NFL Season Kickoff: Staying Sober on Game Days

By September 14, 2018Food for thought
nfl season kickoff

Games days are exciting. It’s the time to put on your team shirts, bring out the snacks, and celebrate with family and friends. However, staying sober during this season can be a challenge. What are some ways to stay alcohol and drug-free during the NFL season? Read further to learn more.

Nothing is crazier than the highly-anticipated NFL kickoff. This is the time where people put on their best “game face” to support their beloved teams. This can also be a time where people can spiral out of control when it comes to drinking alcoholic beverages or doing drugs.

Why is it hard to stay sober during NFL season?

Whether you hang out with friends and family who are carefree drinkers during this time, or you just feel like unwinding, here are some of the common reasons why it’s hard to stay sober:

It’s a time for celebration

The Epicurean motto “drink and be merry” seemingly applies during the NFL season. This is true for many fans who have witnessed their teams win each and every game. Many passionate people will party hard once they find out that their teams are slowly paving their way to the Super Bowl.

To accompany feelings of joy and lessen inhibitions, people may be prone to drinking alcohol or taking drugs. Some would even be invited to tailgate parties where people enjoy drinks and barbecue while watching a game. Tailgate parties can be a challenge for people in recovery because this social event encourages drinking and celebrating together especially if you are supporting the same football teams.

It can also be a time to grieve

The term “grieve” can sometimes be appropriate to die-hard fans of NFL teams. This is because of the American culture tied around football–they will support unceasingly, but grieve endlessly when their teams lose. If people can paint their faces, wear crazy costumes, or parade wildly at the stadium to show their support, the more they will likely be prone to taking drugs or drinking alcohol to cope when their teams lose.

It’s a time for social pressures

Aside from Christmas and Thanksgiving, NFL season is another time that people bond together. Those who support the same teams may end up watching in a friend’s house. Even if you may want to avoid alcohol or drugs, you may be pressured to take some to get along with others or for “old time’s sake”. The next thing you know, you might be downing more than just a single bottle or having more than a single drug hit.

It’s a time to calm down the nerves

Some passionate fans feel nervous during a critical situation in a game. They are likely to use depressants or alcohol to calm themselves down. When fans are emotionally attached to their favorite teams, using substances to control what they feel are bound to happen.

As you become aware of these risks, what are some helpful tips for you to stay sober during the NFL season?

Strategies to stay sober on game days

Have a “sober buddy” with you.

A sober buddy is someone whom you can be accountable with when it comes to drinking and taking drugs. At the same time, you can also provide mutual support by reminding them not to give in to social and environmental pressures during an event. Have an agreement beforehand especially when you visit friends’ homes or if you will be attending a game.

Avoid hanging out pre and post-game.

Usually, tailgate parties happen in parking lots of stadiums when people are still waiting for the game to start of they’re just resting before packing to leave. To avoid being tempted to join tailgate parties, try to go to the game as on-the-dot as you can as possible and leave the vicinity right away. You can still talk with fellow fans, but mention that you have prior commitments to attend to–that is, you commitment to stay sober!

Bring your own drinks.

When attending parties with friends, you may be pressured to drink once you discover that there’s no non-alcoholic option. To prevent this sticky situation, you can try bringing your own drinks. Some great options would be sparkling cider, sparkling grape juice, a box of ginger ale cans, or even cola beverages. Not only can you save yourself, but you may also end up saving someone who is trying to stay sober during this season.

Think of healthy ways to manage your emotions.

Whether you feel overjoyed or depressed on the outcomes of each game, prepare yourself by planning ways to deal with your post-game emotions. Some people like to take long drives to calm down, and others would take a walk outdoors. Introverts like to write down their feelings, and some extroverts would have lunch with their friends. Whatever way it is, find a better alternative than downing alcohol or taking drugs.

Winning in football, winning in life

Let the NFL season be a time where you not only celebrate your favorite team, but also celebrate your success in sobriety. Remember to avoid the situations that can expose you to drug or alcohol use, and keep in mind the strategies that can help you overcome the threats to staying sober.