In this article, I’m going to teach you how to stop Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome from opiates, also known as opiate PAWS. Many opiate abusers have successfully managed to get past the acute opiate withdrawal phase, only to realize that the struggle was far from being over. Though the symptoms, duration, and severity vary, an estimated 90% of all opiate abusers experience opiate PAWS to some degree after the acute withdrawal is over.
Do not fear! If you’re suffering from Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome from opiates, the strategies I provide in this article can help you to quickly reverse opiate PAWS symptoms. My plan for reversing opiate PAWS is all-natural, powerful, easy…and it works FAST.
If you follow the steps I’ve outlined, you should be well on your way to reversing Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome from opiates. As an added bonus, you’ll also be able to experience a great enhancement in mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health…
Table of Contents
- What is Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome from Opiates?
- Opiate PAWS Timeline
- Opiate PAWS Symptoms
- My Experience with Opiate Paws
- Step 1: Take an Opiate Recovery Supplement
- Step 2: Take DL-Phenylalanine
- Step 3: Take the Triangle
- Step 5: Eat Healthy Foods
- Step 6: Exercise
- Step 7: Sleep Between 10 pm – 6 am
- Step 8: Meditate
- Step 9: Write in a Journal
- Step 10: Listen to Music
- Step 11: Talk to a Counselor, Therapist, or Recovery Coach
- Step 12: Focus on Growing
- Step 13: Read Self-Help Books
- Step 14: Contribute
- Step 15: Go Barefoot in Nature
- Step 16: Spend Time Connecting with Friends and Family
- Step 17: Engage in Fun Recreational Activities
What is Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome from Opiates?
To accurately and simply define opiate PAWS, let’s break down the meaning of each individual word:
- Post – “After”
- Acute – “Very serious or dangerous; requiring serious attention or action”
- Withdrawal – “The discontinuance of administration or use of a drug”
- Syndrome – “A group of symptoms”
- Opiates – “Narcotic painkilling drugs”
Simply put, opiate PAWS is a group of symptoms that occur after an individual has gone through the serious withdrawal phase induced by the discontinuation of narcotic drugs. In his popular book, Staying Sober: A Guide for Relapse Prevention, Terence Gorski states the following:
Post-acute withdrawal is a group of symptoms of addictive disease that occur as a result of abstinence from addictive chemicals. In the alcoholic/addict these symptoms appear seven to fourteen days into abstinence, after stabilization from the acute withdrawal. Post-acute withdrawal is a bio/psycho/social syndrome. It results from a combination of damage to the nervous system caused by alcohol or drugs and the psychosocial stress of coping with life without drugs or alcohol.”
Opiate PAWS Timeline
Opiate PAWS can last anywhere from a few weeks to several years. In fact, there is even a possibility that opiate PAWS can continue for the rest of an individual’s life after quitting opiates. Unfortunately, there is really no way to determine how long it will last. However, do not be discouraged. My step-by-step plan for stopping opiate PAWS is powerful, and most people notice very positive results within days of using these natural methods.
Opiate PAWS Symptoms
There is a wide range of symptoms an individual might experience from opiate PAWS. Opiate PAWS symptoms will vary from person to person. Opiate PAWS symptoms will also vary in severity from person to person.
Some common symptoms that occur from opiate PAWS are:
- Inability to think clearly
- Memory problems
- Emotional overreactions or numbness
- Physical coordination problems
- Stress sensitivity
- Increased susceptibility to emotional and physical pain
- Gastrointestinal (GI) issues
- Intense cravings to use opiates
- Drug dreams
- Inability to experience pleasure (“pleasure deafness”)
I strongly believe that the last symptom (“pleasure deafness”) is the #1 reason why most individuals with opiate PAWS relapse within the first 90 days of getting sober. Going weeks to months without feeling any pleasure in life is in my opinion more detrimental to recovery than any other symptom.
But combine “pleasure deafness” with a multitude of other mental and physical symptoms, and you can easily see why it’s so difficult to abstain from using opiates after you’ve quit. You see, opiate abuse and addiction can lead to severe biochemical imbalances in the body.
Brain function becomes deteriorated from the daily abuse of opiates, and opiate PAWS symptoms accurately reflect this. Trying to live life sober can be extremely stressful and unpleasant when your biochemistry is functioning from such a disrupted state. Luckily, there are extremely powerful natural methods for re-establishing healthy brain chemistry in persons suffering from Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome from opiates.
My Experience with Opiate Paws
I was first addicted to Rx opiates, then towards the end of my addiction, I was using a gram of heroin per day. I tried to get clean many times, but the opiate PAWS symptoms were too severe, and I commonly relapsed within a few weeks to a few months after quitting opiates. The last time I got clean was over three years ago, and as a result of employing powerful and natural methods, I was finally able to enjoy being off opiates without enduring opiate PAWS symptoms.
Since then I’ve made it my life’s mission and purpose to help others recover from opiate addiction using these natural techniques.
Over the past three-plus years I’ve achieved the following certifications in recovery:
- Certified Substance Abuse Counselor
- Certified Strategic Intervention Coach
- Certified Level 2 Qigong Instructor
- Certified Advanced Food-Based Healing Instructor; with a specialty in nutrition and supplementation for opiate addiction
Note: I developed this plan based on my own personal recovery from opiate addiction, combined with all of the research I’ve down over the past several years. Since Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome from opiates is a bio/psycho/social syndrome, my step-by-step plan consists of a bio/psycho/social treatment approach. I know you will find the following steps extremely beneficial for reversing opiate PAWS…
Step 1: Take an Opiate Recovery Supplement
The number one most effective way to decrease opiate PAWS symptoms is to take an Opiate Recovery Supplement. These supplements contain a natural blend of nutrients specifically designed to ease symptoms of both acute and post-acute opiate withdrawal.
Opiate Recovery Supplements may provide you with the following benefits during opiate PAWS:
- Enhances Mood
- Promotes healthy digestion and appetite
- Increases natural energy and focus
- Calms anxiety
- Restores dopamine, GABA, and serotonin production quickly
- Reverses depression
- Reverses insomnia and helps you get more restorative sleep
Step 2: Take DL-Phenylalanine
Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome from opiates leads to many biochemical imbalances. Primarily, long-term opiate abuse creates a severe endorphin and dopamine deficiency in the user. Fortunately, I’ve found an incredible supplement that treats both of these deficiencies.
Dl-Phenylalanine (DLPA) is a combination supplement consisting of both the D- and L- forms of the amino acid phenylalanine.
The L- form is found in protein-rich foods such as turkey, chicken, beef, and fish. L-Phenylalanine increases the amount of dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine in the brain. These are neurotransmitters that promote feelings of pleasure, focus, natural energy and mental stimulation. They also help the body respond to both physical and mental stress.
D-phenylalanine is made synthetically in laboratories, and it serves a very important function in opiate PAWS. D-Phenylalanine blocks certain enzymes in the body from destroying endorphins. Therefore, taking DLPA during opiate PAWS can result in a massive increase in endorphins. I absolutely LOVE this supplement for opiate PAWS.
Note: Take 500 – 2,000 mg on an empty stomach an hour before meals 1-3 times per day to treat opiate PAWS symptoms.
Step 3: Take the Triangle
PAWS symptoms originate from a combination of biochemical imbalances caused or exacerbated by opioid abuse and stress. It’s important to take a powerful multivitamin supplement while you’re suffering from PAWS. A multivitamin can provide you with many essential nutrients that are required for psychological and physiological health.
The Triangle is my absolute favorite supplement in this category. I take it every single day, and this should absolutely be taken during PAWS.
There are three products that you take daily which are synergistic and extremely powerful:
- Helps boost energy
- Enables effective stress management
- Supports cognitive function
- Increases cellular support
- Helps reduce inflammation
- Supports immune system
- Encourages healthy digestion
- Maintains heart health
- Improves nutrient absorption
- Helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels
- Increases sexual function (added bonus!)
PAWS dosing guidelines:
- First thing upon waking, take 20 drops of Nitro Xtreme
- After taking the Nitro, drink one packet of Sunrise
- In the afternoon, take 20 drops of Nitro.
- In the evening, take 20 drops of Nitro just before dinner, then take 3 Sunsets after dinner.
Step 5: Eat Healthy Foods
Consuming nutritious foods and beverages is a very effective way to reverse Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome from opiates. Everyone is biochemically unique, so there is no perfect diet for the general masses. However, there are certain guidelines that everyone should implement for increased health and wellness.
When it comes to easing opiate PAWS symptoms, the following suggestions can help in a major way:
- Focus on organic whole foods.
- Consume at least 20-30 grams of protein 2-3 times per day to produce endorphins and other mood-enhancing chemicals in the brain.
- Make sure to consume healthy fats.
- Drink plenty of water (at least half of your body weight (lbs.) in ounces per day).
- Free-range meats and wild-caught fish are recommended.
- Chew your food slowly (most of the nutrition from food is not absorbed if you don’t chew well).
- Sip on beverages (don’t chug).
- Wait at least 30 minutes after eating to consume beverages (liquid with meals dilutes digestive juices).
- Don’t drink ice cold beverages (this slows digestion).
- Eliminate or decrease sugar, processed foods, refined carbohydrates, nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol.
- Eat plenty of fresh fruits and veggies.
Step 6: Exercise
Exercise is a crucial part of my plan for stopping opiate PAWS symptoms. Exercise can stimulate your body to produce endorphins (natural painkillers) within minutes. This will quickly help you to feel better during Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome from opiates. Choose a type of exercise that you enjoy, that way you’re more likely to stick with it. Some great examples are swimming, walking, jogging, yoga and weight-training.
Make sure you exercise a few days per week to get the following benefits during opiate PAWS:
- Improves mood
- Boosts endorphins (natural pain-killers)
- Improves sleep
- Reduces pain (both physical and emotional)
- Promotes well-being
- Reverses anxiety
- Reverses depression
- Increases energy
- Improves physique
- Boosts confidence
Step 7: Sleep Between 10 pm – 6 am
Insomnia is one of the most common symptoms, so I know how difficult it can be to sleep well during opiate PAWS. If you take the recommended supplements and tea, exercise and eat healthily, it will be much easier for you to fall and stay asleep. At this point, you should focus on getting to bed between 10-11 pm, and wake between 6-7 am.
Great quality sleep gives the body a chance to recover, repair and heal. The physiological recovery period is between 10 pm and 2 am. The psychological and nervous system recovery occurs between 2 am and 6 am. One of the main reasons people wake up sore, tired, and not mentally alert is because they’re going to bed late. If an individual is habitually going to bed at 12 am, they are missing out on two hours of repair and restoration every night. This compounds over time and can lead to many health problems as a result.
Note: To create more energy, positive emotions and overall health during opiate PAWS, make sure you get to bed by no later than 10:00 pm to 11:00 pm on a consistent basis. If you go to bed later than that every once in awhile it’s fine, just don’t make it a habit.
Step 8: Meditate
Meditation is immensely beneficial for easing opiate PAWS symptoms. Quieting the mind and focusing on slow, deep breathing can create a superabundance of positive mental and physical health benefits. Meditation allows you to go to that peaceful place within, the True Source. You can deeply connect with yourself and the universe in a cohesive way that integrates the mind, body, and soul. With all of the stress of opiate PAWS and living life without drugs, meditation can provide you with a sense of peace and fulfillment that nothing else comes close to.
To meditate during opiate PAWS, sit in a quiet room on a chair or cross-legged on the ground or a bed. Close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply in and out through your nostrils. The trick is to clear your mind of all thoughts. Whenever you have a thought, simply clear your mind again. At first, it can be quite difficult, but with regular practice, you can really transcend reality into the void.
Note: Meditate for 10-60 minutes per day. Early morning upon waking is the suggested meditation time.
Step 9: Write in a Journal
Journaling can totally help decrease opiate PAWS symptoms. Keeping a journal and writing down your thoughts and feelings can benefit you in your recovery. It’s a very effective form of self-therapy that costs only a few dollars to start and takes just minutes per day. The type of journaling I’m referring to is not simply writing down what you did during the day.
Instead, try using some of the following techniques:
- Write out your fears, worries, resentments, and insecurities.
- Set goals and action steps to achieve them.
- List things you’re grateful for.
- Do free-association – write whatever comes to your mind without thinking about it.
Note: If you’re not used to journaling, it might seem pointless at first. Stick with it! This is a powerful form of self-therapy, and you will get better at it with regular practice.
Step 10: Listen to Music
Listening to music can do wonders for opiate PAWS symptoms.
Research suggests that music can:
- Reduce the perceived intensity of pain.
- Improve sleep quality – A study on college students showed that listening to classical music helped with insomnia.
- Reduce stress – Research found it does this by triggering biochemical stress reducers.
- Relieve depression and elevate mood – A study done in 2013 indicated that music helped put people in a more positive mood and got them more in touch with their feelings.
Talking to a trained professional about your opiate PAWS can help considerably. I’ve found that most opiate abusers use narcotics to cover up emotional pain, stress and past trauma (though this is not always the case). Once you’ve addressed the physical aspect of your opiate PAWS recovery (supplements, diet, exercise, sleep), you could greatly benefit from seeing someone (counselor, therapist, or recovery coach) with a specialty in opiate PAWS.
Note: I’m a Certified Strategic Intervention Coach that specializes in opiate addiction, opiate withdrawal, opiate PAWS, and opiate recovery.
Step 12: Focus on Growing
I’m a strong advocate for personal growth. Opiate PAWS can go away quickly if you focus on growing to become your best self. Personal development refers to enhancing your talents and potential to create a better quality of life and realize your dreams.
It includes, but is not limited to the following:
- Developing strengths
- Learning new skills and improving existing ones
- Improving wealth
- Spiritual development
- Building and strengthening identity and self-esteem
- Improving self-knowledge and self-awareness
- Improving physical, mental and emotional health
- Becoming a self-leader
Step 13: Read Self-Help Books
Reading books can help to feed your mind and expand your model of the world. One of my sayings is “personal growth is the antidote to addiction”. How do you recover from addiction? Simply outgrow it. Self-help books contain strategies for overcoming obstacles. They are rich with information and tools for transforming your life. Do yourself a favor and read books to help you recover from Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome from opiates.
Step 14: Contribute
The quickest way to get out of your own head and problems is to focus on someone else. Opiate PAWS symptoms like depression and anxiety dissipate while you’re contributing to the well being of a person, a group of people, your community or the environment. I urge you to harness the power of contribution as part of your bio/psycho/social opiate PAWS treatment plan. Contribution can give you marvelous feelings of happiness, fulfillment, and purpose, and these feelings destroy many of the psychological opiate PAWS symptoms.
Step 15: Go Barefoot in Nature
Opiate PAWS symptoms can be healed in nature. Many studies have concluded that being in contact with nature can lead to positive emotions such as happiness and tranquility. Too often we forget about the importance of nourishing our bodies and minds in the cleansing atmosphere that nature provides for us. Spending time in parks, forests, deserts, mountains, and beaches can have immediate effects on easing symptoms of Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome from opiates.
While spending time in nature is beneficial, touching your bare feet to the Earth has been shown to significantly improve many functions in the body.
In the article The Ultimate Antioxidant: Fight Premature Aging for Free, Dr. Joseph Mercola states the following:
Do you notice you feel better when you walk barefoot on the Earth? Recent research has explained why this happens. Your immune system functions optimally when your body has an adequate supply of electrons, which are easily and naturally obtained by barefoot contact with the Earth. Research indicates that electrons from the Earth have antioxidant effects that can protect your body from inflammation and it’s many well-documented health consequences.
For most of our evolutionary history, humans have had continuous contact with the Earth. It is only recently that substances such as asphalt, wood, rugs and plastics have separated us from this contact. It is known that the Earth maintains a negative electrical potential on it’s surface. When you are in direct contact with the ground (walking, laying, or sitting down on the Earth’s surface) the earth’s electrons are conducted to your body, bringing it to the same electrical potential as the Earth. Living in direct contact with the Earth grounds your body, inducing favorable physiological and electrophysiological changes that promote optimum health.”
Step 16: Spend Time Connecting with Friends and Family
The process of recovering from opiate PAWS can be sped up if you nurture healthy relationships with friends and family members. It’s very common for individuals with opiate PAWS to isolate. But worse still, some continue to hang out with the same old friends who still use drugs and make other poor decisions in life. To make a healthy recovery from Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome from opiates, focus on eliminating unhealthy and toxic relationships. Instead, devote your energy towards spending time only with people that are a good influence on you.
Step 17: Engage in Fun Recreational Activities
A holistic recovery from opiate PAWS involves spending time doing things that bring you joy. It can be easy to get caught up living in reaction to life. Responsibilities and demands can take up most of your time if you’re not careful. Make sure you schedule fun recreational activities into your opiate PAWS recovery plan.
Some examples include:
- Going to the movies
- Playing board games
- Playing a musical instrument or singing
- Drawing, painting or other types of art
- Hanging out at the beach
- Going out to dinner with friends
- Playing video games
If you even follow half of the above-mentioned steps, you should be well on your way to a healthy recovery from Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome from opiates. I know it’s a lot to take in and implement into your life, so take things one step at a time. Recovering from opiate PAWS is a process.
You didn’t become addicted to opiates overnight, so recovery will take some time. Be patient, measure your progress, and celebrate victories along the way. Good luck…and I would love to hear any questions or comments that you might have regarding Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome from opiates.