What is Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) refers to the persistence of withdrawal symptoms that can occur after the acute withdrawal period following the cessation of substance use. PAWS can occur with various types of substances, including alcohol, opioids, and benzodiazepines, and can last for several weeks to several months after the person stops using the substance.

PAWS symptoms can include anxiety, irritability, depression, sleep disturbances, fatigue, and decreased concentration and motivation. These symptoms can be a barrier to sustained recovery and increase relapse risk. PAWS can be treated with behavioral therapies, medications, and support from family and community resources.

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