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Taper Off Your Opioids with Essential Oils

Published December 7, 2017

Backers, meet Patti M.

I had back surgery four months ago and my surgeon prescribed Oxycontin and Oxycodone to take for pain when I got home. When I ran out, he kept refilling the scripts. I have been taking 675 milligrams or a little more a day for over four months. I am now 'released' from my surgeon's care, but not released from the addiction [I have] developed. I am a mom, wife, and have a government job. I have to get clean not only for myself but those around me. I have been tapering off, but now I must quit. Due to job constraints, I can't take any time off of work, so any help would be great. I'm not delusional that this will be easy, but I simply don't have a choice. I don't want to feel like this anymore...

Patti M. is a back pain patient and accidental addict who underwent surgery. She finds herself in a tough spot. She doesn't want to be addicted, but she also doesn't want to feel the pain that lingers from her surgery in addition to the withdrawals from tapering off opioids.

In 2015, of the 20.5 million Americans ages 12 or older that had a substance abuse disorder, 2 million had a substance abuse disorder involving prescription pain relievers. More people than ever are using them recreationally over street drugs such as heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, hallucinogens, and inhalants combined, but here's where the stigma lies.

Chronic back pain sufferers need some sort of medication to ease that pain, but there's a thin line between taking them as prescribed and abuse. Enter, the accidental addict.

Experiencing the symptoms of opiate withdrawal.
Opioids are a compound found in various prescription pain medications such as fentanyl, hydrocodone, and oxycontin, in addition to illegal drugs like heroin. When taken, your prescription painkiller ignites dopamine — the neurotransmitter that regulates pleasure and reward, as well as movement, emotion, cognition, motivation. Once you're dependent on them, they govern what you'll do to get that reward of staying pain-free.

So if you are like Patti, maybe you need to find a healthy way to get yourself off these pills while still being a productive member of society. If that's you, look no further Backers. There are several ways to kick these drugs, and one way is through a more holistic approach with essential oils.

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are organic compounds extracted from plants with limitless healing properties. Utilizing essential oils for healing purposes is known as aromatherapy — a holistic treatment seeking to improve physical, mental and emotional health.

A few different essential oils that are used to help with opiate withdrawal.

How Essential Oils can Benefit Opioid Withdrawals

First things first, essential oils cannot cure addiction or your opioid withdrawals automatically. They simply add value that will allow you to feel fewer symptoms while stimulating moods and anxiety that may be a counterpart to the opioid game.

Dr. Wayne Dyer, internationally renowned author and speaker, called essential oils, Little Drops of God in a bottle. He explained, “Research has found that people who consistently use pure essential oils have a stronger immune system than the average person. Essential oils work really well at supporting all the systems of the body.”

To break it down, Dyer revealed that our sense of smell affects the limbic system of our brain, which combines higher mental functions and primitive emotion into one system.

Because the limbic system is directly linked to other parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels and hormone balance, essential oils can produce profound physiological and psychological positive effects.

The amygdala gland in the brain is where trauma and negative emotions are stored. This gland releases trauma and stores negative emotions through a chemical process that can actually affect our sense of smell — making aromatherapy or in this specific case, essential oils, the best way to release any negativity stored in your brain.

The hypothalamus is one of the most crucial components of our brains, acting as the hormonal control center. It sends chemical messages that can affect everything from libido to energy levels. Hormones literally control everything in our bodies. Not only can the inhalation of essential oils be utilized to battle stress and trauma, it can also encourage the construction of hormones from the hypothalamus. With essential oils, it is all about bringing the body back to its original state — balance.

According to the Alcohol Rehab, an online service for your addiction questions, essential oils can specifically help people defeat withdrawals because:

  • Some essential oils can be effective at helping people relax. This can be particularly important for people in early recovery who can find adjusting to their new life a bit overwhelming.
  • It is fairly common for people in the first year of recovery to complain of fuzzy brain. This can occur as a result of the initial withdrawals or post acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS).
  • Many people complain of difficulties sleeping. Essential oils can help you relax and may put you in the mood for sleep.
  • Essential oils can be good at lifting people’s moods.
  • There are oils that can help reduce anxiety levels.
  • They can help lessen the impact of withdrawal symptoms such as body discomfort and nausea.

Now let's get to the specifics.

What Essential Oils should I take if I'm Withdrawing from Opioids?

  • Lavender Oil is sometimes referred to as the oil of peace because of its calming and relaxing abilities. This is a great option for anyone needing to get in the mood for sleep. Sometimes, all you want to do is sleep, but you just can't get there. It also has a very calming effect to help with anxiety as well as insomnia. Try diffusing some Lavender oil for some #instarest.
  • Ylang Ylang is another essential oil that is believed to be good for relaxation. Think about adding some of this to your Lavender oil and consider yourself relaxed and ready for some much-needed sleep.
  • Chamomile Oil is another essential oil that is good for promoting relaxation and sleep. Why not add some of this to your Lavender blend to get some R&R.
  • Clary Sage is good for reducing levels of anxiety while also promoting sleep.
  • Dill Oil will help people deal with feelings of being overwhelmed, and it is also good for general relaxation.
  • Lemon Oil will enhance mood and allows you to feel more energy. There is also evidence to suggest that it can help to deal with stress in an easier way.
  • Ginger Oil is said to be a mild stimulant. This means that it may lift mood and increase mental clarity. It will also give you more energy while relieving headaches and nausea.
  • Peppermint Oil is good for helping people deal with minor body discomforts such as mild headaches. It is also good for relieving nausea and can increase your energy too.
  • Eucalyptus Oil is good for opening up the airways and it can make people feel like they have more energy. Add this to a Peppermint and Ginger blend to feel stress-free and ready to go.
  • Bergamot Oil is believed to help alleviate mild symptoms of depression, which can be a symptom of the later stages of opiate withdrawal.
  • Jasmine is thought to lift moods and can be used as a mild antidepressant.
  • Rosemary can have mild antidepressant qualities. It has been shown to be useful for mild depression.
  • Pine also acts as a stimulant that can lift your mood.
  • Grapefruit may be recommended for those struggling with appetite loss, as well as addiction, as it is an antidepressant, stimulant and has a cleansing effect on the lymphatic system.

A doctor prescribes medications for their patient’s needs just as a holistic professional can do the same while using essential oils.

Each individual's combination of oils may differ based on the cause and relative symptoms —making it very important to talk to your medical team about using essential oils to taper off your opioids.

The restorative events of mindful meditation, talk therapy, drinking and eating properly paired with rest and relaxation all can be considerably strengthened by utilizing essential oils to defeat your awful symptoms of withdrawal.

Example of the essential oils you can take to taper off of opioids.

Last change: March 20, 2019