Aromatherapy Usage in Addiction Recovery

Aromatherapy oils are not a magical potion for addiction, however it can be very beneficial to add them to your daily treatment while foregoing a treatment program, such as the one we offer at Alpine Springs.

Holistic therapy, otherwise known as Essential Oil Therapy, can help relax and calm addictive thoughts while undergoing a cleanse. Aromatherapy is a type of holistic therapy that more and more facilities are exploring. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy defines it as “the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize, and promote the health of body, mind, and spirit.”

It is important to check with your addiction counselor before stocking up on oils in order to make sure the oils don’t interfere with any health conditions or any medications you may be on. You want to make sure they are therapeutic grade oils that don’t include harmful fillers.

These oils can help drastically in various forms, each with their own focused remedy.


If you’re in rehab, recovery is often an emotional roller coaster. Aromatherapy is often touted for its soothing and relaxing effects, especially when using orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit or any other citrus oils. Also effective for relaxation is Lavender, Eucalyptus, Ylang Ylang, Chamomile.

Mental Clarity

A few essential oils have been studied to reduce brain fog, which is a common symptom of post-acute withdrawal syndromes, otherwise known as PAWS. During PAWS, people in recovery may experience mental confusion and have difficulty concentrating and/or making decisions. Oils linked to more clear thought patterns include Sage, Rosemary, and Ginger.

Aches and Pain

Physical symptoms like headaches, muscle tension and nausea are also common during early recovery. Some oils that may help alleviate physical discomfort as your body continues to heal are listed as Peppermint, Rosemary, and Clove.


Learning to stay in the present moment, or practicing mindfulness, is a skill that will help you throughout various stages of your recovery. Mindfulness helps restore emotional balance and gives you greater mental clarity to make more fulfilling choices throughout recovery. Some of the oils you can add to your meditation routine for Mindfulness include Sandalwood, Cedar-wood, and Eucalyptus.