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    Old 07-09-2008, 07:58 PM   #1
    mollylucy's Avatar
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    what is PAWS

    hello. I know what PAWS stands acute withdrawal syndrome..but what exactly is it? I tried searching this site and cannot really find any info on it...all of you on this board are not only so knowledgeable but very very helpful and compassionate....I think its wonderful to have a place to talk like this..thanks

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    Old 07-09-2008, 09:38 PM   #2
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    Re: what is PAWS

    My understanding is that PAWS is a non-specific description of those symptoms some addicts/alcoholics have long after we have stopped using. I've heard very knowledgable people in the addiction field speak about the symptoms lasting up to a year after use is stopped. The symptoms vary widely from person to person. Occasional sweating, restless legs, headaches, etc., etc., etc. The list is probably endless. I know this probably isn't much help but it's the extent of my knowledge and I noticed no one else had responded. Personally, I suffered from insomnia and occasional restless legs for 6 months or so after I stopped using.

    Old 07-09-2008, 11:20 PM   #3
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    Re: what is PAWS

    "PAWS. Well that is not so easy to predict. A lot depends on how much neurological damage there is in the mind left behind after detox. I see it manifesting itself as this debilitating emptyness after the detox battle ravages your body. The best way that I can explain it is that I felt as if God had abandoned me, and I was thrown into a desolate wasteland with no food or water. It is the primary reason I relapsed, and if I had taken another good board member's advice, "shay4bliss," and got support from living, breathing, human beings that have lived this hell, then my chances would have been better."

    My battle with paws lasted about 4 months. The worst symptom, among many, was that I experienced a deep, crippling depression.

    good luck, friend


    Last edited by mk7657; 07-09-2008 at 11:26 PM.

    Old 07-10-2008, 04:57 AM   #4
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    Re: what is PAWS

    You know, I didn't even take into consideration that I'll be affected by PAWS I didn't even know it existed. As if I was frightened enough...

    Last edited by emsmom; 07-10-2008 at 04:57 AM.

    Old 07-10-2008, 09:23 AM   #5
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    Re: what is PAWS


    When you finish your stay at rehab, the support group that comes with outpatient care will help you understand any lingering side effects of detox (PAWS) and will give you the tools to help overcome them. PAWS is part of the recovery process and will play itself out. You'll be fine.

    This will be the most exciting time of your life--freedom from addiction.

    Cherish your clean time and your rehab stay. Don't worry about the future. It will take care of itself.

    My prayers are with you,


    Old 07-10-2008, 10:23 AM   #6
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    Re: what is PAWS

    Molly Ensmom and everyone,
    When I first got sober I had every syptom of PAWS. I still have some of them today. Some of them are:
    Unclear thinking.
    Difficult emotions.
    Difficult physical coordination.
    Sleep disturbances.
    When I think about it, what a trip.......When I got out of detox for the first couple of days/weeks I kept walking into walls and mis-judging my turns. I also had a horrible time thinking and concentrating. I literallly could not hold a conversation. My brain would choose incorrect, but simialr words when I did speak. For example, If my husband asked me where the umbrella was, I would say,"In the bus", rather than say in the car. Or, on Easter Sunday I said to him, "Happy Thanksgiving"--twice! Bus and car, both vehicles as well as Easter and Thanksgiving, both holidays, just the wrong word. For a few weeks I could not remember why I would walk into a room. Even the old walk out of the room trick to remember what you were getting did not work. Once I was driving down a very busy street and I could not remember where I was going. SCARY. I had no idea about some of the symptoms of PAWS and before I learned of them (while detoxing) I thought I really screwed up my brain. I know today that it will and has gotten better. One interesting thing I learned about PAWs is that the symptoms may come and go for several months and that when this happened (symptoms come back) you are more suseptable for a relapse. Thats what happend with with my coordination. I was bad at first, then fine, then back again. Now it is fine again.

    Ensmom, your lucky your aware of this. I was scared and felt very alone.

    Never be afraid to try something new.
    Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark.
    A large group of professionals built the Titanic

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