At its core, protracted withdrawal represents the physiological and psychological adjustments the body undergoes after the cessation of substance use.
What Is Protracted Withdrawal?
Protracted withdrawal is a continuation of the withdrawal process and can last several months or even years. The length of time that protracted withdrawal lasts depends on the amount of drugs or alcohol that were being consumed and for how long it was being consumed.
Protracted Withdrawal Common Symptoms
Most people experience protracted withdrawal common symptoms once they’ve stopped the use of drugs or alcohol. The most common protracted withdrawal symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Insomnia, or an inability to sleep
- Drug cravings
- Memory loss
Though the above-mentioned side effects are the most common, there are various other symptoms and issues.
People can have mood swings and can either lash out or isolate themselves. Memory loss can also be experienced along with cognitive impairment, and emotional and psychological issues.
Individuals may experience a decrease in their sex lives in the early stages of withdrawal. The lack of sex drive can be associated with the chemical process in the brain while going through withdrawal.
What Is Acute Withdrawal?
Acute withdrawal, which is commonly just referred to as withdrawal, is when you abruptly stop using certain substances such as drugs or alcohol. It is the initial phase and is considered the detoxification period.
Protracted withdrawal and acute withdrawal are both typical phases in the addiction cycle. However, protracted withdrawal is when signs and symptoms
persist longer than the acute withdrawal period or longer than expected.
Acute withdrawal symptoms can begin as early as a few hours after discontinuing the substance and last days or weeks. The initial withdrawal can cause physical and psychological symptoms, including:
- Muscle aches
- Mood swings
Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome (PWS) vs Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)
Both syndromes are common for people struggling to quit their addiction. Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), as mentioned above, is the first phase of withdrawal. Protracted withdrawal syndrome (PWS) is the extension or prolonged effect after the first withdrawal symptoms.
Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) is withdrawal symptoms that last a few days to a few weeks. In contrast, Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome (PWS) can last from a few months to a few years.
Post-acute withdrawal (PAWS) is more physical symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. Protracted withdrawal (PWS) is more the psychological symptoms such as mood swings, depression, and anxiety.
Post-acute withdrawal pertains more to individuals with substance abuse issues. Protracted withdrawal syndrome (PWS) pertains to individuals who have abused substances in more significant amounts and longer periods of time.
Benzodiazepine Protracted Withdrawal
Withdrawal from benzodiazepines doesn’t have a set time frame. Benzodiazepine protracted withdrawal is a lengthy process with no shortcuts. Usage of benzodiazepine, whether illegal, like heroin, or prescribed by medical professionals, is tough to overcome. Tolerance for benzodiazepine does not develop in an equal balance in your brain, therefore making the withdrawal process that much more difficult.
Protracted withdrawal symptoms from benzodiazepine are considered one of the hardest and most dangerous forms of withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms from benzodiazepine are very similar to withdrawal symptoms from alcohol.
Benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome can cause changes in your sleeping habits, increase tension, cause panic attacks, heart palpitations, seizures, and many other severe symptoms.
Benzodiazepine protracted withdrawal symptoms can cause life-threatening seizures. These are a few of the other benzodiazepine protracted withdrawal symptoms:
Benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome can cause changes in your sleeping habits, increase tension, panic attacks, heart palpitations, and many other symptoms.
Prevent Relapse and Withdraw Safely with White Oak Recovery Center
In the U.S., drug dependence has been increasing at an alarming rate, which has resulted in an outrageous number of deaths. Not all cases have been due to opioid drugs such as heroin or fentanyl, like you might think. It is also from benzodiazepines.
People in recovery are always at risk of relapse, which is why it is not recommended to try and stop the drug or alcohol use cold turkey. Serious and even life-threatening withdrawal symptoms from long-time drug and alcohol abuse, including antidepressants and benzodiazepines, have led to major health concerns.
White Oak Recovery Center is an accredited and licensed rehabilitation treatment facility that provides residential treatment and behavioral therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). We know how difficult and scary taking this first step can be. Our staff is licensed to help you with your specific needs and will guide you through our admissions process.
White Oak Recovery Center will provide all the necessary tools to start your new journey. Our goal is to guide you through the entire process with our medical treatment programs to help prevent relapse. White Oak Recovery Center has a proven and caring system to help you recover long-term.
WORC provides residential treatment, medical detox, dual diagnosis, and medication-assisted treatment. Our center is ready to provide you with the individual guidance you need to recover. If you, a friend, or a loved one needs professional, caring, and experienced treatment, we are here. Reach out today.