Addiction treatment requires hard work from people who go through it. You’re tested mentally and physically to put an end to the substance abuse that has disrupted your life and maybe the lives of your families. Here’s the thing, though: you are likely going to be recovering from addiction for the rest of your life. Substance use disorders can recur. That’s why it’s so important to be on the lookout for the signs of relapse.  Doing so means taking advantage of every possible resource to aid in relapse prevention. These may include counseling, the support of family, or the support of peers, or working on lifestyle changes. No one said that sober living would be easy. You can help yourself by being attuned to the signs of relapse. 

Maintaining a Life of Sobriety 

Substance abuse rewires the brain in a way that makes drugs or alcohol the most important thing. And while you can treat substance abuse, it’s never totally cured. Like cancer, it can return. Relapse remains an ongoing threat.  That’s why the road to recovery doesn’t end at the treatment center door. The aftercare stage seeks to set you up with support to avoid the signs of relapse.   Relapse prevention through aftercare involves a couple of distinct programs. These include ongoing counseling, as well as spending time in 12-step support groups.  A commitment to sober living lasts a lifetime, and aftercare is a way to stand by that commitment. 

Signs of a Relapse 

Can you recognize when you are on the verge of a relapse? The answer in most cases is yes, but it’s not necessarily easy to spot. Here are some of the potential signals: 
  • Breakdown in the ability to cope with emotions. You may have had them under control with coping skills, but no longer do. 
  • Return to a focus on using. You begin “emotional tug-of-war” about whether you should or should not return to using. 
  • Altering helpful patterns that began in treatment – as in missing counseling sessions or refusing to continue with 12-step programs. 
  • Additional behavioral changes. A person may become isolated again, or argumentative. These personality changes are also part of the signs of a relapse. 
Make no mistake about it: commitments to sober living are likely to falter at one point or another. The important thing is to recognize the signs of a relapse and rely on your support network for help. 

Importance of Peer Support 

Relapse prevention is at the heart of the aftercare stage of treatment. One of the elements of aftercare that has proven so important is participation in peer support groups.  Most people know of addiction peer support through programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. These groups rely on the 12 steps for recovery and reconciliation to guide participants to a life of sobriety. Another program you may know is SMART Recovery groups.  Peer support helps by creating community and allow people to share experiences and solutions. Creating community reduces the isolation of addiction. Peer support can be vital if you are on the verge of a relapse. 

Getting Treatment and Support at 7 Summit Pathways  

When you are in recovery from substance abuse, it’s critical to maintain a focus on relapse prevention. The old ways can come charging back, and you want to be on guard to stop any recurrence of substance abuse. If you experience signs of relapse, 7 Summit Pathways is here to help. We’re a Florida-based rehab facility focusing on treatment for substance abuse, process addictions, co-occurring disorders, and chronic pain management. We will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan that works. We will also provide or connect you with resources that can help with relapse prevention. Commit to turning your life around. Take a virtual tour of our facility. Then call 7 Summit Pathways today to speak with a counselor to learn more and to schedule an appointment.