Quitting Opioids

Opioids, like heroin and prescription pain killers, are some of the most difficult kinds of drugs to quit without help. Roots offers medical, mental health, and care coordination services to help our community members who wish to stop using opioids.

Why is it so hard to quit opioids?

Opioids make chemical changes in the body that cause it to need opioids to feel “normal.” This can happen in less than a week of using opioids, even if only as prescribed by a doctor. This is a physical problem called “opioid dependence.”

With opioid dependence, whenever the opioids wear off, the body reacts with physical and emotional symptoms, called “withdrawal.” Opioid withdrawal can include physical symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, shaking, and sweating; and emotional symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and irritability. If the body is very dependent on opioids, these symptoms can be severe and last many hours to many days.

How can Roots help?

Roots offers full-service support for quitting opioids, including:

  • Suboxone (buprenorphine-naloxone) treatment, including induction (startup) onsite or in the home.
  • Other treatments such as methadone or naltrexone
  • Support in choosing a new pain management strategy, if opioids were being used for pain
  • One-on-one counseling and support groups led by licensed mental health providers
  • A dedicated care coordinator to connect you with other community resources, and support you in your path to wellness

Patient Resources

  • Medication-Assisted Treatment: What to Expect (Roots Community Health Center):[PDF]
  • Opioid Addiction Treatment: A Guide for Patients, Families and Friends (ASAM): [Pamphlet] 


Provider Resources

  • Team-based startup of suboxone for opioid use disorder (Roots Community Health Center): [Protocol] 
  • Unobserved (Home) Induction Clinical Protocol (IT MATTTRS): [Protocol]
  • National Practice Guideline for the Use of Medications in the Treatment of Addiction Involving Opioid Use (ASAM) [2015] [2020 focused update]

             o   Unofficial Pocket Guide (to preview): [PDF] 

             o  Digital or Printed Pocket Guide: [Order LInk]  


Our community partners and colleagues are welcome to print and distribute our communication materials to anyone who may be interested in receiving primary care, MAT, and supportive services at Roots! [postcard front] [postcard back] [8.5×11 Flyer]



Our MAT program was developed in part with IT MATTTRS of Colorado, who generously provided trainings, resources, and technical support. Trainings emphasize a team-based approach throughout the care continuum.

Visit their website [here]

The Sierra Foundation provided 18 months or runway funding in 2019-2020 to make this program possible, helping us improve MAT access to our local community of East Oakland, CA and beyond. Thank you!

For more information

Schedule a visit with a Roots medical provider at 510-777-1177, or call the opioid team at 510-577-0754.