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Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

In the process of recovery from drug addiction and/or alcoholism, the name post acute withdrawal syndrome, or PAWS, is used for the set of neurological ailments that follow the symptoms of withdrawal. Symptoms can include mood swings, cognitive impairment, and difficulty forming new memories; episodes of active symptoms can last several days, and can continue recurring for up to two years.

Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) is a set of impairments that occur after withdrawal from alcohol or other substances. The condition lasts from six to eighteen months after the last use and is marked by a fluctuating but incrementally improving course. It effects your ability to benefit from treatment, function effectively on the job, interact with family and friends. Symptoms occur in three-quarters of persons in recovery from long term use of alcohol or mind altering drugs.

The symptoms of PAWS are: 1. Inability to think clearly 2. Memory problems 3. Emotional overreactions or numbness 4. Sleep disturbances 5. Physical coordination problems 6. Stress sensitivity

Symptoms may occur sometimes, but are not always present. They are made worse by stress or other triggers and may arise at unexpected times and for no apparent reason. They may last for a short while or longer. Any of the following may trigger symptoms of PAWS: • Stressful and/or frustrating situations • Trying to do more than one thing at once • Feelings of anxiety, fearfulness or anger • Conflict with others

 Unrealistic expectations of yourself

The symptoms of Post Acute Withdrawal occur because: • Your brain's ability to react to stress has been weakened by long term alcohol and/or drug use

 Stressful situations arise in early recovery

Unfortunately, the triggers that cause PAWS symptoms occur at the same time that you are motivated to not use. • Your brain's ability to react to stress is weakened due use • Stressful events are common in early recovery The symptoms of Post Acute Withdrawal are stress producing.

Far too often, the distressing symptoms of Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome will lead an addicted person back to what is most familiar . . . self treatment with alcohol or mind altering drugs.

When you self treat the symptoms of Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome by using alcohol or mind altering drugs - the symptoms of Post Acute Withdrawal disappear - and the sickness of Addiction deepens. Proper treatment of Post Acute Withdrawal requires you learn to avoid the circumstances that trigger symptoms and to practice a daily program of personal recovery.

A balanced program of recovery is your best protection from the symptoms of Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome and relapse to the use of alcohol or drugs. It is important to avoid or to deal with the triggers that make PAWS worse.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Post_Acute_Withdrawal_Syndrome". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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