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.


  • Discovery Place was the answer for my son. He did the 90 day and then the step down program and sober living. We give this organization 10 stars. They met my son where he was …emotionally, mentally, physically. They helped him put his life back on track. Discovery Place employees care about their guests. If your son, brother, nephew, grandson or husband needs excellent supportive care THIS is indeed the facility.

    Kim Morton
    Alumni Parent
  • I have remained sober and it is because of DP. DP is the best place there is, hands down. I keep everyone there in my prayers, and I encourage everyone there to take what they are practicing and do it in their lives, after.

    Roy Mantelli
  • Over the past year, I’ve been putting into actin what Discovery Place taught me, and I have experienced a complete perspective change of the world, and the people in it. I get to be a man of service and love today, and for that I am grateful to Discovery Place.

    Matt Kassay
  • Discovery Place means the world to me. They showed me the tools that I’ve tried to use everyday in my life to think less often of myself, and more frequently of others. I am learning to lend a hand when I am able and to have a honest and humble relationship with God and the people around me. Not only am I clean and sober, but also I am happy and fulfilled.

    Tommy Parker
  • Discovery Place and the men who work there made recovery attractive, and more importantly, fun. There is strength in the struggle. I am forever grateful for my time at Discovery Place.

    Creed McClellan
  • When I got to Discovery Place my whole life was in shambles, but I didn’t know it. I spent 6 months in their programs, participating in all three phases, and was met with kindness and love all along the way. It is unbelievable to me, where I am now relative to where I was when I arrived at DP.

    Lance Duke
  • I can never say enough good things about Discovery Place and the people who work there. Before checking in to DP, I was out of options and out of answers. Fortunately, Discovery Place has a solution. Taking suggestions from the staff at DP saved my life, and as a result, I’m now more content and hopeful about life. I’m grateful for Discovery Place showing me how to live a healthy life so that I can become a better man and help the next guy.”

    Tyler Buckingham

    Thinking About Rehab?

    Learn More About Our Alternative Residential Recovery Programs

      Alternative Drug & Alcohol Treatment Rehab
    • Admissions
    • About Us
    • Contact
    • Talk to someone about your options

      Talk to someone about your options

      Blue Pig Media