One of the most commonly abused drugs is opioids. Using opioids, even if it’s a one-time thing, can still be incredibly addictive. Even worse, it can lead to an overdose or death if you are not careful when using it. If you are already using opioids, then you need to stop before you cause some serious damage. In this article, we will break down what an opioid is, its effects, and how you can identify if you are addicted to and how the drug Sublocade can help.
What is an Opioid?
An opioid is a type of medication that is used to help relieve pain. This works by decreasing the number of pain signals that your brain sends as well as changing the way the brain responds to this pain. It is often prescribed by doctors to help patients be relieved from procedures, surgeries, injuries, and chronic conditions that cause pain to a person (cancer). In some cases, an opioid can be an active ingredient in cough medicines which is why there are people who get high just by taking too much of it.
Generally, opioids are harmless and safe when used correctly. Again, only when they’re used correctly! However, those patients who do not follow instructions given by their doctors and misuse the medication tend to become addicts. In short, the addiction is the result of taking the drug illegally or against prescription.
Symptoms of an Opioid Addiction
An addict does not realize they have an addiction until things get ugly. You know you are addicted to these drugs once the signs and symptoms come out. It could behavioral, psychological or physical symptoms but you know you are addicted to opioids when you simply cannot stop using. You could also have the following signs and symptoms:
- Drowsiness, even when you are fully awake
- Poor body coordination
- Anxiety attacks
- Nausea or vomiting
- Slow breathing rate than normal
- Poor decision making
- Constipation is present
- Easily agitated
- Slurred speech
- Little or no motivation to do things
- Mood swings
- Abandoning of responsibilities
If you or any individual exhibits these signs/symptoms, seeing a doctor right away is highly recommended. Once diagnosed, you can then proceed to proper treatment for the addiction.
What is Sublocade?
One medication that has been used for treating opioid addiction is Sublocade, but what is it? How can it treat addiction?
Sublocade, or buprenorphine, is an opioid medication that is known as a narcotic. It is used to treat people, especially adults with moderate to severe opioid use disorder but is not used to treat any pain. It works by preventing cravings and patients may suffer from withdrawal symptoms.
It is also a controlled substance which means you cannot buy this over the counter. For first time use, patients must take buprenorphine. This is taken under the tongue or sides of your cheeks. This medication is a partial opioid agonist that helps in controlling the withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms could last for at least seven days and once it settles down, your physician will then prescribe you Sublocade. Sublocade is given via subcutaneous injections and this is done by a health care provider once a month. Counseling and support groups are also a part of your treatment therapy.
Does Sublocade Work?
According to studies, yes, Sublocade does work. It has been found to be effective at reducing the patient’s opioid use. In a study that was done in 24 weeks, 30% of the people with opioid addiction who took Sublocade along with counseling did not use opioids for the last 80% of the study conducted.
It is also under the controlled substance abuse list, in fact, Sublocade Schedule III controlled substance abuse. This means that anyone who misuses it is a high risk of being a dependent user once the drug is abused. Because of this, the United States government released a rule on how this drug is prescribed and dispursed. Doctors must have special training and must be certified by the US government. They also banned this drug in any competitive sport as it could stay in your blood for more than 12 months even after treatment is stopped.
Side Effects of Sublocade
An overdoes of Sublocade is possible even if it is a controlled substance. It can also cause an allergic reaction like itching, severe dizziness, difficulty in breathing, wheezing, swelling of the face, tongue, and throat. It can slow down your breathing which could lead to death. So in case you find yourself in such a situation, seek emergency medical attention right away. You can also seek your physician once you have noticed the following side effects:
- A feeling of lightheadedness or a feeling of fainting or passing out
- Shallow or weak breathing
- Withdrawal symptoms like shivering, runny nose and eyes, vomiting, diarrhea, increased sweating, goosebumps
- Loss of appetite
- Dark urine and clay-colored stools
- Pain in the upper part of your stomach
- Jaundice or the yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Severe fatigue and weakness
Can other drugs affect Sublocade?
If you are taking other medications along with Sublocade, then you might have to check in with your doctor first. This could affect the potency of Sublocade too. If you are taking some antibiotics, medications for blood pressure or heart, as well as antifungal, seizure medication or other drugs that are used to treat Hepatitis C or HIV, you must inform your doctor about this right away.
While buprenorphine can interact with many drugs, it can cause dangerous side effects too. If you are taking medications for the following conditions, you must inform your doctors about it beforehand:
- Cold and allergy medications as well as bronchodilators
- Other narcotic medications
- Medicines for IBS or motion sickness
- Sedatives like Valium and others
- Medications that make you drowsy or sleepy
- Medications that affect the serotonin levels of your body
Our list could go on and on but if you are indeed taking other medications, it is best to inquire about it first before taking Sublocade. This way, you know which drugs to avoid and which ones you’ll be able to take.
Yes, there are plenty of medications that could counteract your opioid abuse and give you another chance to overcome your addiction. But do you really want to live a life of pill-popping? Of course not, so what do you do? Avoid abusing not only opioids but
prohibited drugs in general. We could not emphasize this enough, but if you want to live longer and healthier, stop harming your body. We all know the side effects of drug abuse so while you can, say no to drugs.
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