It's a hell of state to observe moment by moment. I mean nothing is really life threatening with PAWS so does a retreat somewhere accommodate this condition?
While every body is different, and every path of recovery unique, I would generally advise against this. I have seen folks attempt retreats while not firmly secure in their sobriety, and the anguish was rather intense. It tends towards failure. Building up some stability and skillfulness with sobriety off the cusion before attempting the marathon of a retreat is the recommended path for success in every case I have personally and professionally seen.
Edit: You know your path of recovery and stability in sobriety probably better than anyone. Trust what you know. Perhaps look into finding a good MBRP instructor who is familiar with incorporating mindfulness and recovery before exploring a retreat? All the best...
Source: Extensive retreat experience and am an active and licensed mental health and substance abuse counselor.
I think a lot of what is attributed to paws can be attributed to weakened intellect, sluggish or scattered mind and other unskillful qualities which are well established in one who does not tend to mind development much. For example when one dispels the hindrance of drowsiness one needs little sleep if any. As for anxiety a lot of it resolves when one has little plans, few projects and is well disciplined for non-regret.
Not saying it doesn't come into play somehow (the paws) but i think one can definitely do some training and see what happens.
As someone who has attended Goenka's meditation retreat as well as a few other Theravada meditation traditions, this is my experience
- Different styles appeal to different people. What works well for one person may be terrible for another
- DO NOT attend any meditation retreat if you have untreated conditions
- Assuming we are talking about Vipassana meditation, it is NOT a method to cure mental illness
Anapana-satti and vipassana are methods (or vehicles) for us to understand ourselves and reality as it is, to let go of our suffering. It is not meant to treat any conditions. Having said that, if you are under the care of a healthcare professional, taking medications or therapy and you have informed the meditation course/retreat organizer, you can participate in meditation retreats.
Ask the ATs at a Vippassna Center. Send an email, someone can tell you more about doing a ten day retreat. I am sure the meditation will help dramatically with addiction and withdrawl. In the long run especially, but also especially the short run. It will help you. Personally, it has helped me a lot. Cigarettes, were very hard, and even the sankharas of feeling them between my fingers, lips, all eventually had/has? to come backout.