Paws-Post-Acute Withdrawal

Self-Care in Battling PAWS (Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome)

My favorite group to do with our patients is on Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS). If you are new to this acronym, PAWS refers to the random cravings, dreams, mood swings, body aches, sweats, and other symptoms that come a few weeks after the initial withdrawal and detox – and they can keep coming up to …

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What about wine used in cooking? How dangerous is it for alcoholics?

Wow — this is a week for good questions!  A reader writes that he had a fancy meal, and then discovered that wine had been used in making the sauce.  He was concerned that it could complicate his recovery.  Here’s my answer.  (The “PAWS” comment refers to post-acute withdrawal syndrome, problems and discomfort that arise …

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Questions From Newcomers: Is it possible to have a healthy life right after detox?

The smart-aleck answer to the question “Is it possible to have a healthy life right after detox” is “What…are you kidding?”  However, the straight answer is “What do you mean by ‘healthy?’” When it comes to recovery, we speak of at least two kinds of health: physical, and emotional.  Some folks would add spiritual health …

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Newly Sober? PAWS Still Has You In Its Claws!

We all know that most relapses occur in the first few months after we get clean and sober.  Many of them are related to Post-acute Withdrawal Syndrome.  We talked about PAWS in a previous post, but I wanted to go into it more specifically here. Although there are differences in the way they act, all addictive …

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From A Drunk Who’s Ready To Dump Alcohol

On a different site, I often get comments and letters from folks with questions about alcohol and their recovery.  The one I’m reproducing below, along with my answers, was especially interesting.  Since the writer gave me permission to use it, in the hope that it might help others, I answered with publication here in mind.  As they …

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Questions In Early Sobriety

I want to share a letter I recently received from a guy in early sobriety, along with the response I gave.  The letter is SO typical of the cares and worries of people in early sobriety that I think most folks will be able to relate.  I edited a bit for brevity, believe it or …

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A Reader Writes About Her PAWS Experience

I got this letter a few days ago. It so closely parallels the article on the Sunrise Detox blog about sugar addiction, and has such a clear outline of the lady’s experiences in early sobriety, that I thought it would be good to publish it here, along with my response. Perhaps some of you folks will …

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How Long Do Cravings Last After You Stop Using?

“I still have strong cravings to use, so my question is, does it get easier with time and treatment, or will I feel like this forever?” The cravings that you feel should moderate soon.  It would be nice to be able to give you a simple yes or no, but you need to know a …

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Antidepressants In Recovery — Just Another Drug?

Depression is not uncommon in the first year or so of recovery. Some people manage to avoid it entirely, but many of us experience it to one degree or another. That’s because sometimes the ability of our brains to produce the chemicals that make us feel good has been damaged by the alcohol and other …

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