pawlPAWS, or Post- Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (also known as Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome) is far less known about, or understood, than the withdrawal symptoms that accompany most people’s earliest recovery from the use of alcohol and other drugs. Even those experiencing what seem to them to be inexplicable problems of mood fluctuation, malaise or other unpleasant feelings will blame themselves for their misery, or be tempted to believe that life was better when using. A recent article in The Fix, a web-based magazine dealing with recovery issues, has an article titled “How to Isolate and Treat Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome.” The article gives this definition: PAWS is a series of post-acute symptoms of recovery from dependence on benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and ethanol; opiates; and sometimes, antidepressants. Some commonly abused benzodiazepines are Valium, Xanax, and Ativan, and some opiate drugs of addiction are heroin, Vicodin, and OxyContin. Symptoms of PAWS include mood swings resembling an affective disorder, anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure from anything beyond use of the drug), insomnia, extreme drug craving and obsession, anxiety and panic attacks, depression, suicidal ideation and suicide, and general cognitive impairment. The article is very much worth reading, especially for those dealing with troubling symptoms well after the “normal” time for experiencing withdrawal. See the article Here