Dealing with Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome during rehab
It’s never easy to send a loved one into drug addiction rehab, but recovery can only start when you do. At first, you might be thinking that everything is going to be OK and that now you can finally relax, right? Well, this will happen eventually, just not as soon as you might be hoping for. Unfortunately, until your loved one comes to their senses and realizes just how much you have actually helped them, it’s going to be a bit of a tricky road. What they are most likely to feel at first is called Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS), and it’s simply a step in the process of getting sober.
PAWS is one of the most important reactions you should know about when your loved one goes to rehab. To briefly explain PAWS, you need to first know that after prolonged drug and alcohol use, the brain stops producing its natural “feel-good” chemicals. It’s now dependent on the substance to “feel good” so the brain has stopped doing its job. Because of PAWS, they are going to most likely blame you for their depression, anxiety and general moodiness until their brain starts working properly again.
Until his or her brain returns to normal, they will remain moody and depressed. For as long as they remain in rehab, they know they won’t be able to get high. Therefore, they’ll be stuck feeling crummy and miserable and because they can’t get high as long as they’re there, they will ultimately blame you for this. It is important to remember that this is only temporary, though.
Although they might have initially thanked you for checking them in and helping them turn their life around, this is when the actual work needs to be done for them to improve. It’s important to stand fast and see this through so that when they finally come back around, they can start thanking you again.