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Understanding Post Acute Withdrawal (PAWS)
There are two stages of withdrawal. The first stage is the acute stage, which usually lasts at most a few weeks. During this stage, you may experience physical withdrawal symptoms. But every drug is different, and every person is different.
The second stage of withdrawal is called the Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS). During this stage you'll have fewer physical symptoms, but more emotional and psychological withdrawal symptoms.
Post-acute withdrawal occurs because your brain chemistry is gradually returning to normal. As your brain improves the levels of your brain chemicals fluctuate as they approach the new equilibrium causing post-acute withdrawal symptoms.
Most people experience some post-acute withdrawal symptoms. Where as in the acute stage of withdrawal every person is different, in post-acute withdrawal most people have the same symptoms.
These symptoms can vary, and can last up to two years.
PAWS symptoms include:
Depression and fatigue
Sensitivity to stress
Though it can be upsetting, PAWS is a normal part of the recovery process from unhealthy dependence and addiction. It is important to be aware of the symptoms of prolonged abstinence from substance abuse, because some of these negative symptoms can be discouraging to recovering individuals and tempt them to return to drug use.
Information can be found here: https://www.addictionsandrecovery.org/post-acute-withdrawal.htm
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