How Sober Living Helps Manage Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

How Sober Living Helps Manage Post-Acute Withdrawal SyndromeShape

Sober living homes teach skills and habits to help people in recovery manage post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). Call The Forge today to learn more

Learning how to gauge life through the drug rehab process is likely to feel different once sober. A focus on recovery provides resources and tools to help deal with the transitional period, and a lack of support can cause potential risks of relapse. 

During the first few weeks to months of the transitional period, individuals may experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes, the symptoms can be more severe and vary depending on the substances used. Learning how to manage post-acute withdrawal symptoms with the proper support will help individuals continue a safe and healthy treatment plan that is uniquely tailored.

Understanding Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) consists of different withdrawal symptoms. Typically, after individuals undergo the first few weeks of medical supervision and detox, they experience withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms are how one's body reacts to the lack of addictive substances.

Normal withdrawal symptoms can last for weeks until the substance leaves the body entirely. However, depending on the addiction, the withdrawal symptoms can last for months and sometimes longer, leaving people to manage post-acute withdrawal syndrome for some time.

Post-acute withdrawal syndrome is a way to explain the ongoing withdrawal process. It influences psychological and emotional imbalances even after the initial withdrawals have disappeared. Post-acute withdrawals rarely involve physical symptoms like aches and pains. Rather, they continue as an uncomfortable, daunting emotional imbalance where the risk of relapse increases. Furthermore, the symptoms can appear spontaneously and are often distracting for those trying to commit to addiction recovery. 

Addressing Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms

Addiction centers address post-acute withdrawal symptoms by identifying the specific links to withdrawals. Some of the signs of post-acute withdrawals include:

  • Irritability and anxiety

  • Panic attacks

  • Sleep deprivation or insomnia

  • Depression or lack of focus and concentration

  • Lack of motivation or enthusiasm

  • Fatigue

  • Sensitivity to stress and stressful situations

  • Continued triggers and drug cravings

  • Indifference or lack of impulse control

Due to the various symptoms and signs, it is vital for treatment facilities and sober living homes to identify and help individuals manage post-acute withdrawals immediately. The syndrome can occur to anyone as their brain returns to a normal state of well-being. The chemicals inside one’s brain start to regulate, and these symptoms may fluctuate throughout treatment.

The withdrawal symptoms are a way for one's brain to attempt to return to normal balance. It is also a way to re-correct the imbalance that resulted from addiction. Often, individuals who suffer from post-acute withdrawal syndrome have addictions to opioids or alcohol. Symptoms also cause discomfort to individuals who do not practice and establish healthy coping skills. Managing a qualified treatment plan is one of the best ways to prevent relapse and manage long-term withdrawal symptoms. 

Strategies Found in Sober Living Homes for Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

In the beginning, the symptoms may make an individual feel as if they are having emotional swings of highs and lows and lead to potential co-occurring disorders. However, sometimes the symptoms can dissipate, and individuals may not show signs of the syndrome for months. Then, one day, they can appear unexpectedly.

Post-acute withdrawal syndrome is a significant barrier for many individuals recovering from addictions. Due to its unpredictability, those in sober living homes can learn to manage the discomfort by implementing healthy coping strategies. Some of the healthy coping strategies found in sober living homes include:

  • Self-care and maintenance

  • Addiction education

  • Stress release activities for post-acute withdrawal syndrome

  • Exercising

  • Journaling

  • Support and therapy

  • Relaxation and sleep

Altogether, post-acute withdrawal syndrome is a challenging process for many individuals, but there is hope and healing in the end. In sober living homes, quality support groups help individuals heal and develop healthy habits to implement daily to prevent potential relapse or symptoms from post-acute withdrawal syndrome.

There are various treatment options to help guide you through the phases of post-acute withdrawal syndrome. Choosing to have a solid and robust support group guide you through addiction recovery can make all the difference in the recovery journey

Exploring the Misconception of Normality

Unfortunately, many individuals do not find the right amount of support to help them manage post-acute withdrawal syndrome. A common misconception in addiction recovery is that life will return to normal once the addiction is eliminated; however, that fails to meet realistic expectations. When individuals suffer from addiction and struggle with post-acute withdrawal syndrome, the debilitating factors can be disappointing and discomforting when triggers and relapse occur.

Life is challenging when individuals transition back to life without the previous addiction and may go through a course of indifference. Individuals need to address the misconceptions with a qualified professional to understand the recovery process at its core. 

The brain requires time to expel the toxins and reconnect to newly established habits. Therefore, it is essential for those who struggle with post-acute withdrawal syndrome to have an immersive recovery plan to effectively work through potential signs and symptoms.

Managing Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome At The Forge

The Forge offers personalized relapse prevention training services to help individuals identify any potential trigger or symptoms associated with a post-acute withdrawal syndrome. Often, individuals find it challenging to work through triggers and cravings effectively without suitable coping mechanisms. It can take mere seconds to start a habit but can take years to establish a new one. That’s why we implement a strategic and therapeutic technique for individuals struggling with post-acute withdrawal syndrome at our addiction center.

We offer quality therapy and an immersive support system to utilize healthy distraction methods and help individuals reengage in a healthier lifestyle. Our relapse prevention training provides a comprehensive approach to address potential symptoms of addiction and ways one could find healing in the long run.

If you or someone you love wants to learn more about managing post-acute withdrawal syndrome, reach out to The Forge and see what services we can offer you.

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Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

May 5, 2022