24/7 Support Line

(954) 526-5776
Menu close
Get Help Now

Our Centers

  • Take the First Step in Las Vegas

    Desert Hope is a beautiful oasis with modern charm located in Las Vegas, Nevada. We provide all levels of care from detox, in-patient, outpatient and sober living.

    Visit Desert Hope Treatment Center Visit Desert Hope Treatment Center
  • A New Life Awaits

    Start your recovery at our spa-like facility in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Holistic therapies, chef-prepared meals, and LGBTQ+ support are among the many features of our premier drug and alcohol treatment program.

    Visit Greenhouse Treatment Center Visit Greenhouse Treatment Center
  • The Best Place to Recover in Orange County

    Laguna Treatment Hospital is located in Orange County, CA. The first Chemical Dependency Recovery Hospital in the OC, we offer safe medical detox, mental health support, and wellness programs.

    Visit Laguna Treatment Hospital Visit Laguna Treatment Hospital
  • Start Recovery at Our Southern Resort

    Take a step back from your life and get the help you need at our premier drug and alcohol addiction center. Nestled in the countryside 1.5 hours from Memphis, Oxford gives you the support you need in a calm and beautiful setting.

    Visit Oxford Treatment Center Visit Oxford Treatment Center
  • Recovery Forecast includes Tropical Weather

    Your recovery can start at either of two premier drug and alcohol treatment facilities in the Greater Miami area - Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, FL. Our specialties include treatment for veterans and first responders.

    Visit Recovery First Treatment Center Visit Recovery First Treatment Center
  • Sunny Florida Welcomes You

    Retreat to the sunny climate of Tampa, Florida for a stay at the standard of treatment facilities in Tampa, FL. We offer customized care plans to help you on your recovery journey.

    Visit River Oaks Treatment Center Visit River Oaks Treatment Center
  • Helping New Englanders Find Recovery for Over 30 years

    Escape to the countryside to recovery in New Jersey’s premier drug rehab & treatment center. Located only an hour from New York City.

    Visit Sunrise House Treatment Center Visit Sunrise House Treatment Center

PAWS and Addiction Treatment: The Complex and Little Known Obstacle to Recovery

Addiction Treatment professionals agree that Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (P.A.W.S.) is one of the most difficult challenges that Alcoholics or Addicts face in the early stages of their recovery. It is a multi-faceted group of symptoms that cause the individual to crave a drink or a drug even though everything is going well for them and they are following thru with all their recommended post treatment activities. Unfortunately, this relapse precursor is especially difficult to deal with, because it is not emphasized enough by most treatment centers during treatment; without education about this topic, the substance abuser has no defense against it. Recovery First is one of the rare exceptions that does focus on this area.

The discomfort of the initial withdrawal from drugs or alcohol is managed through a medical detoxification process commonly referred to as “detox”. Symptoms are minimized during the initial 3 to10 day period when the body is in acute withdrawal and adjusting to not having these substances. Detoxification does not eliminate all of the substances from the body, nor does it repair the damage to brain, organs, central nervous system, or neurotransmitters that have been caused by drinking and drug abuse.

The biggest mistake that alcoholics and addicts make is to think that the detoxification process is the end of the withdrawal process; that once you leave detox all of the substances are out of the body and you’re cured. Nothing could be further from the truth; detoxification actually sets the stage for the onset of Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome.

Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome – What it is and Why it Happens.

After detoxification, for reasons science doesn’t completely understand, the body can react as if it was still on drugs. One part of the explanation for this phenomenon is the body’s own natural cleansing process. As it flushes the chemical remnants of alcohol and drugs from organs and intramuscular hiding places, it hits the bloodstream and triggers a physical craving – much like the sensation of smelling popcorn and then wanting to see a movie.

In addition to this physical component, any type of mental, emotional or physical stress can trigger a desire to drink or use drugs. When an alcoholic or addict feels pain or is stressed out, they remember one thing: if they pick up a drink or a drug, the pain and stress will go away. This is because the area of the brain that affects judgment has been damaged and they do not remember how bad things were. Most importantly, they do not connect their substance abuse to what they are feeling at that moment, and so they very often relapse.

Symptoms of Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome produces a wide variety of side effects and symptoms that make no sense to the addict experiencing them, or to the friends, family and employers observing them. These symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Lack of coordination
  • Walking into things
  • Dropping things
  • Thinking “I’m crazy”
  • Feeling scared
  • Forgetting things
  • Impaired judgment
  • Disorientation
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Craving
  • Mood swings
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Increased sensitivity to pain

Summary

Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome is a disconcerting yet normal part of the recovery process. Thankfully these symptoms disappear over time, and in most cases the brain and body damage is repaired. The difficulty for someone in the early stages of recovery is that these feelings, thoughts and physical side effects can be so overwhelming that they trigger a desire to drink or use drugs again just to get relief and when they do this, they start the vicious cycle all over again.
Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome and Addiction Treatment 1-800-706-9190Recovery First offers several levels of substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation. Our most intensive level of treatment is the Inpatient Substance Abuse Program, but we also have other treatment options for drug addiction and alcoholism like our Day/Night Program or Sober Living.

About The Contributor
The editorial staff of Recovery First is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed thousands... Read More