Do withdrawal symptoms persist after you do your detox program in Florida? Although this can happen, whether or not it will happen to you depends on a great variety of factors. It depends on your drug of choice, how long your dependency lasted, how much you were taking and your own personal body chemistry. Withdrawal symptoms persisting after the detox period has ended are sometimes called PAWS or post-acute withdrawal syndrome. PAWS is most commonly associated with detox from opioids, alcohol and benzodiazepines, but it can occur with any type of drug dependency involving changes in the brain, including stimulants such as cocaine and amphetamine.
Florida is a particularly good location for both detox and rehab. The weather is warm, there is lots of sunshine and many facilities are located close to the beach. Ocean waves have a calming effect on the brain, and sunshine helps to combat depression. Opioid withdrawal in particular often involves problems with regulating body temperature. People in opioid detox may feel cold all the time, so a warm climate is often more comfortable than a cooler one during this time.
Drug Detox and Rehab
There are two main parts of substance abuse treatment: detox and rehab. Before you can begin rehab, where you will discover the factors that led to your drug abuse in the first place, you must be clean of your drug of choice for a period of time typically not less than 10 days. However, drug detox can take longer than that, sometimes much longer. Certain drugs, such as benzodiazepines and alcohol, can produce a life-threatening withdrawal syndrome if not done under medical supervision. Withdrawal from other drugs, such as opioids, involves such painful and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that few people can stand them without medical assistance.
It doesn’t make much sense to try to detox on your own. You’ll be setting yourself up for failure and enduring needless physical and psychological discomfort in the process. Modern medical detox should never involve any kind of significant physical pain or any other kind of highly distressing symptoms, such as constant nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, disabling anxiety or intractable insomnia. These types of symptoms, along with pain, can all be managed medically and are unacceptable in a medical detox setting. That said, medical detox cannot eliminate every withdrawal symptom completely, nor can it guarantee you won’t experience PAWS.
Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome
PAWS can be mild, moderate or severe. Up to as many as 90 percent of all recovering opioid abusers and 75 percent of alcohol, abusers may experience some degree of PAWS. For many opioid abusers, PAWS will primarily take the form of fatigue, feelings of weakness, and a persistent loss of energy. This is believed to be related to the changes in the brain caused by opioid abuse, Other signs of PAWS may include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Depression and apathy
- Mood swings
- Difficulty feeling pleasure
- Drug cravings
- Problems with learning and memory recall
It is interesting to note that even infants born to mothers who abused drugs during pregnancy may display symptoms of PAWS. The syndrome can, unfortunately, persist for many months or even a year or longer. Benzodiazepine abuse may be the most likely to produce protracted PAWS symptoms.
Treatment of PAWS
PAWS is not technically a part of detox. This means that it occurs after the body has been basically detoxified of your drug of choice. This also means that for some people, dealing with PAWS will also be part of their rehab program. Once all acute withdrawal symptoms have subsided, it’s time to begin rehab whether PAWS is present or not.
Treatment of PAWS may be incorporated into your rehab program and may include medications such as acamprosate, a medication often used to help to recover alcoholics with their alcohol cravings. Acamprosate appears to help relieve some PAWS symptoms, too. Encouraging group and individual therapy may also be helpful. Some facilities offer massage, acupuncture, and nutritional support as part of their rehab treatment, and these may help to alleviate some PAWS symptoms.
Acupuncture is believed to induce the brain to release endorphins, natural opioid-like compounds that relieve pain and elevate mood. Nutritional therapy may help the brain to restore its normal balance of neurotransmitters faster. Abuse of drugs can derange the normal levels of these critical brain chemicals.
We Can Help
If you’re struggling with drug addiction, you likely feel very alone. You may not realize that hope and help is closer than you think. We’re a group of professional drug counselors who help people like you every day. We’ll help you find the best drug treatment facility for your needs near you or in the area of your choice. Just call us anytime at 772-266-5320 for compassionate, confidential guidance to a brighter future.