Detox Center receives a customized treatment plan and personalized care to address your individual needs and ensure your comfort. Our experienced medical staff in Charlotte, North Carolina is trained on all protocols for helping clients detoxify from drugs and alcohol, and clients meet with medical staff daily. After detox, we can even connect you with a full continuum of care or medication-assisted treatment.

Don’t wait any longer for the life-changing care you deserve. Call now to speak with a qualified admissions specialist.