Warning Signs of Withdrawal & Protracted Withdrawal

Warning Signs of Withdrawal Protracted Withdrawal2

In the months following alcohol cessation, we may experience something called post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), or protracted withdrawal. This type of withdrawal typically lacks some of the physical ailments of acute withdrawal, but can impact our mood, energy, and mental health. Protracted withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Irritability and hostility

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Mood swings

  • Low energy and fatigue

  • Sleep disruption, including insomnia

  • Limited ability to focus or think clearly

  • Lack of libido

  • Inexplicable chronic pain


If you are experiencing protracted withdrawal symptoms, it is important to lean into your healthy coping mechanisms, self-care tools, and your prevention plan. This is a time to celebrate every win, plug into the communities that support you, and establish positive routines like exercise and healthful eating. You can also consult your doctor if these symptoms are interfering with your daily functioning.

American Addiction Centers. (2020, February). Can Heroin, Benzo or Alcohol Withdrawal Cause Death? https://americanaddictioncenters.org/withdrawal-timelines-treatments/risk-of-death
Crane, M. (2020, April). Post-Acute-Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS): An In-Depth Guide. American Addiction Centers. https://americanaddictioncenters.org/withdrawal-timelines-treatments/post-acute-withdrawal-syndrome
Kaliszewski, M. (2019, October). Delirium Tremens: Symptoms and Treatment. American Addiction Centers. https://americanaddictioncenters.org/alcoholism-treatment/delirium-tremens-symptoms-and-treatment