March Madness and Different Forms of Addiction

March Madness is one of the biggest sporting events of the year, but how does it correlate with binge drinking? (Photo credit via Flickr)

Nickolaus Hayes

Contributing Writer

The NCAA tournament, known as March Madness, is one of the most exciting sporting events of the year. Students and fans see some of the best basketball talents in the nation battle it out for the top prize.

Yet, for every tip-off at every game, it is a sure bet that many fans will showcase how easy it ease to consume alcohol in excess.

Staying clear of excessive alcohol use and binge drinking is not easy. It can be particularly challenging for someone in recovery or anyone choosing sobriety at this time.

Fortunately, there are practical tips to help anyone stay sober or participate responsibly.

Firstly, if someone is battling a drug or alcohol addiction, they must receive help. Generally, addiction becomes worse with time and no treatment.

“Binge drinking or excessive alcohol use is most common among younger adults aged 18 to 34 and most common among men,” said Marcel Gemme of “When anyone in this age group can receive preventative education and awareness campaigns, it drastically reduces the risk.”

Staying clear of the temptation or participating responsibly is challenging but not impossible.

Suppose someone is in recovery from addiction or choosing sobriety during this time. Begin by knowing your relapse triggers, such as places, environments, people, places, groups, or anything that could trigger the urge to drink. Set clear boundaries and limitations for yourself.

Manage any negative emotions with healthy outlets, such as hobbies or physical activity. Bring sober and like-minded people to any games or post-game celebrations; even bring non-alcoholic drinks. Practice saying no when offered alcohol.

Finally, lean on support for help, such as meetings, peers, friends, or family members. Have an exit plan if things become too much to manage.

On the other hand, suppose someone is a casual drinker of legal age. In that cases, stick to one or two alcoholic drinks during the game. Drinks lots of water and have a full meal to avoid drinking on an empty stomach. Avoid drinking games and any environment that promotes excessive alcohol use. Do not drink and drive, even if you do not feel intoxicated.

There are real dangers associated with binge drinking. It is a pattern of consuming alcohol that rapidly increases blood alcohol concentration to or above 0.08%. Among men, this is generally five drinks or more within two hours, and for women, four drinks or more in two hours.

The severe outcomes of binge drinking impact college students, their families, and college campuses. This may include alcohol poisoning, suicide attempts, personal injury, DUIs, violence, sexual assault, assault, unsafe sexual behavior and even death.

These outcomes are avoidable, and prevention efforts help.

While March Madness is one of the most exciting sporting events of the year, participating in the fun and celebrations should not cost anyone their health or future. Be aware and safe, and make good, responsible choices.

About the Author

Nickolaus Hayes is a healthcare professional in the field of substance abuse and addiction recovery. He strives to provide current, up-to-date facts about drug and alcohol abuse to his readers. His primary focus is spreading awareness by educating individuals on the topics surrounding substance abuse.

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