Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dealing with PAWS

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

Summary of current medical treatment for Alcohol Disorders

hHere is a link to an article from Psychiatric Times, an online publication, summarizing current medication usage in the treatment of alcohol disorders. The article covers drug treatments for intoxication, withdrawal and relapse prevention. There’s nothing earth-shattering in the article, but it does provide a concise look at current treatment procedures.

New Writers — and New Energy — Coming to the LifeRing Blog

Blog word.I, Craig Whalley, have been the author of most LifeRing Blog posts for the past three years. I do have some (blessedly brief) experience as a journalist and I enjoy writing, but I have never been able to devote the sort of energy and time required to make the Blog lively, informative and — yes — entertaining. So now the time has come to try to change that. There is no shortage of fine writers involved with LifeRing. Many of them have demonstrated their talent over the years in our online venues. I want to bring them to a wider audience. So I’ve corraled a few together and will be presenting their efforts here in the coming days and weeks. At the same time, I’m inviting other LifeRing members to submit pieces they think might be of interest. No guarantees they’ll be accepted, but we’d love to have the opportunity!

As part of the effort to revitalize the Blog, we’ve added a subscription capability — you can sign up and be notified when a new Blog post appears. The subscription form (which requires absolutely minimal information — just an email address) is on the Home Page of this website.  Don’t expect a great flood of new and exciting material — it will take time to generate a steady stream of posts. But I’ll keep the information about new meetings and orgainzational developments coming, and Steve S. will continue to post items about interesting articles he runs across.

Feedback from readers will be much appreciated, even the negative stuff. We want to be livelier and that will mean taking some chances which may go amiss. But our hope is to provide you with a deeper understanding of the nature of recovery. Wish us luck!



A LifeRing Keeper: “I’m not Wrong, I’m not Insane, I’m not Powerless”

A recent post from a LifeRing email group sums up the experience of many upon finding LifeRing:

Empowering Your Sober Self    Without being too dramatic, my childhood years were pretty traumatic.  I was shuttled around from orphanage to orphanage, foster home to foster home, till I was in my teens.  The resounding message that I received from all of that — sometimes verbally, sometimes physically — was that there was something wrong with me.
    Fast forward  many years, to when I realized I was an alcoholic and I found myself in the midst of a 12-step program.  The resounding message from that program was that there was something wrong with me.  I was powerless, I was insane, I was….”wrong.”
    Even after 20+ years clean and sober, a happy marriage, building a successful business, good, quality relationships, I still kept getting the message that something was wrong with me….I was powerless, insane, and more.
    Fast forward to just a few weeks ago when I discovered LifeRing.  I got the book “Empower Your Sober Self” as a gift, and while reading that book…it’s like EVERYTHING just came together.  And, even though I’ve always been one to smile, I’m smiling bigger than ever because I feel like this great burden has been lifted off of my shoulders.  I’m not wrong, I’m not insane, I’m not powerless…I’m just “me”….and it’s the best feeling I’ve felt in a long time.
    — Rick G.

The Trains are Running Again

BARTThe strike at BART — Bay Area Rapid Transit — has ended, at least for now, and the LifeRing Service Center is much easier to get to. So regular office hours have resumed. Those hours do tend to be erratic, though, so calling in advance of a visit is an excellent idea.