Addiction Treatment

What are the Symptoms of Post Acute Withdrawal?

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Medically reviewed: 01/25/2019
Last updated: 05/13/2019
Author: Medical Review

Reading Time: 3 minutes

According to a research study by the Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders, The Scripps Research Institute ” Drug addiction, similar to other chronic physiological and psychological disorders such as high blood pressure, worsens over time, is subject to significant environmental influences (e.g., external stressors), and leaves a residual neural trace that allows rapid “re-addiction” even months and years after detoxification and abstinence.”

Every psychoactive drug changes the way the brain and central nervous system functions and once the person becomes dependent on them, these artificial influences can cause post acute withdrawal symptoms that occur out of the blue and make you feel like you are starting your recovery all over again.

They Symptoms of Post-Acute Withdrawal

Symptoms of Post Acute Withdrawal

Post acute withdrawal lingers on for several months after a person quits using drugs.

In fact, post-acute withdrawal is a leading cause of most relapses in the early recovery stages of 3 to 6 months and the symptoms may include:

Conditioned Cravings

When you become addicted to drugs, you change your thoughts, motives, and behaviors to allow for continued use. Reminders of drug use experiences such as places, people, or things that are associated with the use should always be avoided, but, often, the conditioned cravings appear simply from a thought or emotion.

Your brain has become wired to respond to these symptoms of post-acute withdrawals by using again and it takes time to “recondition” your responses to productive and healthy alternatives. Since everyone is different, there is no way of predicting how long this will be, but, be patient, with appropriate lifestyle changes and continued abstinence, things do get easier.

Anxiety-like and Aversive-like Responses

According to the research study by the Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders, The Scripps Research Institute.” A common response to acute withdrawal and protracted abstinence from all major drugs of abuse is the manifestation of anxiety-like or aversive-like responses.” Post acute withdrawal symptoms of anxiety, mood swings, irritability, and depression can appear for no logical reason and trigger a relapse to escape, but, hang in there.

Day by day, your equilibrium will readjust to a more normal state and with every symptom you manage wisely you will gain more confidence in your future abilities to do so as well.

Other Common Symptoms of Post Acute Withdrawal

Tiredness, low energy, lack of motivation, insomnia, and sleep disturbances are common symptoms of post acute withdrawal and it is important to take care of yourself. Find time to relax, exercise, and enjoy those happy and healthy things you missed. Don’t sit around fantasizing about prior use or focusing on your problems. Make changes, make new friends, and keep open communications with a positive support network. Above all, get the appropriate treatment services and help you need for any medical and mental health disorders.

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