Recovery involves detoxing from drug and alcohol use, which may cause withdrawal symptoms that create significant concerns for people with substance use disorders. While many individuals know about acute withdrawal, which occurs in the first days of detox, post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) is less well known. Since it may cause temporary discomfort and distress, anyone seeking treatment should be aware of the possibility of developing it.

There are numerous benefits of detox in a professional, medically monitored rehab center. If you or someone you care about needs a drug and alcohol detox center in Texas, Fort Behavioral Health can help. Our medical detox program allows clients to begin recovery in an environment that promotes safety and comfort. We pride ourselves on putting our clients first with our luxurious accommodations and state-of-the-art amenities. To learn more about how we can make the detox experience as pleasant as possible, contact us at 844.332.1807.

What Is Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

As an individual stops using a substance, their body must readjust to functioning without it. The individual may experience acute withdrawal syndrome (AWS) during this adjustment period. Symptoms may include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia

Once this initial period of AWS has passed, some individuals may experience a lingering set of symptoms. This extended set of symptoms is known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome.

Post-acute withdrawal syndrome causes physical, psychological, and emotional symptoms that can linger for months or even years after the individual has quit drugs or alcohol. PAWS can affect different people differently. Some only experience mild symptoms, while others may struggle with more severe effects. There is no definitive timeline for how long post-acute withdrawal syndrome lasts for each individual.

What Are the Symptoms of Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome?

Symptoms of post-acute withdrawal syndrome typically begin within the first few weeks of recovery. They may include any combination of the following:

  • Mood swings
  • Depression and restlessness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Lethargy
  • Disturbed sleep schedule
  • Obsessive thoughts
  • Muscle aches and joint pain

These symptoms may occur without warning, though their severity and frequency can decrease with treatment.

Overcoming Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

There is little way to predict whether or not someone will experience PAWS. However, symptoms are manageable.

  • Practice self-care – Regular exercise, a proper diet, and regular social contact with friends and family can go a long way toward minimizing the effects of post-acute withdrawal syndrome.
  • Celebrate victories – Remembering one’s successes and celebrating even small wins can increase motivation to stay sober.
  • Develop good sleep habits – A significant part of recovery is tied to the amount of sleep a person gets, as it’s during deep sleep that the brain can repair itself.
  • Seek professional help – A doctor or mental health professional can develop a treatment plan for post-acute withdrawal syndrome, including medication and psychotherapy.

Before this condition becomes a concern, treatment at a professional detox center using evidence-based interventions can help mitigate the possibility of experiencing protracted withdrawal symptoms. It’s impossible to overstate the benefits of detox in a supportive, medically monitored setting.

Enter Detox at Fort Behavioral Health

If you or a loved one needs to detox from drugs or alcohol, Fort Behavioral Health offers practical, evidence-based interventions. The medical staff in our detox program is available around the clock to monitor and care for clients, helping them prepare for treatment and therapy once they’re stable. Our addiction specialists plan each person’s treatment, from initial drug and alcohol detox to one of our recovery programs. We carefully consider each step of a client’s recovery journey to maximize the chances of success. If you want to learn more, call us at 844.332.1807 or complete our web form.


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