Addiction is a mental health disorder that can cause physical changes in your brain that become permanent with long-term use. What is post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS)? For men and women who abuse drugs or alcohol for several years, they can continue to experience the psychological effects of withdrawals sporadically for months or years after detoxing. Education during addiction treatment can teach you about recognizing the signs of PAWS and what to expect after completing detox.
At Crestview Recovery, we provide addiction treatment programs for men and women 18 and over who are experiencing post-acute withdrawal syndrome. Our outpatient and aftercare programs help clients when they feel their symptoms return and need support to continue their sobriety. If you experience withdrawal symptoms after detoxing, call 866.262.0531 to speak with our compassionate staff about continuing your therapy whenever your post-acute withdrawal syndrome returns.
What is Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome?
What is PAWS? Post-acute withdrawal syndrome is the sporadic return of the psychological symptoms of drug and alcohol withdrawals that can occur for a year or longer after completing detox. Symptoms can return for a few days throughout the year with no real trigger that signals or sparks their return. Research into PAWS shows no clear reason why it happens in certain people. It may be related to the physical changes that substance abuse can cause in certain areas of the brain.
Some of the signs of post-acute withdrawal syndrome include:
- Low energy
- A lack of sex drive
- Irritability and hostility
At Crestview Recovery, we will help you understand everything there is to know about what is PAWS and any other questions you have about the recovery experience. The more you know what to expect, the better you can prepare yourself and get the most out of your therapy.
Recognizing the Signs of PAWS
PAWS generally can last from 1–2 years after completing detox, with sporadic episodes throughout the year that can last several days. It’s most common with substance abuse of opioids, alcohol, and benzodiazepines but can occur with other substances and long-term abuse. Men and women who abuse opioids have the highest risk of experiencing post-acute withdrawal syndrome.
Recognizing the signs of post-acute withdrawal syndrome in others is easy if you know what to look for. In addition to the common mental symptoms of withdrawal, some clients can experience:
PAWS can cause some people to obsessively focus on past mistakes and a lack of good judgment while intoxicated. This can cause a lot of stress and turmoil and lead to relapse.
Difficulties with social relationships
Drugs and alcohol are a large part of our society and can be found nearly everywhere. This can be troubling when a person’s symptoms return and make going out difficult. It can put a strain on relationships if they are worried about relapsing if they go out and are afraid to try.
Post-acute withdrawal syndrome can cause a return of the physical cravings for the substance of choice with no noticeable trigger. They can occur suddenly without warning and be hard to resist.
Sensitivity to stress
Clients who struggle with PAWS may experience chronic stress. This, in turn, can lead to aches and pains, lack of focus, and insomnia.
Crestview Recovery: Your Top Resource for Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome Treatment
What is post-acute withdrawal syndrome, and how can Crestview Recovery help? We provide young men and women 18 and over with continuing support through outpatient and aftercare programs to address any returning symptoms or for those experiencing post-acute withdrawal syndrome. Clients will participate in group and individual therapy to reinforce their positive outlook on life and reinforce their coping skills.
Some clients begin working as a mentor or start a career in addiction treatment. They do this as a means to have constant support after completing their treatment program. If you are experiencing a return of your withdrawal symptoms after completing detox, call our experienced team at 866.262.0531 for compassionate support on your recovery journey.
Since 2016, Dr. Merle Williamson, a graduate of Oregon Health Sciences University, has been the Medical Director at Crestview Recovery, bringing a rich background in addiction medicine from his time at Hazelden Treatment Center. He oversees outpatient drug and alcohol treatments, providing medical care, setting policies, detox protocols, and quality assurance measures. Before specializing in addiction medicine, he spent 25 years in anesthesiology, serving as Chair of Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Chief of Anesthesia at Kaiser Permanente. This experience gives him a unique perspective on treating prescription drug addiction.