Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) is a natural part of the recovery process, causing mild to severe symptoms after the initial detox phase. What this looks like varies from individual to individual and is impacted directly by the intensity and duration of the alcohol consumption. These symptoms span a wide range in severity and are often best managed in an alcohol rehab center. The health professionals at Liberty Bay Recovery understand just how challenging the recovery process can be, which is why we’re here to see you through every step of the way. Give Liberty Bay a call at 855.607.8758 for help with PAWS or finding an alcohol rehab center.
The Two Components of Detox
Detox is the cessation of alcohol consumption. In an alcohol rehab center, this process may be accompanied by drugs that induce a similar effect as the alcohol to help safely wean you off the alcohol while minimizing the withdrawal symptoms in the following programs:
- Opioid addiction treatment
- Alcohol addiction treatment
- Meth addiction treatment
During the initial phase of this two-part process, you will experience a variety of symptoms resulting from the alcohol leaving your system. These symptoms cover a broad spectrum, from headaches and nausea to tremors and hallucinations. Post-acute withdrawal syndrome occurs in the second phase of detox. During this time, the body experiences a new set of symptoms that can last months to years. These symptoms are less severe and more manageable.
The Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline
Depending upon your particular drinking habits, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can start occurring in as little as two hours after your last drink. While no two people’s alcohol withdrawal timeline will be exactly the same, there is a loose timeline of what you can expect:
The First 2 to 12 Hours
The first 2 to 12 hours after the last drink, symptoms will begin to worsen. These symptoms often include headaches, nausea, shaking, and anxiety.
12 to 24 Hours
Hallucinations may occur in addition to other existing symptoms.
24 to 48 Hours
Most of the major alcohol withdrawal symptoms will begin to subside during the 18- to 24-hour point for minor withdrawals. Headaches, stomach discomfort, and tremors may persist in those with more severe cases.
48 to 72 Hours
Depending on the level of withdrawal, this timeframe is when seizures and delirium may occur.
The 72-hour mark is when withdrawal symptoms are at their worst. It’s at this point delirium tremens may occur. Delirium tremens, or DT’s for short, is a severe withdrawal symptom characterized by nausea and vomiting in mild cases. In extreme cases, visual and auditory hallucinations may occur, as well as elevated blood pressure, diaphoresis, and whole-body tremors. Given the severity of some withdrawal symptoms, detox is best supervised by healthcare professionals who understand the complexity of the symptoms and how to treat them.
What Is Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome?
Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) is the second phase of detox. As your body recalibrates to a new kind of normal, you may experience a new set of longer-lasting symptoms. These may include:
- Impaired focus
- Mood swings
- Sensitivity to stress
- Cravings and urges
The symptoms of Post-acute withdrawal syndrome can last from 6 months to 2 years.
How to Cope with Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome
Though post-acute withdrawal syndrome isn’t something that can be cured; however, we can treat the symptoms. Working closely with healthcare and mental health professionals is one of the best ways to cope with the varying degrees of Post-acute withdrawal syndrome. The road to recovery isn’t always a straight path, but the road will be a lot smoother with some professional assistance in your corner.
Get Help for PAWS at Liberty Bay’s Residential Detox
The healthcare professionals at Liberty Bay know that alcohol detox is multifaceted, which is why we approach the issue from all sides. In addition to the initial detox and rehab, we work closely with you, providing physical and mental health aftercare to help ensure your success. Contact Liberty Bay today at 855.607.8758 or use our online form to get in touch and receive help on your road to recovery.