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Understanding Helping vs Enabling

Your commitment to ending your substance use is a commendable first step on your recovery journey. However, discontinuing substance use on your own can be life-threatening. Your body has become so used to the substance that stopping them abruptly can be a shock to your system. Therefore, without professional support, you can experience overwhelming side effects including post-acute withdrawal syndrome, also known as PAWS.

What Is Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome?

According to an article from the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, PAWS is a set of impairments that can linger for weeks or months after abstaining from substance use. Although in some cases, as noted in a guide from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), PAWS can last for years after achieving initial sobriety.

Moreover, it is believed that PAWS is a result of the changes to the brain that occur from the cessation of substance use. Therefore, these impairments can lead to numerous physical, emotional, and psychological symptoms that fluctuate in severity and are exasperated by stress. While the symptoms of PAWS can disappear and reappear, they typically become apparent as a result of withdrawal.

Symptoms of PAWS

Many of the symptoms of PAWS are psychological and mood based. However, some of the symptoms can also have a co-occurring negative impact on your physical health, influencing:

  • Irritability
  • Insomnia or other sleeping problems
  • Tiredness
  • Memory issues
  • Issues with concentration
  • Troubles problem-solving
  • Urge to use
  • Stress sensitivity
  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Depression
  • Difficulty maintaining relationships
  • Apathy
  • Pessimism

Therefore, going through withdrawal on your own can be mentally, emotionally, and physically taxing. If every part of you is overwhelmed with the effects of withdrawal, it leaves little space for you to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thus, seeking supported detoxification reminds you that you are not alone and opens up space to start building your long-term sobriety.

The Value of Support in Detox

You may wonder what is detoxification with support and how can it support your long-term recovery. According to a publication by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), detoxification is a set of interventions designed to help manage acute intoxication and withdrawal. Through detoxification, your healthcare providers can reduce the physical harm substances can cause during withdrawal.

Moreover, as noted in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, unlike independent withdrawal, detoxification is a safe and effective way to discontinue substances with fewer risks and side effects. In addition, the overall goal of supported detoxification is not to only reduce your intake of substances, but to provide an opportunity for sustained abstinence and long-term recovery.

At The Guest House, we know focusing on healing when substances are still in your system is difficult. Therefore, we provide a safe medically-supervised space to detox as you start taking your first steps toward recovery. With support, you have more space to consider what your life could be like without SUD. After detox at The Guest House, we can work together to build a treatment plan that meets your specific needs with a wide range of kinetic, creative, and meditative therapeutic modalities.

Without a support system during detox, you can experience painful and life-threatening side effects like PAWS. Left untreated, PAWS can make daily life difficult as emotional, psychological, and physical symptoms impede your ability to function. Therefore, with a medically-supervised detox at The Guest House, you can receive support that prepares you for long-term healing. Through a wide range of kinetic, creative, and meditative therapeutic modalities, at The Guest House, we can support your specific needs. Call us today at (855) 483-7800 to learn more.