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What is Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome?

Sep 30, 2023

Embarking on the path to recovery from addiction is a courageous journey that often involves overcoming the challenges of withdrawal. While most people are familiar with the acute withdrawal symptoms that arise immediately after substance cessation, there’s a lesser-known phase called Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) that can pose its own set of hurdles. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of PAWS, its symptoms, and effective strategies to manage it. Additionally, we’ll explore how Hanley Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, provides specialized support for those grappling with the complexities of addiction recovery.

If you or a loved one need help, call our admissions team today at 561-841-1033.

Understanding Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) is an extended phase of withdrawal that can occur after the initial acute withdrawal period. It’s important to note that not everyone who undergoes addiction recovery experiences PAWS; however, for those who do, it can significantly impact their journey.

Common Symptoms of PAWS

PAWS manifests through a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Mood Fluctuations: Individuals navigating PAWS may experience erratic mood changes, leading to heightened feelings of depression, anxiety, and irritability.
  • Cognitive Challenges: Cognitive difficulties, such as trouble concentrating and memory lapses, can persist during PAWS, affecting daily functioning.
  • Sleep Disruptions: Sleep disturbances, ranging from insomnia to vivid dreams, can make the recovery process more challenging.
  • Physical Discomfort: PAWS can give rise to physical symptoms like fatigue, reduced coordination, and general discomfort.
  • Cravings: Intense cravings for the substance of addiction can resurface during PAWS, potentially increasing the risk of relapse.
  • Low Energy Levels: A pervasive feeling of low energy and lack of motivation can hinder an individual’s ability to engage in daily activities.
  • Emotional Anhedonia: Anhedonia, the inability to derive pleasure from once-enjoyable activities, is a common symptom of PAWS and can contribute to feelings of hopelessness.

Hanley Center’s Programs

For individuals seeking specialized support in their journey through addiction recovery, Hanley Center’s residential programs stand as a beacon of hope. Located in the serene surroundings of West Palm Beach, Florida, we offer age and gender-specific comprehensive care to men, women, and older adults tailored to each individual’s unique needs. 

Tailored Detoxification: Hanley Center provides personalized, medically supervised detoxification that prioritizes the safety and comfort of each client. Our experienced medical team ensures the detox process is as smooth as possible.

Expert Clinical Support: Hanley Center boasts a team of dedicated professionals, including therapists, addiction specialists, and medical practitioners. This comprehensive support system addresses both the physical and psychological aspects of recovery.

Holistic Approach: Hanley Center adopts a holistic approach to recovery, emphasizing the importance of healing the mind, body, and spirit. Various therapeutic modalities, from counseling to mindfulness practices, contribute to a well-rounded recovery experience.

Continuum of Care: Understanding that recovery is an ongoing process, the center offers a continuum of care that extends beyond detox. This includes transition planning, outpatient services, and access to support groups, all designed to enhance long-term success.

Managing PAWS Effectively

While PAWS can present challenges, there are strategies that can help individuals manage this phase more effectively:

  • Healthy Lifestyle: Engaging in regular exercise, maintaining a balanced diet, and prioritizing sufficient sleep can contribute to overall well-being.
  • Mindfulness and Relaxation: Practices such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga can aid in managing stress and mood swings.
  • Support Network: Building a strong network of friends, family, and support groups provides invaluable encouragement during difficult times.
  • Professional Assistance: Seeking guidance from mental health professionals or addiction counselors equips individuals with coping strategies tailored to their specific needs.
  • Structured Routine: Establishing a structured daily routine adds stability to a period that may feel uncertain.
  • Patience and Persistence: Acknowledge that recovery, including PAWS, is a journey requiring patience. Every step forward is a triumph worth celebrating.

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) is a nuanced phase that can affect some individuals during addiction recovery. By understanding the symptoms and implementing effective strategies, individuals can navigate PAWS more successfully. For those seeking dedicated support, Hanley Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, offers specialized care that addresses the unique challenges of addiction recovery. Through personalized detoxification programs, expert clinical guidance, and a holistic approach, individuals can find the strength to overcome PAWS and achieve lasting recovery. Remember, every step taken on this journey brings you closer to a healthier and brighter future.

Hanley Center is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for mental illnesses and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting wellness. For information on our programs, call us today: 561-841-1033.

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