When a person suffering from opiate use disorder (OUD) stops using opioids, that person goes through acute withdrawal symptoms from about seven days to two weeks. Even if a person is in recovery, there is a good chance that they will experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS). These symptoms can be physical, psychological, or social and can last as long as two years or even indefinitely.
At Symetria Recovery, our team is ready to help you or someone you care about face opiate withdrawal symptoms and treatment. Recovery is possible when you enlist the support of a team of addiction specialists and therapists, such as the Symetria Recovery team. Find out more about how we can help you or a loved one overcome opiate withdrawal symptoms today by completing our online contact form or calling [Direct].
Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms
There is no single specific agreed-upon cause of PAWS, but, in general, the causes stem from disturbances in the nervous system or deteriorated brain function stemming from opioid use. Or, the stress of living without opiates causes these symptoms to occur. Unfortunately, PAWS can come and go unexpectedly. That’s why it’s often the best course of action to enlist the help of professionals to identify post-acute withdrawal symptoms and then gain the skills necessary to heal from them.
Some post-acute withdrawal symptoms include:
- Irritability and hostility
- Low energy and fatigue
- Memory lapses
- Emotional numbness
- Increased susceptibility to emotional and physical pain
- Intense cravings to use opiates
- Lack of focus
- Lack of sexual desire or the ability to experience pleasure
- Inexplicable chronic pain
Others may experience different withdrawal symptoms than these common ones, so it’s crucial to turn to professionals for comprehensive care.
Tips for Living with PAWS
Recovery maintenance is an ongoing process even for those who have completed a medication-assisted treatment program. Keeping up the good habits of recovery can help a person work through a bout with PAWS safely and successfully. These include:
- Surround yourself with stable people who love you- An effective support system provides a solid base of encouragement, motivation, and feedback.
- Maintain a busy routine- Focus your thoughts and actions with work, family, friends, activities, hobbies. Keep a journal of your thoughts, fears, desires, and things you are grateful for.
- Eat nutritiously- A healthy diet is a great way to ward off or even reverse PAWS. Everyone is different, so there is no prescribed diet, but healthful foods promote wellness.
- Exercise- Being physically active can have a significant positive effect. Exercise can help produce endorphins that ease pain and make you feel better physically and emotionally. It can reverse depression, increase your energy, improve how you look physically and boost your confidence. Choose something you like and stay with it regularly.
- Be active in your community- Being a positive force in your community can take the focus off yourself and put it on others.
- Commit to personal development- Learning new skills, developing personal strengths and improving your knowledge can not only keep you busy, but give you a good sense of self-esteem.
“PAWS can be uncomfortable, but by being able to relax, practice, and enjoy the good parts of life will get you through the difficult days. Believing in yourself and your ability to overcome detox is what will drive you to the other side,” states Isha Kothari, PA-C, PA at our Warrenville Clinic.
Turn to Symetria Recovery to Heal from Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms
Of course, if you or a loved one are experiencing post-acute withdrawal symptoms, your doctor or a recovery specialist can be a great source of help. Learn more about how our Symetria Recovery team can be the catalyst for positive change in your life when you reach out to our team by calling [Direct] or filling out our online form.