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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

Here 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.

A LifeRing Keeper: Lessons Learned After 7 Months of Sobriety

Below is a recent post to one of LifeRing’s email groups, written by a member expressing her great pleasure at reaching 7 months of continuous sobriety. It contains much wisdom that I wanted to share. It speaks both to those new to recovery and to veterans. — Craig Whalley

Hello all.  Altho I don’t post often, I read every day. But I did want to mention some things I’ve noticed in myself now that I’ve been sober for a little over seven months…

*Boy, do the cravings tone down after those first 90 days (just like folks said). Now, I seldom ever think about drinking, whether at home alone (my old favorite) or out at dinner or wherever.

*Recognizing the “Addict” voice as separate from the real, sober self is a great help. It can be so sneaky and comes at you in different ways when it thinks you are not looking. These thoughts are not cravings, (READ MORE…)

Read more ...

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

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: Getting and Staying Sober

This was posted recently on a LifeRing Email group by a longtime member:

In a nutshell, my sobriety support group is LifeRing Secular Recovery.
— the bottom line is to not drink or otherwise use- no matter what
— we believe we have all the power over our addiction as long as we do not drink or use
— whatever it takes to not drink or use is what we are about
For some of us it is about clean sheets after a difficult day.  For some of us it is about reading everything we can about the science of addiction.  Many of us feel that physical and social activity is very important.  A great number of us need face to face support.
If we don’t live in the Bay area or in the other spots that LifeRing (LSR)  meetings are available; face to face meetings means SMART, SOS, Rational Recovery, WFS (if a woman), or a 12 step program such as AA/NA.  If you know of any other options, please let us know.
If any of us need face to face support and a 12 step program is what is all that is available nearby, please support that tool.  All tools do not work for everyone.  Our goal here is to Not Drink or Use NO MATTER WHAT.  Our email group is to encourage our sober selves.
Please respect the choices each of make to DND (or use) NMW.  Please do not put down the options that any of us need.
I have never taken Antabuse, but some have used it with great success; at age 62 I have attended less than 5 AA meetings; I do not read much about addiction (I found this to be a trigger for me), and I do believe in the power of clean sheets.  I respect and often learn from others sober tools.
Be kind, accepting, and go to be bed sober tonight.