No one starts drinking with the aim of becoming alcoholic. In fact, most adults who drink will readily consider themselves to be social drinkers, and not have much of a problem. There are those among us, however, who unfortunately have a very real problem with alcohol abuse and addiction. Individuals who struggle with alcoholism often have to endure what can be described as a sometimes long road to recovery that is rife with challenging emotional and physical symptoms. One common experience that recovering alcoholics may go through is that of Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS).
What is Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)
PAWS is the second stage of what is known as withdrawal in addiction treatment and recovery. The first stage of withdrawal — usually lasting a few weeks at longest — is known as the acute stage. During the post-acute stage (the second stage which PAWS speaks to), the patient is likely to experience less physical symptoms and increased psychological and emotional ones. Patients begin to experience PAWS as the body’s brain chemistry begins to re-balance and return to normal.
Symptoms To Be Expected
While the exact symptoms experienced in PAWS may differ from one individual to the next, symptoms generally include:
– Mood swings
– Fluctuating energy levels
– Variation in the ability to concentrate
– Reduced enthusiasm
– Disturbed sleeping patterns
PAWS symptoms can be up and down in nature with patients, as they change from one minute, hour, week or month to the next. Each episode of PAWS usually last for a few days, and patients can learn to get used to, or at the very least understand how the symptoms come in waves and how to deal with them. Symptoms usually leave as suddenly as they start. Thankfully, PAWS has an expiry date, and patients need not experience this roller coaster ride forever. Generally, PAWS lasts for approximately two years. Due to the nature of the syndrome and the time frame, those in recovery will need to exercise patience, self-care, and learn to gently work around the onset of their symptoms as they are experienced. Becoming disappointed and frustrating is the worst thing a patient can do. Readers should be sure to follow us for more information and resources on drug abuse and treatment