woman with therapist learning what post acute withdrawal syndrome is

Withdrawal can be one of the most difficult parts of detox and recovery. Whether someone is a longtime user or stopping a short prescription of opioids, withdrawal often leads to relapse. Moreover, drug and alcohol withdrawal can then lead to relapse or other drug use.

While many withdrawal symptoms stop once a substance leaves the body, this is not always the case. In fact, post-acute withdrawal syndrome can last weeks or months after a person has stopped drug use. PAWS can cause hopelessness, relapse, and other health issues. Fortunately, a detox program can help mitigate withdrawal and manage post-acute withdrawal syndrome.

If you or someone you know needs help with post-acute withdrawal syndrome, the team at San Antonio Recovery Center can help. Our holistic clinic provides men and women with the support they need right here in San Antonio. Call SARC today at 866.957.7885 to learn more about our Texas detox center program.

What Is Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome?

Also known as PAWS, post-acute withdrawal syndrome causes extended withdrawal symptoms. For some, PAWS lasts several weeks. For others, uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms may persist for months.

Post-acute withdrawal symptoms vary based on a person’s health, history, and duration of drug use. Trauma, age, and pre-existing mood disorders can also affect PAWS symptoms. Furthermore, PAWS can be mentally and emotionally draining and discourage many from staying sober. The symptoms of PAWS often mimic mood disorders, making it hard to diagnose or treat at home.

Common Signs of Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

For those in recovery, it can be hard to differentiate between co-occurring g disorders and signs of PAWS. Therefore, a reputable dual diagnosis program is useful for uncovering mood disorders and treating PAWS at the same time. Signs of post-acute withdrawal syndrome include:

  • Depression
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty problem-solving
  • Trouble completing tasks
  • Difficulty maintaining relationships
  • Drug and alcohol cravings
  • Hopelessness
  • Apathy
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Low stress tolerance

Clinicians believe PAWS develops from changes to the brain during substance abuse. Over time, substance abuse can cause the brain to stop making its own chemicals like dopamine. This then causes the brain and body to rely on a drug for normal chemical processes. Consequently, when someone stops using drugs, the brain goes into shock, causing withdrawal. Slowly, the brain adapts and then begins producing its own chemicals again. Because the brain is a complex organ, withdrawal symptoms can vary and fluctuate over time, making PAWS especially hard to manage at home without relapse.

PAWS treatment usually lasts several months. This may include medically assisted detox to slowly transition the brain. During PAWS treatment, clients undergo various behavioral therapies to address addiction triggers and prevent relapse. Alternative therapies can also help clients manage difficult emotions and stress that come with PAWS symptoms. Individual, group, and family therapy can be deeply supportive for those struggling with PAWS and their loved ones. Because PAWS symptoms are individualized, it’s important to look for extended care and support.

A Continuum of Care at The Holistic Texas Detox Center for You Today!

PAWS can be overwhelming and hard to manage. However, don’t let the symptoms of PAWS lead to relapse. It’s best to monitor symptoms of PAWS with medical and psychiatric care.

If you or someone you love is experiencing withdrawal symptoms, call San Antonio Recovery Center today. With two clinics in San Antonio, Texas, the team at San Antonio Recovery Center believes everyone in recovery deserves a continuum of care. That includes treatment and support for post-acute withdrawal syndrome.

Treat PAWS and Co-Occurring Disorders Today at San Antonio Recovery Center

If you’re ready to learn more about the holistic programs for men at women at our clinic, reach our staff now at 866.957.7885 to get started.

Now is the time to focus on your recovery.


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