With people drinking and being merry, society demonstrates that holidays are the best times of the year. However, there are the stresses of buying the correct gifts for loved ones, cooking the perfect meals, and being around groups of people you may not care much for. Expectations from family, friends, and oneself are typically higher than other times in the year. With all of this undue stress, it is easy to forget all of the triggers that holidays provide us: songs, rituals, odors, and other sensory prompts; triggers which can lead to a relapse back into alcohol or drug addiction.

Bargaining Can Lead to a Relapse

Many individuals find themselves bargaining during the holidays. They may even think, “I can have just one drink with my family. It will not lead me to drink again tomorrow.” Another example of this is the thought, “I did not have a problem with alcohol before, only with opiates. Drinking today will not cause me to use opiates again. They aren’t the same.” Unfortunately, even if that substance was not the typical one that the person used, it is easy to fall back into old habits from the partaking in any potentially addictive substance. This can lead to uncontrolled use or drinking.

A vicious cycle can be created when a person realizes his or her slip-up. When you already have built up guilt and shame from your previous substance abuse, it is easy enough to falsely believe that you are a failure. A lapse or relapse may emphasize this untrue perception about yourself. Feelings of being overwhelmed and powerless often are associated with these false thoughts. Without having a personalized healthy coping skill bank to fall back on, long-term goals fall to the wayside and the instant gratification that drugs and alcohol once provided become favored.

Recovery centers and 12 Step programs can help you gain personalized coping skills. Therapists can help you identify what is true and what is not true regarding the thoughts that you have about yourself. Over time, you can learn to challenge the incorrect and inaccurate thoughts. This will allow you to break free from the justification and bargaining your mind automatically encourages.

Where to Turn for Help

During active addiction, it is easy enough to make up an excuse to drink or use. Emotions running high during the holidays do nothing but help encourage these justifications. Contact our trained professionals at The Discovery Place in Burns, Tennessee today at 1-800-725-0922. We are standing by to help guide you in maintaining an alcohol and drug-free lifestyle. Finding ways to challenge your not-so-positive thoughts, automatic thinking, and cognitive distortions, such as, “I am a failure” is essential to coping with life’s stressors. We can help you learn how to be in the present moment, acknowledge cravings when they come along, and cope with these cravings in a healthy manner.

Our alternative treatment center encourages continuing care for substances such as alcohol, cannabis, and opioids. 12 Step meetings, sponsorship, and ongoing events and communication with Discovery Place are highly encouraged. You will create a continuing care plan before leaving our services. This is a wonderful resource to refer to if you are ever in a time of need.


  • Discovery Place was the answer for my son. He did the 90 day and then the step down program and sober living. We give this organization 10 stars. They met my son where he was …emotionally, mentally, physically. They helped him put his life back on track. Discovery Place employees care about their guests. If your son, brother, nephew, grandson or husband needs excellent supportive care THIS is indeed the facility.

    Kim Morton
    Alumni Parent
  • I have remained sober and it is because of DP. DP is the best place there is, hands down. I keep everyone there in my prayers, and I encourage everyone there to take what they are practicing and do it in their lives, after.

    Roy Mantelli
  • Over the past year, I’ve been putting into actin what Discovery Place taught me, and I have experienced a complete perspective change of the world, and the people in it. I get to be a man of service and love today, and for that I am grateful to Discovery Place.

    Matt Kassay
  • Discovery Place means the world to me. They showed me the tools that I’ve tried to use everyday in my life to think less often of myself, and more frequently of others. I am learning to lend a hand when I am able and to have a honest and humble relationship with God and the people around me. Not only am I clean and sober, but also I am happy and fulfilled.

    Tommy Parker
  • Discovery Place and the men who work there made recovery attractive, and more importantly, fun. There is strength in the struggle. I am forever grateful for my time at Discovery Place.

    Creed McClellan
  • When I got to Discovery Place my whole life was in shambles, but I didn’t know it. I spent 6 months in their programs, participating in all three phases, and was met with kindness and love all along the way. It is unbelievable to me, where I am now relative to where I was when I arrived at DP.

    Lance Duke
  • I can never say enough good things about Discovery Place and the people who work there. Before checking in to DP, I was out of options and out of answers. Fortunately, Discovery Place has a solution. Taking suggestions from the staff at DP saved my life, and as a result, I’m now more content and hopeful about life. I’m grateful for Discovery Place showing me how to live a healthy life so that I can become a better man and help the next guy.”

    Tyler Buckingham

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