Addiction, in any capacity, is inherently destructive. Alcohol and cocaine continue to be regularly fatal for many who abuse them, whether it is in the form of organ failure from long-standing use, or by way of accidents like driving under the influence. However, in the last two decades, the unprecedented rise in opioid abuse has left the field of behavioral healthcare scrambling to address a new and rampant problem. Much of the traditional model for treating substance abuse has proven ineffective in dealing with heavy opioid users. The overprescribing of opioid painkillers like Oxycontin in the 90s and early 2000s, combined with a marked increase in illicit drugs like fentanyl, created a perfect storm that has actually decreased overall life expectancy in the United States from the sheer number of people who have died due to overdose.
Many who are affected die before they can even receive any form of treatment. Individuals who experience relapse are often dead before any sort of clinical intervention can be executed. The lethality of the opioid epidemic has forced a shift in how we treat addiction to heroin and other opiates/opioids. The incorporation of opioid substitution medications such as naltrexone and buprenorphine is rapidly becoming the standard of care for treating opioid addiction when combined with longer-term treatment involving outpatient therapy and counseling.
While the combination of medication and clinical treatment (commonly referred to as medication-assisted treatment, or MAT) has been a godsend for some, it is not without its own problems. Medications like Suboxone are typically taken daily and have the potential for being abused just like other prescription medications. One of the ways to address this is through longer-lasting injections like Sublocade. Sublocade is an extended-release buprenorphine subcutaneous injection that only has to be administered once a month. And, it does not have the same issues with medication diversion that can occur with Suboxone. And, it provides a sustained dose of buprenorphine, delivered at a controlled rate over the course of the month, to minimize cravings and withdrawal symptoms caused by opioid dependency.
Sublocade is ideal for individuals who are participating in a sober living program. In this situation, keeping controlled medication would be otherwise problematic. It is also appropriate for individuals who have previously attempted other forms of addiction recovery. Or, who have trouble managing medications on their own. It is important to note that medications like Sublocade are not a “quick-fix”. And, should be paired with therapeutic treatment like an outpatient program (such as PHP, IOP, or OP) or individual therapy. The Delray Center for Healing in South Florida is proud to offer Sublocade administration as a medical service for addiction. Additionally, we offer it as an option for clients in our intensive outpatient therapeutic programming.
For more information on the medication Sublocade, visit their website here. Interested in receiving an evaluation to see if Sublocade is right for you? Please contact us at 561-266-8866.
Since 2003, the Delray Center for Healing has provided exceptional psychiatric and therapeutic care for mental health, eating, and substance use disorders. To learn more about our philosophy and treatment approach, download our free e-book, “Psychiatry Redefined,” written by our founder and medical director, Raul J. Rodriguez, MD.