Despite the presence of PAWS in long-term users, there is no scientific support for post-acute withdrawal syndrome and the true cause of related symptoms is unknown. Some doctors theorize that PAWS may be related to changes in the central nervous system that persist after detox, or perhaps disturbances in neurotransmitters and subsequent modifications to neural pathways. However, these are still just theories; no universally accepted circumstantial or physical source is known. Due to the lack of understanding of PAWS, there are also few studies monitoring its presence so its incidence rate is largely unknown as well.
Quitting drugs or alcohol without oversight and professional interference has shown to be a prominent factor in PAWS. Without proper education, treatment of initial acute withdrawal symptoms, and psychotherapeutic counseling to provide coping techniques and craving management, it’s much more likely recovering addicts will experience months or even years of residual effects.
As there’s no singular known cause for PAWS, prevention isn’t always possible. However, an understanding of this condition and a proper approach to recovery can make it easier to withstand post-acute withdrawal syndrome, minimizing likelihood of relapse.
- Education: as in many aspects of recovery, education is highly important. With a comprehensive understanding of the world to come, including what signs to watch for, those in recovery can be prepared for what may lie ahead.
- Mindfulness and a Positive Attitude: Mindfulness can be an important part of recovery, and this includes combatting PAWS. Being aware of successes and abilities outside of addiction can help patients to stay committed to what matters most – recovery.
- Physical Activity: Exercising while in withdrawal may not sound pleasant, but it can be an important way to improve your immune system, boost endorphins, and help you feel your best.
- Intervention when necessary: While prescription medication is generally not encouraged for PAWS, minor intervention, like the use of natural sleep aids to help insomnia, can help those in recovery to mitigate symptoms as best as possible.
At Level Up Treatment, we are prepared to offer guidance throughout recovery, including acute withdrawal and post-acute withdrawal syndrome. Our staff is extremely knowledgeable about the road to sobriety, and can arm you with the tools and techniques you need to stand strong against cravings and temptation.
If you or someone you love is facing addiction, we are here to help. Please contact Level Up Treatment to learn more about how you can overcome addiction, pursue sobriety, and prepare for the world after rehab. Call today for a confidential consultation.