What is Addiction?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite adverse consequences.  It is considered a brain disorder because it causes fundamental changes to the brain circuits involved in reward, stress, and self-control. 

But while there are millions of people in the United States who are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, many people still don’t know a lot about addiction in general.  Below, we tackle the most common questions people have pertaining to addiction.

Is Addiction a Disease?

While some people view addiction as a choice that an individual makes or as a behavior that can be stopped willingly at any time, addiction is considered a disease – a chronic, progressive one that rewires the brain’s response to drugs and alcohol.  It is a lot like other diseases, such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes, in that it disrupts the normal, healthy functioning of an organ in the body and has serious harmful effects.  And just like other diseases, addiction is treatable, yet requires ongoing care in order to prevent relapse from occurring.  If left untreated over time, addiction becomes more severe, disabling and life threatening.

Is Addiction Genetic?

Studies have shown that a person’s family history can predict a person’s likelihood of developing an addiction.  In fact, the NIDA estimates that 40 to 60 percent of an individual’s susceptibility to addiction can be linked back to his or her genetic makeup.  Compared with those who have no family history of addiction, a person whose relatives struggled with addiction is generally more likely to develop an addiction, as well. 

But genes aren’t the only factor that play a role in developing an addiction.  An individual’s environment can be responsible, as well.  External factors, such as support from family, where an individual was raised and the group of friends that person chooses to hang around with, can all affect his or her likelihood of developing an addiction. 

Is Addiction a Mental Illness?

Yes, according to the NIDA.  Addiction changes the brain in fundamental ways, changing a person’s normal desires and priorities.  Seeking out and using drugs becomes that person’s number one priority, much to the detriment of that person and his or her family and friends.  This results in compulsive behaviors that weaken the ability to control impulses, which is similar to hallmarks of other mental illnesses. 

What Causes Addiction?

Contrary to what some may believe, addiction does not occur because of moral weakness, a lack of willpower or an unwillingness to stop using.  It occurs because the regular use of drugs and/or alcohol causes physical changes in the way the brain understands pleasure and rewards. 

Most addictive substances cause the brain to release high levels of certain chemicals (i.e. dopamine) that are associated with pleasure or reward.  This causes extreme feelings of euphoria that highly motivates individuals to want to take the drug again.  Over time, continued release of these chemicals causes fundamental changes in the brain systems involved in reward, motivation and memory, which drives a person’s uncontrollable and compulsive drug use.   

Once this happens, individuals will experience intense desires or cravings for the addictive substance and will continue to use, despite the harmful or dangerous consequences. 

How Do You Break an Addiction?

Although there is no “cure” for addiction, there are various medications, support groups and therapies that can help people recover.  In recent years, medical assistance – in terms of helping people deal with withdrawal symptoms and the psychological effects of addiction – has become more accessible to millions of Americans. 

However, a good number of addicted individuals are dealing with co-occurring disorders, meaning that that person is battling another mental illness in addition to a substance use disorder.  When this is the case, drug counseling and therapy are essential.  In order to combat addiction, the root causes must be addressed; treating only its symptoms won’t be enough.    

In addition, actions on the part of the user also play a big role in breaking the addiction.  Those in recovery are urged to cut off contact with all people, places and things related to past drug use.  These can keep a person trapped in addiction, forcing him or her to relive the old days when they were actively using.  Other tactics, such as identifying addictive thinking patterns before acting upon them, as well as implementing self-care, also help in battling this insidious disease.

Though breaking the routine of drinking and drug abuse can be a challenge, it IS possible.  Long-term recovery requires hard work and commitment to change for one’s journey into a clean and sober life to be a successful one. 

If you are ready to take the next step and learn how to recover alongside others click here to connect with one of our team members. Arise Recovery Centers is an Intensive Outpatient Program that is conveniently located in Dallas, Fort Worth, McKinney and Southlake. We offer individual, family, and group therapy to help those suffering from addiction recover and grow.

How Much Does Rehab Cost?

The cost of treatment is an important consideration for a person struggling with addiction and, often times, it can be a deterrent to seeking help. But the good news is, rehab doesn’t have to be financially out of reach, and there are several alternatives one can turn to in order to get the help he or she needs.

Insurance Plans

Thankfully, insurance companies have begun to recognize that addiction is a treatable condition, and their insurance plans are now required to cover behavioral and mental health conditions – including addiction – to the same extent that they do medical conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. As such, public and private health insurance plans frequently cover a portion of the expense of outpatient or inpatient treatment for nearly every type of addiction. 

To determine how treatment would be covered under your insurance policy, contact your health insurance provider. 


For adults over 65 and those with disabilities, Medicare coverage can be used to cover alcoholism and substance abuse treatment in both inpatient and outpatient settings. It is available for a monthly premium and based on the recipient’s income. Though it can be confusing to navigate, Medicare consists of four parts (A, B, C and D) that cover different areas of addiction recovery programs. 

More specifically, Part A of Medicare provides support to pay for inpatient treatment at hospitals and care at certain facilities that are able to accept Medicare, such as at nursing homes and hospice. Part B helps with payment for outpatient treatment services through hospital and clinic outpatient centers. This part also covers Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) services, which is a screening and intervention process that can help identify individuals who are at risk for but have not yet been given a substance abuse diagnosis. Part C is offered by private companies approved by Medicare. These plans cover all Medicare services, including substance abuse treatment, yet offer extra benefits, like vision, hearing and dental coverage. Finally, Medicare Part D covers prescriptions and can be used to help pay for medication prescribed to treat alcohol and drug addiction. 

Every state has different rules for eligibility and treatment coverage, so visit www.medicare.gov for more information.


Medicaid is a public insurance program for low-income families that covers substance abuse treatment in facilities that accept Medicaid as a form of payment. To be eligible, applicants must be one of the following:

  • Over 65 years old
  • Under 19 years old
  • Pregnant
  • A parent
  • Within a specified income bracket

However, even if someone meets these requirements, it doesn’t mean they are automatically eligible for Medicaid. Check the state you live in to learn its rules for Medicaid eligibility. For more information, visit www.medicaid.gov.

Employee Assistance Programs

Some employers offer employee assistance programs (EAP), a confidential workplace service that helps employees who are experiencing personal or family challenges. This program can pay for services related to mental health and drug/alcohol abuse. To determine whether your company offers this program, check your employer’s benefit policies or your human resources department.

Payment Assistance

If you have limited personal funds or aren’t covered by an insurance plan, there may be programs available to you that can cover some of the rehab costs. “Treatment Locators” are available online that can help you find addiction centers that offer income-based fees (reduced pricing based on your income level) or payment plans (allowing you to pay off treatment in monthly installments).

Though treatment can be expensive, it’s important to remember that there are multiple avenues of financial assistance available to help with your addiction. At Arise Recovery Centers, we take into account your budget and provide you with effective treatment that matches your needs and produces long-lasting results. For more information, please visit www.ariserecoverycenters.com.

Substance Abuse Group Therapy Topics

Group therapy is a great option for those struggling with addiction, as it can be beneficial in so many ways.  Being in a group setting allows individuals to develop insight into their own core issues and gain greater self-awareness by listening to others who have similar problems.  It can also enable individuals to improve their communication skills, bond with group members through their shared experiences and receive honest feedback and outside perspective from others in the group. 

Group sessions are typically led by therapists who seek to prompt discussion, encourage participation and guide conversation.  Acting as a group leader, these therapists are also able to pick up on a person’s individual issues that reoccur in group therapy and in daily life. 

Topics of conversation during these group therapy sessions can vary, but there are many great discussion points to choose from.  The following are a few substance abuse-related issues that are commonly addressed in group therapy:

  • Identify and discuss triggers for substance use.  How have you responded to them in the past? Can you identify any patterns? What kinds of coping strategies can you use to overcome your triggers? 
  • Discuss gratitude.  What are you grateful for and why?
  • Discuss the impact of stinking thinking.  How do certain negative thoughts influence our actions and behavior?
  • Discuss what you can do when you’re faced with temptation.  What can you do to prevent cravings in the first place?
  • Discuss the importance of self-care.  What are you doing to take care of yourself? (Discuss sleep, exercise and nutrition habits).  What are some of your goals to help put you first?
  • Discuss the importance of “letting go” in the context of forgiveness and overcoming resentments.  Is there anyone in your life that you would like to forgive?  How has holding on to grudges and resentments affected your life?
  • Discuss stress management.  What makes you stressed? What actions can you take to control your stress and what happens when you don’t control your stress?
  • Brainstorm ways to reduce isolation.  Discuss isolation risks and benefits, and how to identify how much alone time is too much.
  • What advice would you give to your childhood self? If you could do everything all over again, what, if anything, would you do differently?
  • Discuss 12-Step programs and identify pros and cons for each.  Will you continue to attend 12-Step meetings after treatment completion? Why or why not?
  • Discuss mindfulness and living in the present moment.  What things must you accept that you cannot change? What are the benefits of living in the present moment?
  • Brainstorm affirmations in the group, then write a list of self-affirmations.  What makes you uniquely you? Why is comparing yourself to others harmful?
  • Where do you stand in terms of your own journey of recovery?  Discuss aspects of recovery that you feel you have accomplished and aspects of recovery you would like to accomplish in the future. 
  • What anger management techniques have been beneficial to you? Share personal experiences regarding anger and what you did to both appropriately and inappropriately manage it. 
  • What are your bad habits? Discuss ways to replace the bad habits with healthier ones. 

Ultimately, through shared experiences and feelings, group therapy has been proven to boost self-confidence and reduce stress, overall improving an individual’s chance at long-term sobriety.  At Arise Recovery Centers, our group therapy sessions bring individuals together from all over the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex who are struggling with the same issues.  Blended with personal therapy and at-home assignments, our sessions propel our clients in a positive direction toward healing.  For more information about Arise Recovery Centers Drug Addiction Group Therapy or Alcohol Addiction Group Therapy Programs, call us at 1-888-DFW-ARISE (1-888-339-2747) or contact us by email at info@AriseRecoveryCenters.com

When is Outpatient Drug Treatment the Best Option?

Outpatient drug therapy is a form of treatment where a person attends treatment sessions at a facility or center, but then returns back to their home afterward.  It typically requires one to spend about 10 to 12 hours a week, which allows that individual to continue working, remain close to family and friends, and otherwise, maintain their normal daily routine. 

Inpatient recovery, or residential treatment, is another popular type of program – one that is designed to deliver intense and specialized treatment for short periods of time.  Individuals are required to live 24 hours a day within a residential facility and can only leave that facility in special situations or circumstances.  Outpatient treatment, on the other hand, allows those individuals to come and go as they please – offering far more freedom and flexibility.    

While inpatient and outpatient treatment programs offer many of the same types of therapy, outpatient therapy is often the preferred choice for those who need to maintain their daily work activities and community and family obligations.  As with inpatient treatment, most outpatient facilities offer psychotherapy in individual and group sessions, an orientation to 12-step programs, relapse prevention classes, various support groups and family counseling.  Addiction education, life skills and coping techniques are also a focus. 

Overall, outpatient treatment can be a good stand-alone option for someone with a mild addiction, or it can be part of a long-term treatment program.  Nevertheless, this type of program can address an individual’s many needs and result in a much lesser expense than residential treatment. 

However, there are certain situations where this form of treatment may not be preferable.  These include:

When Significant Withdrawal Symptoms Are Present

For some, the early phases of recovery may mean suffering through a number of withdrawal symptoms, like migraines, nausea and vomiting.  For those extreme cases, these symptoms can pose a danger to health.  In these circumstances, an inpatient treatment program would be the preferred option since the individual can be monitored around the clock and given immediate attention, if necessary.  Once their systems have stabilized and the symptoms have passed, these individuals are typically released into an outpatient program.

When Individuals Live in an Environment Not Conducive to Recovery

This type of environment could include an abusive relationship, when others in the home are actively using, or when significant triggers exist.  Basically, any place that will interfere with an individual’s success during recovery should be avoided.  Because a person is extremely vulnerable in the early stages of recovery, it is often recommended to begin treatment in a residential program until the person can demonstrate that they are stable enough on their own to deal with issues outside the treatment program. 

When Individuals Have Severe Mental Health Disorders

Those who are struggling with a severe mental health disorder, such as depression, should initially be placed in a residential facility.  This is because inpatient programs are better equipped to serve these individuals and can offer the necessary professional resources to help stabilize their situations. 

Ultimately, however, outpatient programs are a great treatment option (other than in the situations mentioned above) as they teach recovering individuals how to stay sober in a real-life setting and equip them with tools to help sustain recovery.    

At Arise Recovery Centers, our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) allows clients to receive the treatment they need locally in a comfortable confidential setting.  We pride ourselves in providing a unique and truly personalized IOP experience – one that involves various evidence-based treatment methods, facilitated group sessions and weekly therapist one-on-ones.  For more information on our Intensive Outpatient Therapy, please call us at 1-888-DFW-ARISE (1-888-339-2747) or contact us by email at info@AriseRecoveryCenters.com

How Do You Make Sobriety Easier?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 40 to 60 percent of people relapse after getting treatment. This is a daunting statistic, but, really, should come as no surprise. After all, there are many reasons for why people revert back to their addiction after seeking help. For some, it may be due to their ambivalence to get sober – as in, they were never truly committed to put down the drug or drink in the first place. But for others, it may be because they didn’t adequately prepare for the difficult transition from rehab to home life. Moving from a protected, structured environment to one where all temptations are suddenly within reach can be a huge challenge for anybody. Hence, having appropriate aftercare lined up after completing a treatment program is essential. 

Aftercare is a necessary part of treatment that helps bridge the gap between rehab and real life. It guides and supports a recovering addict as much as needed to help prevent relapse and can include teaching him or her new life skills, how to make positive lifestyle changes and encouraging him or her to strive for goals not related to addiction, like relationships, work or education. Aftercare programs can also encourage those in recovery to adopt a new vision and outlook on life – a crucial step so that they can enjoy sober living.  

But, besides aftercare planning, there are other ways to make the journey into sobriety an easier one, too, such as:

Knowing Your Triggers. A trigger is any form of stimuli that can prompt cravings to use drugs or alcohol, and it is typically associated with a memory or situation that relates in some way to past use. Thus, getting – and staying – sober often requires cutting off contact with all people, places and things related to your past drinking or drugging. Knowing your triggers ahead of time can prevent you from becoming trapped in negative thought patterns and keep you focused on being successful in your recovery. 

Surrounding Yourself with Like-Minded People. Who you hang around with can determine whether your sobriety will be successful or not. Hence, spending time with those who don’t use is essential. Twelve-step meetings and group therapy are some of the best places to forge these positive relationships and connections. Being around those who have been in your shoes also brings about great compassion, understanding and healing, too. 

Keeping Busy. Too much idle time can cause a person to get stuck in their own head, leading to feelings of self-doubt, self-pity and even glorification of his or her drug-using past. To combat this, keep your calendar booked with new activities and friends. This way, there will be less temptation to fall back into negative situations and thinking patterns.

Implementing Self-Care. When in recovery, it’s important to eat a balanced diet and get enough sleep. Being well-rested and providing enough nourishment to the body can go a long way in battling relapse and staying physically and mentally strong.

Taking it One Day at a Time. There is no cure for addiction – just a responsibility to yourself to remain sober with each new day. This mindset lessens the pressure associated with the commitment to stay sober forever and allows the person to focus on the present day. Thus, a “taking it one day at a time” approach makes sobriety an easier pill to swallow and allows recovering addicts to feel comfortable with their recovery goals.

Are you looking to make your sobriety easier? If so, seeking outside support can help. Arise Recovery Center provides aftercare planning for those seeking to maintain and build upon the progress already made in the first phases of treatment. For more information on our individualized aftercare programs, please visit our Aftercare Planning page on our website, call us at 1-888-DFW-ARISE (1-888-339-2747) or contact us by email at info@AriseRecoveryCenters.com

Early Signs of Alcoholism

Every evening you get home from work, you pour yourself a glass of wine. It has become a daily ritual, one that you spend the whole day looking forward to. But as you swallow that first sip, you suddenly realize that you’ve drank every day for as long as you can remember. A little voice in your head might be wondering: am I an alcoholic?

Determining if you have alcohol use disorder (alcoholism) can be tricky to self-diagnose; after all, no two individuals who experience alcohol abuse are the same. However, there are definite warning signs to pay attention to, and thankfully, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder-5 (DSM-5), a publication of the American Psychiatric Association, has provided us with a little guidance. The DSM-5 provides clinicians with a set of 11 factors that can guide them in the diagnosis of an alcohol use disorder and its severity grade. 

11 Questions To Help Identify Alcoholism:

1.     Have you had times when you ended up drinking more, or longer, than you intended?

2.     More than once have you wanted to cut down or stop drinking, but couldn’t?

3.     Have you spent a lot of time drinking or getting over drinking’s after-effects?

4.     Have you wanted a drink so badly you couldn’t think of anything else?

5.     Have you found that your drinking – or being sick from drinking – often interfered with taking care of your home or family obligations? Or caused problems at school or at work?

6.     Have you continued to drink even though it was causing damage to your relationships with family or friends?

7.     Have you given up on activities that were important to you/gave you enjoyment so that you could drink?

8.     More than once, have you gotten yourself into situations that increased your chances of getting hurt?

9.     Have you continued to drink even though it was making you feel anxious or depressed? Or after having a memory blackout?

10.  Have you had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you wanted?

11.  Have you experienced withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating or shakiness, after you stopped drinking?

According to this DSM-5 tool, if a person can say “yes” to at least two of the above symptoms in the past year, then that person is considered to have alcoholism. More specifically, the existence of two or three of these symptoms equals a diagnosis of mild alcohol use disorder, while four to five symptoms is considered moderate, and six or more is considered severe.

But even if you don’t exhibit any of the above symptoms, experts say there are still other situations that you should pay attention to. First, take heed if you have a family history of alcoholism. Genetics account for about half the risk of developing addiction. Those with a family history of addiction, meaning one or more blood relatives has had a drug or alcohol problem, are at a significantly higher risk of suffering from addiction and other mental health disorders. Children of alcoholics, for example, are four times more likely than other children to become alcoholics, themselves. Secondly, if you’re using alcohol as a mechanism to cope with a life event, such as losing a job or grieving the loss of a loved one, this is a sign that you may have a drinking problem and need to make some changes to your lifestyle.

If you’re concerned about your level of drinking, Arise Recovery Centers can help. We offer a variety of outpatient alcohol treatment services that deliver personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient’s needs. For more information on these treatment services, please visit our Alcohol Rehab & Treatment page on our website, call us at 1-888-DFW-ARISE (1-888-339-2747) or contact us by email at info@AriseRecoveryCenters.com

The Power of Acceptance

When I got out of prison after serving time for a DUI Serious Bodily Injury conviction, day-to- day life was overwhelming, to say the least. For four years, I’d never had to make a decision for myself, and I found I’d forgotten how to cope with life’s unpredictability due to being away from society for so long. But, even though I was already struggling to adjust, things managed to get worse: my long-time boyfriend broke up with me, the kitten I’d just adopted from a local shelter died from a rare virus and I couldn’t get hired anywhere due to my “felon” label. Life as a free woman was nothing like I expected it to be, and all I wanted to do was give up and check myself back into the gated community.

But a big part of me knew I’d come too far to simply run away when times got tough. After all, that’s what the old me would have done, and I’d been through too much to revert back to the person I once was. Instead, I started practicing the way of thinking I’d adopted in prison: acceptance of the things I could not change. True, life wasn’t fair, but by putting my trust in a power greater than myself and realizing that my life was unfolding the way it was supposed to, I began feeling more at peace and a lot less hopeless.

Living life on life’s terms can be easier said than done, especially when it feels like nothing is going right. But, it’s crucial for the success of your sobriety. Struggling to accept reality and your present circumstances can keep you stuck in an addiction, as you can quickly become reliant on drugs, alcohol or other unhealthy behaviors when things don’t turn out the way you want them to.

Therefore, it’s important to learn to accept whatever life throws at you, whether it be good or bad.
Acceptance gives us much-needed perspective and reminds us that many things are out of our control. After all, life is never going to be perfect – not even in sobriety. Even when situations don’t play out the way we want them to, true peace of mind can be found in believing that we are exactly where we’re supposed to be and the universe is unfolding exactly the way it should.

To better learn how to live life on life’s terms, Arise Recovery Center can help. We provide intensive outpatient treatment for those ready to take on their drug and alcohol addictions. Now, with our Fort Worth drug treatment facility open to the public, we’re able to cater to an underserved market and help even more clients develop new life skills that result in long-term recovery. For more information on our Dallas, Fort Worth, McKinney and Southlake outpatient facilities, contact us at 1-888- DFW-ARISE (1-888- 339-2747) or by email at info@AriseRecoveryCenters.com.

Having Fun in Sobriety

You did it – you took that first step by becoming sober.  But now that drugs and alcohol are out of the picture, you’re probably wondering if it’s possible to ever have fun again without using.  This is a common concern for those in early sobriety, but one that is entirely possible to overcome.

So, if you’re looking to have fun while in recovery, put a couple of these tips to the test and see what they do for you:

Get Active

During physical activity, our bodies release chemicals called endorphins.  These endorphins interact with the receptors in the brain and trigger a positive feeling in the body, known as a “runner’s high.”   This runner’s high can have a profound effect on mental health and can relieve stress and improve memory, as well. Yoga, jogging, hiking – all of these activities can put you in a better frame of mind and help make recovery more enjoyable.

Get Involved

When you attend 12-step meetings or complete a treatment program, you will open yourself to new opportunities to participate in sober activities.  Here, you will meet new people to connect with, as well as learn more about yourself and recovery. Having new, sober friends leads to fun and is a great way to steer clear from temptation.

Try Something New

Now that you’re sober, being open to different experiences helps you find yourself and enjoy life again. Trying something new can also spark creativity and become an outlet for frustration and stress.  So go ahead: try paddle-boarding, take a cooking class or learn how to play an instrument. Now that you’re free from the constraints of drugs and alcohol, the possibilities are endless!


Nothing is going to be fun if you don’t get enough shut eye.  When you sleep, your brain recharges, ensuring that you wake up alert and clear-headed.  Without enough, your energy, attention and memory are all reduced and stress hormones go through the roof.  Thus, people who are having fun in sobriety make sleep a priority, not only because it makes them feel great, but they know how negatively affected they are when they’re sleep deprived.

Give Back

One of the most endearing parts of being in recovery is the happiness you will find in helping others.  It takes the focus off you, which gives you a different perspective on life and helps you appreciate what you do have, rather than what you don’t.  In addition, it’s rewarding to help those in need, and this sense of accomplishment can go far in preventing relapse in the future.

Arise Recovery Center’s outpatient programs not only provide intensive treatment, aftercare and therapy, but they also teach our clients how to have fun in sobriety.  Now, with our Fort Worth drug treatment facility open to the public, we’re able to cater to an underserved market and help even more clients develop new life skills that result in happiness and long-term recovery.  For more information on our new outpatient program in Fort Worth, please contact us at 1-888-DFW-ARISE (1-888-339-2747) or by email at info@AriseRecoveryCenters.com.

The Lesser Known Stage of Withdrawal: PAWS

If you’re thinking about getting sober, chances are you’ve heard about the dreaded withdrawal symptoms that occur not long after quitting drugs and alcohol.  But did you know there’s a second stage of withdrawal that’s not as well-known?  Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, or PAWS, is a series of ongoing withdrawal symptoms – largely psychological and mood-related – that occur after the initial acute withdrawal symptoms have gone away.

These symptoms are individual to the drug that was used, but typically include:

  • severe mood swings;
  • anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure from anything beyond use of the drug);
  • insomnia;
  • extreme drug craving and obsession;
  • hostility or aggression;
  • anxiety and panic attacks;
  • depression;
  • and general cognitive impairment

The onset of PAWS usually occurs around four to eight weeks after getting sober, with each withdrawal episode usually lasting for a few days.

So, why does this even have to happen?  Isn’t the first stage of withdrawal symptoms enough? The damage done to a person’s brain pathways after years of drug abuse doesn’t go away overnight, and it takes time for the brain to recover.  The healing process varies from individual to individual, but some have reported post-acute withdrawal symptoms to last as long as two years.  However, don’t get discouraged – it’s important to remember that these episodes come and go and can lift as quickly as they started.

So, what can you do to help stay strong when experiencing PAWS?

First, be patient and take it easy on yourself.  Though these symptoms can be frustrating, all you can do is take your recovery one day at a time and focus on the positive changes you’re making by being sober.  Experiencing these uncomfortable side effects is actually a sign you’re moving in the right direction.

Next, practice good self-care.  How you will treat yourself in recovery will be the opposite of how you treated yourself in addiction.  Getting enough sleep, exercising and eating right will help give you strength during these post-acute withdrawal episodes and help you heal more quickly afterward.

Finally, be prepared.  If you’re caught off-guard, PAWS and the symptoms associated with it can trigger you to relapse.  But educating yourself about this syndrome and the lingering effects of substance abuse can go a long way towards maintaining your sobriety.

At Arise Recovery Centers, we have many resources available to those struggling with PAWS. With four Texas locations open to the public – Fort Worth, Dallas, McKinney and Southlake – we provide intensive outpatient and aftercare treatment to individuals battling addiction.  For more information on our individually tailored drug and alcohol treatment programs, contact us at 1-888-DFW-ARISE (1-888-339-2747) or by email at info@AriseRecoveryCenters.com.