Understanding and Coping with Post-Acute Withdrawal

Understanding and Coping with Post-Acute Withdrawal

man looking out window

When a person first gets clean and sober, their body and mind go through a lot of changes. Withdrawal can mean different side effects for different people, and it can be unnerving and unpleasant, especially if you don’t understand what you’re going through. The good news is that if you go to detox, you’ll have people to support you, and help make you as comfortable as possible. Once you’re clean and sober, it’s exicting to be clean sober! But you may not realize that you have some other withdrawal symptoms in store in the future. Many people go through something called Post-Acute Withdrawal during the first few years of their recovery.

So What Is Post-Acute Withdrawal (PAWS)?

Post-acute withdrawal is something that people often encounter within the first few years of their recovery. It takes a while for your body to completely recover from the long-terms effect of your addiction. So you might experience mood swings, anxiety, depression or anger spurts and you’re not sure why it’s happening. You might be tired or experience insomnia. Some people find themselves overreacting to small situations or having trouble thinking. These are all symptoms of post-acute withdrawal, and they may come and go.

If you’re having these symptoms and they’re causing issues in life, you may want to seek out the help of a therapist. Coping with PAWS can be challenging, and if you’re overwhelmed, sharing how you feel with others can help you learn new coping skills. You may also want to get a referral to a mental health professional if you’re having these symptoms often.

This Too Shall Pass

Episodes caused by PAWS can be triggering and make you feel bad about yourself. Just remember, if you’re feeling bad, this too shall pass. Try to learn to practice self-care. Practicing self-care can help get you “out of” your head and help you live in the moment. Learning more about meditation and relaxation can be beneficial for your mental health and recovery.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, try taking a walk, putting on your headphones, or grabbing a book for fifteen minutes. Taking breaks like this is essential to your well-being.

If you’re still not feeling better, get yourself to a 12-step meeting or call your sponsor.

Getting Help for Addiction

Do you or a loved one have a problem with alcohol or drugs? We offer evidence-based interventions such as medication-assisted treatment, talk therapy and peer therapy. Everyone deserves a chance to recover and reclaim their lives.

Call us at 714- 760-4043 and we’ll help you choose the program that’s best for you.


Leave a Reply

Close Menu