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What Is Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome?

a person dealing with post-acute withdrawal syndrome holds their face in a dark room

In the journey toward recovery, understanding every phase is crucial for developing effective coping strategies and fostering hope. Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) is when withdrawal symptoms last a bit longer than normal. Managing PAWS can help avoid relapse and promote long-term sobriety.

Evoke Wellness can help you manage withdrawal and other challenging phases of recovery. With treatment centers in Florida, Ohio, Massachusetts, Texas, and Chicago, you’re likely near an Evoke location now. Call 866.429.2960 to get the help you need from a medical detox program.

What Is Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome?

Post-acute withdrawal syndrome refers to a collection of symptoms that can occur after the initial acute withdrawal phase from substances, including alcohol and opioids. While acute withdrawal symptoms are well-known and generally short-lived, PAWS represents a longer-lasting set of challenges that can persist for weeks, months, or even years after cessation of substance use.

Symptoms of Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

PAWS encompasses a broad range of symptoms, both physical and psychological. These may include:

  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Fatigue and disturbed sleep patterns
  • Poor concentration and memory issues
  • Persistent cravings

For individuals recovering from alcohol abuse, these symptoms can be particularly challenging, manifesting as intense cravings and emotional volatility.

Dangerous Benzo and Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Some of the symptoms associated with PAWS and acute withdrawal can be dangerous, especially when it comes to alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal. Without proper medical supervision, individuals attempting to detox from these substances may experience severe complications known as delirium tremens (DTs).

Symptoms of DTs include:

  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Irregular heart rate and blood pressure

If you or a loved one are experiencing these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. Medical detox programs can help safely manage withdrawal symptoms and prevent life-threatening complications.

The Impact of PAWS on Recovery

Understanding post-acute withdrawal syndrome is not just about recognizing symptoms; it’s about acknowledging its impact on your life and recovery process. PAWS can affect personal relationships, work productivity, and overall quality of life. However, with the right knowledge and support, these challenges can be navigated successfully.

Making the choice to quit using drugs or alcohol is brave, and you deserve to make the most of your recovery. You can help those around you understand the risk of PAWS and how they can support you through it. Talking with your loved ones, HR team, and medical providers about your recovery can help create a supportive environment for your long-term sobriety.

Coping Strategies for Managing PAWS

Managing PAWS requires a multifaceted approach, combining self-care, professional support, and lifestyle adjustments:

  • Professional guidance – Engaging with a treatment program or seeking counseling can provide personalized strategies for managing PAWS symptoms.
  • Support networks – Connecting with others on similar journeys can offer encouragement and understanding.
  • Healthy lifestyle choices – Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient rest are foundational to managing PAWS symptoms.
  • Mindfulness and relaxation techniques – Practices such as meditation, yoga, and deep-breathing exercises can help regulate emotions and reduce stress.

At Evoke Wellness, we understand the complexities of PAWS and offer comprehensive programs designed to support individuals through every stage of recovery.

Call Evoke Wellness for Help Today

If you or a loved one are struggling with drugs or alcohol and need help starting the recovery journey, Evoke Wellness is here for you. Our medical detox programs can help safely manage withdrawal symptoms and provide support for managing PAWS and other challenges in recovery. Don’t wait any longer to get the help you need—call 866.429.2960 or contact us online now to speak with a member of our team and take the first step toward long-term sobriety.