Canaan, CT – Mountainside has added Sublocade™ – a monthly injectable buprenorphine product for the treatment of moderate to severe opioid use disorder (OUD) – to the addiction medications available throughout its continuum of care. As part of its Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) program, the addiction treatment center already provides Vivitrol® (extended-release naltrexone available as a monthly injection) and Suboxone® (buprenorphine and naloxone available as a sublingual film strip).
Sublocade, the first monthly injectable formulation of extended-release buprenorphine on the market, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in November of 2017 and available for prescription in March 2018. Mountainside was one of a handful of addiction treatment centers in Connecticut licensed to provide the medication to its clients.
“The opioid crisis has made innovation in addiction treatment imperative. Addiction medications like Sublocade are important tools to help people succeed in recovery,” said Dr. Randall Dwenger, Medical Director at Mountainside. “We are committed to doing what we can to keep our clients alive, and medication-assisted treatment is now considered the gold standard of care in helping opioid-addicted clients.”
Injected as a solution under the skin, Sublocade forms a solid deposit containing buprenorphine. After its initial formation, the deposit releases buprenorphine as it breaks down over a one-month period. Clients who are prescribed Sublocade must have been on a stable dose of buprenorphine for at least seven days.
Buprenorphine is a partial agonist, which activates the opioid receptors in the brain and allows for a small opioid effect that helps reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings. It also acts as an antagonist, which means it blocks other opioids from attaching to the brain’s opioid receptors.
As a once-monthly injection, Sublocade is a smart treatment option for clients looking to relieve themselves of the responsibility for taking an addiction medication daily. “Opioids are widely accessible through a number of channels – illicit and controlled. Without MAT, a person struggling with an opioid addiction may relapse and seek out their drug of choice. Sublocade takes the impulsivity away from the addicted person,” said Dwenger.
MAT is part of a comprehensive approach to addiction treatment. In combination with counseling and other behavioral therapies, it has proven to be very effective in eliminating dependence on opioids and alcohol. MAT is available in the following programs in Mountainside’s continuum of care:
• Outpatient Services
• Extended Care
Addiction medications ease withdrawal symptoms and psychological cravings to enable clients to better focus on the counseling, relapse prevention skills, and behavioral changes they need to achieve a sustainable recovery. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, clients receiving MAT for their opioid use disorders cut their risk of death from all causes in half.