Symptoms of PAWS – What Are They?
For some, symptoms of PAWS can interfere with getting sober and maintaining long-term recovery.
Many addicts’ substance abuse issues stem from some unresolved trauma or injury that drove them to self-medicate in an effort to mentally or physically deal with some situation in their life. Maybe the loss of a loved one, perhaps it was a divorce, or maybe they had an operation and had physical pain following surgery, what started off innocently enough can rapidly progress based when they take a drink or use a drug to avoid something. Over time the same amount does not provide the same relief or feeling, so their use goes up in amount and frequency and just like that, a full-blown addict is born.
For people in recovery one of the biggest dangers today is the effects of the COVID-19 virus and the shutdowns it has caused. Even people who are not in recovery are suffering just as bad and many people who never used anything have turned to self-medicating or to avoid a growing mental health issue. The present situation is all the more dangerous for someone who may have recently cleaned up and gotten sober. PAWS or post-acute withdrawal syndrome, is a regular stage of recovery addicts normally face which can last for years depending on their habit.
Symptoms of PAWS
The symptoms of PAWS are remarkably similar to those same symptoms addicts suffer during their initial detox and withdrawal but more centered around the mental effects like anxiety, depression, feelings of hostility and irritability. It is basically every symptom an addict has when withdrawing minus the physical headaches, nausea, fevers but all the panic and sensitivity to stress, problems sleeping, raw emotions and more. The biggest danger of these is that it leads to negative emotions and can trigger a slip or full-blown relapse.
While the physical symptoms of withdrawal usually end after a few weeks for even in the most severe cases of addiction, the psychological effects can last much, much longer. The psychological dependence on a substance can have just as strong a pull for an addict as the physical symptoms did, and that is one of the main reasons why newcomers with less than a year are told to not date and focus exclusively on recovery. Trouble in relationships can lead to hurt feelings which may trigger a slip, which can lead to a relapse.
The reason a relapse is so dangerous is that the tolerance an addict had is gone, yet they usually use the same amount of product, and it often winds up killing them. Aside from the obvious threat of death, any progress a recovering addict has managed can often be wiped away in that single instance as it may lead to the return of their old ways like maybe committing a crime to fund their habit and wind up taking 3 steps back after making that one strive forward.
The more severe a habit someone had while using, directly correlates to the length of time PAWS can affect someone trying to stay clean and sober. The longer a person used drugs or if they injected them, the more fragile their hold on sobriety is, addicts frequently romanticize their past abuse and that type of thinking presents as grave a danger as if they were hanging out on a street corner by a dealer. Drug and alcohol abuse affects the brain’s production of dopamine, because addicts flood their brain with chemicals, the brain’s own production of these drops and that takes time for it to return to normal production, if it ever does. So, PAWS creates a desire or yearning which can last from a few days to years, it is different for everyone but the only way for the effects to lessen and fade away is the passage of time and a continued focus on staying clean and sober.
The effects of PAWS are lessened by simplifying one’s existence and leading a healthy life like eating properly, working out and getting exercise, attending meetings and addressing those issues which led to the addiction in the first place. This is one of the reasons working the steps under the close watch of a sponsor helps, as the steps and traditions are designed to see a person through from getting their white chip through to the rest of their lives.
Detox in California
By adhering to the proven formula, MD Home Detox can help you remain substance free despite any symptoms of PAWS. They have locations across much of the United States and come to the homes of addicts and offer as many services for a person in recovery as necessary to see them through recovery successfully. So whether it is you or someone close to you that is struggling now is the time to contact them by calling (888) 592-7931 or, click here to email them today before a bad situation worsens.