Understanding Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

The journey from addiction to sobriety can be full of mental and emotional roller coasters if those involved are unaware of what to expect and how to effectively cope. The first year of recovery can be the toughest for some people depending on the length of time they were abusing substances. People often believe they’re cured of addiction once they’ve completed an addiction recovery program since they underwent bodily detoxes and survived extreme withdrawals. However, it can take the brain anywhere from six months to a year to adjust to not having drugs in the body. During this time, individuals often experience Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS).

Defining Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome occurs when individuals still experience lingering mental and physical symptoms of addiction after their severe withdrawals have subsided.

Symptoms of Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

It’s important for those who have recently completed their recovery programs to remain aware of potential symptoms of PAWS, especially during their first year of sobriety. The more prepared individuals and their loved ones are, the more likely they will avoid relapsing. Some common symptoms of PAWS include mood swings, emotional sensitivity, trouble thinking, poor memory, inability to sleep, irregular energy levels, issues with physical coordination, and inability to cope with stress.

Even after the body has been cleansed of drugs and/or alcohol, it takes time to regain its proper balance, which is why mood swings can be extreme and unpredictable. It’s also why some people experience heightened emotional sensitivity, such as anxiety, irritability, and so on. Irregular energy levels are also common, which vary from being active to being bored and feeling low enthusiasm for anything.

How Long Does Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome Last?

PAWS symptoms can reoccur frequently and last for a few minutes or hours each time. As time passes, symptoms may appear to have completely resolved and then suddenly return within a few weeks or months. When symptoms do return, they can last for a few days before it dies down again. It’s important for those experiencing these episodes to remain patient with themselves and not give up.

Being surrounded by loving family members and friends who are aware of these symptoms will help individuals stay on track until their bodies are completely balanced and restored. It’s important for people undergoing this process to remove themselves from those who are still abusing drugs and/or alcohol and to avoid high-risk situations that could lead them to relapse.

Alternative Treatment Center in Tennessee

Discovery Place is an alternative treatment center in Burns, Tennessee that is designed to aid those suffering from addiction with their recovery process. We offer different alternative treatment programs to assist those who are in various stages of their journeys. For example, we offer a 30-Day Alternative Residential Addiction Recovery Program and a Long-Term Alternative Addiction Recovery Program for those who need varying levels of assistance. We are dedicated to helping our patients reach their recovery goals and regain control of their lives. If you would like more information about our services, call us now at (800) 725-0922 to set up a free consultation.

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