This too shall pass . . .

Post Acute Withdrawal – The #1 Cause of Relapse

James F. Davis, Author and Founder of siteDon’t Let Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome Destroy What You’ve Worked so hard for!

My name is James F. Davis, and as the founder of a drug rehab center I’ve personally witnessed thousands of people suffer from Post Acute Withdrawal. In fact, I’ve battled it myself as a recovering addict with more than 30 years sober. However, I know that as a result of PAWS I could lose it all in an instant if I don’t take things one day at a time.

If you or someone you love is suffering from Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, I welcome you to PostAcuteWithdrawal.ORG, where I hope that together we can change the lives of our family members, friends and neighbors who are fighting addiction.

By collaborating and sharing resources and knowledge about PAWS, we can help to save the lives of addicts and alcoholics everywhere. This website is meant to be a lifeboat, because ultimately, we’re all in this together. Please get involved in the forums; you could change a life, or you could discover something there that could change yours forever.

Simply put, Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome is dangerous. Also referred to as PAWS, Post-Acute Withdrawal, Post Withdrawal or Protracted Withdrawal, this condition is likely the cause of nearly all relapses. For addicts and alcoholics this is a serious concern, because the fact of the matter is that few in the addiction treatment industry address PAWS as part of a long-term plan for recovery.

Most rehab centers and treatment clinics operate on a 30 day treatment model that begins after Acute Withdrawal and detox. 30 day programs are excellent at helping people get clean initially, but staying clean requires a lifelong plan to address post acute withdrawal.

A long term treatment plan for PAWS is critical because the symptoms of this condition can disrupt or completely arrest theYou CAN Beat post acute withdrawal forward motion of a recovery program. However, this is often a neglected part of treatment for drugs or alcohol, and consequently thousands of people relapse every year. Some of them will die.

In my experience most people who break free from an addiction to drugs or alcohol will experience post acute withdrawal syndrome to some degree. For some people the symptoms are severe and incapacitating, while for others they are a minor annoyance. Duration of symptoms is also different from person to person, ranging from just a few weeks, to inconsistently for several years, to months and even consistently for years at a time.

However, what I have found is that the level of PAWS you experience is directly related to your lifestyle and the choices you make. This means that in nearly all cases, post-acute withdrawal can be properly managed and relapse averted if you’ve made the right KASE for yourself:


Educating yourself about post acute withdrawal is required in order to beat this sometimes-debilitating condition. You can start by getting involved in the forums or by browsing the articles on this site. For truly comprehensive understanding of PAWS, considering my upcoming book titled: Post Acute Withdrawal: This Too Shall Pass.


Call it attitude, confidence, drive, ambition – whatever it takes to get you motivated enough to take action, that’s what you need to do. The right attitude can make the difference between a lifelong recovery and a lifetime of relapses. Sitting is quitting: you must act, and that requires a strong frame of mind.


No matter how strong you are, you’ll need support throughout your recovery journey. Humans are intensely social creatures, and it is our relationships with others more than anything else that provides us with the energy and emotional/spiritual nourishment needed to stay clean.

Dont let PAWS stop you from living life free from drugs or alcohol*Execute

You can have the right attitude, the most comprehensive knowledge and a loving, powerful support system, but if you don’t execute a specific plan, it’s likely that post acute withdrawal will come back to haunt you when you least expect it. And because one single relapse can ruin an entire life, executing a daily action plan for PAWS symptoms management could be a lifesaving decision.

So in the end, no one is helpless when it comes to post acute withdrawal. My hope is that the tools here – articles written by industry experts, our forums, the upcoming book Post Acute Withdrawal: This Too Shall Pass, and of course the PAWS survey will all go a long way toward creating a broader awareness of this condition and how critical it is to manage it in the fight against drug addiction.

Ultimately, this is a life-or-death public health issue, and no one is immune. Please get involved today, because the life you save could be that of someone you love.

Take the PAWS Survey Now
PAWS Survey Question 1

I currently suffer from PAWS symptoms:

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PAWS Survey Question 2

I take medication to treat my PAWS symptoms:

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PAWS Survey Question 3

I have attended an inpatient program for drug addiction or alcoholism:

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PAWS Survey Question 4

What would you say is the primary cause of any relapses you may have experienced?

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PAWS Survey Question 5

I have failed or quit a treatment program early:

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