PAWS: Post-Acute Withdrawals and How To Manage Them

February 6, 2023 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Withdrawal is never easy; in some cases, withdrawal can be exceptionally intense and acute and can cause a range of problems for the person suffering. It is not an immediate reaction to going without a substance, but a lasting problem that can affect the individual for weeks, months, or even years in some cases after they have come through addiction. So, what is PAWS, and how do you treat it?

What Is PAWS?

PAWS stands for post-acute withdrawals. These are not the typical withdrawals you might see when someone has just stopped taking substances, but rather, a lasting medical condition that can come on weeks and even months after the individual has gone through recovery. PAWS causes a huge range of medical issues for the person that is suffering, some common symptoms that come with PAWS are:

  • Trouble with memory
  • Being irritable or hostile
  • Sleep trouble
  • Being overly sensitive to stress
  • Inability to focus
  • Anxiety and even panic attacks
  • Depression

Every case is different and unique to the individual that is experiencing them. Since no two cases are the same, it is important that they are treated in as unique a manner as possible. By being aware of PAWS and learning the best methods for managing PAWS, you can help to increase the success rate of any sober journey.

Managing Post-Acute Withdrawals

The first thing you need to do, either as the person suffering or taking care of them, is getting a medical diagnosis. This is going to make getting specialized care easier and more effective as well. The next step is to learn the symptoms to look for and create a routine and a mental healthcare plan to aid you in managing these symptoms.

Having a strong support system can help you to get the care you need and can also help you to know you have someone on your side when things get difficult. Regular visits with mental health professionals can help you learn how to manage symptoms on your own and can also give you an outlet for the feelings of frustration you will likely feel during recovery.

With a diagnosis of PAWS comes some unique challenges. If you are suffering from PAWS, you are more likely to relapse and use again. You are also more likely to have mental health issues that pair with PAWS, and that can make daily life harder. PAWS is not the end; if you are diagnosed, you can still stay on your course for recovery and lead a fulfilling and fantastic life.

You just have to learn what works for you and how to properly care for yourself if you have been diagnosed. Taking the time to find a treatment that works for you, that will be maintainable, and that will also work is key. The right therapy, self-care, and support system are key and can help you truly recover.

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