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Addiction is a major struggle that thousands of people face daily, and Sublocade is just another substance that can lead to severe impacts on everyday life. While there is a medical purpose for this substance, it still carries the risk of physical and psychological dependence, making it a risky endeavor for individuals who already struggle with substance abuse. Knowing the full scope of the risks surrounding this substance can shed some light on its impacts and dangers, allowing people to avoid severe impacts as a result.

What is Sublocade?

Opioids like heroin and fentanyl are ravaging communities all across the country. They are leading to devastation in the lives of individuals and their families, and causing overdoses and deaths daily. Medications like Sublocade are intended to help treat and combat opioid addiction. 

It contains buprenorphine, an opioid agonist commonly used in the treatment of opioid dependence. This helps to reduce cravings, manage withdrawal symptoms, and provide extra support to combat opioid addiction. Also, it is an extended release. Therefore, providing a stray flow of buprenorphine into the system to provide relief from symptoms of opioid dependence. 

How is it Used?

Sublocade is a monthly injection that is administered by a medical professional. Before using this medication, individuals must stabilize using the sublingual version of buprenorphine. This is to monitor for any adverse reactions, without the monthly effects of the substance. Once stabilized, it is then injected into the subcutaneous tissue in the abdomen, providing relief without needing to take medication daily. 

Are There Any Risks of Abuse?

While it is meant to help treat opioid abuse and addiction, Sublocade also carries a risk of abuse. If improperly handled and prescribed, individuals may attempt to inject the substance intravenously or mix it with other substances to exacerbate the effects of the substances. Misuse and abuse of this medication can lead to respiratory depression, overdose, as well as other serious health complications.

Side Effects and Symptoms

Because Sublocade is an opioid agonist with opioid properties, it contains some of the same side effects that opioids like heroin and fentanyl contain. Some of those include constipation, nausea, headache, and injection site irritation. The individual may also experience fatigue, dizziness, diarrhea, and allergic reactions such as itchiness and rash. 

More severe symptoms can include respiratory depression, particularly when used in conjunction with other CNS depressants like benzos and alcohol. Overdose is also a possibility and is characterized by pinned pupils, extreme drowsiness, slowed breathing, or potential loss of consciousness.

Recognizing Sublocade Addiction

Although meant to help combat addiction, the risk of addiction to Sublocade is prevalent. Even when used as prescribed, there can be a physical dependence on this substance. This is due to the partial opioid agonist properties. 

Although it is less risky than full opioid agonists, it is still a prevalent risk when using this medication. Intense cravings for the medication can characterize addiction to this medication, continued use despite adverse consequences, and an inability to control the use of this medication. 

Other signs of addiction can include engaging in deceptive or risky behaviors, lack of interest in responsibilities such as work or school, and impact on interpersonal relationships as a result of using this medication. 

Psychologically, signs that may be indicative of addiction include mood swings, anxiety, and irritability. Seeking guidance from an addiction professional is highly recommended for individuals who have found themselves struggling with this substance.


Treatment for Sublocade addiction is available. The first step is removing the substance from the system. Detoxification, or detox, is the process in which the substance is safely and effectively removed. Symptoms of withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable and lead to potentially serious side effects. 

Therefore, it is highly suggested to seek professional help when coming off this medication. From there, many different treatment methods can be implemented. Therapies such as CBT and DBT can help to make a difference by teaching new and necessary life skills for combating addiction daily. Learning these necessary and useful skills helps an individual maintain long-term recovery from this substance as well as other substances. 

Diagnosing and treating underlying mental health conditions is a vital part of recovering from substance abuse and addiction. Without addressing these co-occurring disorders, the risks of relapse are higher. Dual diagnosis treatment can help to manage and treat mental health conditions as well as addiction simultaneously to help the individual maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Getting Better

Understanding addiction can be complicated. However, struggling with addiction can be even more difficult, making it hard to stop using and gain control of life again. Addiction to Sublocade is no different. The consequences of this drug can be severe and lead to lifelong impacts on an individual’s life. 

If you or a loved one are struggling, there is help available. At Empowered Recovery Center we strive to provide a safe and healing environment where individuals can begin a recovery journey and learn to live life without using substances.

 Reach out today and take the first step toward a better life.

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  • Empowered Recovery Center
    3651 Canton Road,
    Marietta, GA 30066

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