Once Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) is identified you should get help right away. Don't be afraid to ask for help. If you've just stopped using alcohol or other drugs, either with the help of a treatment facility like our Orange County detox or some other avenue, it is okay to ask for more help.
Over a period of time, if you don't get the help you need, PAWS might become: regenerative, gets better; degenerative, gets worse; stabilizes, stays the same; or becomes intermittent, comes and goes.
- Regenerative PAWS might improve over time. Sometimes, the longer a person is sober the symptoms become less severe.
- Degenerative PAWS is the opposite. The symptoms get worse regardless of the length of sobriety. The recovering addict might be attending Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, or some other type of recovery program, but they suffer through the symptoms and sometimes with repeated relapses.
- Stable PAWS experiences are the same level of symptoms for a long period of time into recovery. Sometimes the symptoms are better and sometimes they are worse, but they remain unchanged. The frustration for the recovering addict is that they don't have the feeling of being 'happy, joyous, and free.' However, with enough time they learn to manage the symptoms instead of getting the help they need.
- Intermittent PAWS are when the symptoms come and go. At first the recovering addict will experience regenerative patterns, and then experience periodic episodes that can be quite severe. Eventually, the episodes get shorter and further apart, but with some they will occur throughout their life.
There is help and it is important to remember that even if they go away for a while they could come back. So, it is important to learn to build a resistance against them.