It’s no surprise that the big game on Sunday is part of a huge money spending season in the United States. It’s also a period of very heavy drinking. In 2018, the average cost of a 30-second advertisement during the championship was $5.05 million. As consumers that year, we spent $80 million on chicken wings, $224 million on tortilla chips, and $348 million on bottled water. Those amounts pale in comparison to the $503 million we spent on spirits, $597 million on wine, and $1.3 billion on beer and cider. These costs come with their own costs.
Super Sunday DUIs
In counties around the country, DUI arrests are higher on the day of the game than on most other holidays besides Fourth of July. Drunk driving accidents kill more than 10,000 people each year in the United States. This is the equivalent of losing 30 lives a day, or 1 life every 50 minutes. Even if you’re arrested without having killed or injured yourself or others, an average DUI costs around $10,000. In 2015, BACtrack–the smartphone breathalyzers that measure blood alcohol content (BAC)– said that in 2014 the average recorded BAC was .091 percent on the day of the big game. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, when blood alcohol concentration is as low as .02%, drivers can experience a decline in visual functions and the ability to perform two tasks at once . By the legal limit of .08% drivers experience reduced concentration, short-term memory loss, lack of speed control, reduced information processing capability and impaired perceptions.
Stay Sober at Football Parties
Clearly, alcohol will be prominent on Sunday. Binge drinking is a distinct possibility. If you are new to sobriety, engaging with old groups of people, places and things might trigger an urge to drink alcohol. Recovery literature suggests that if you are in “spiritually fit condition,” going places where alcohol is served shouldn’t have to interfere with your own sobriety. If your purpose for attending a game day party is to enjoy the game, have some snacks and catch up with friends, then being around alcohol might not be such a temptation. However, if you’re not a fan of the big game or large social gatherings, you should ask yourself a few questions before you go.
1- Why am I going?
If you are afraid that being at the party will make you want to drink and are only going to satisfy others, you might want to reconsider. If your friends are loyal they will understand.
2- Do the people at this party know that I am sober?
Sometimes when we first get sober, we don’t immediately tell our loved ones. If you are going to a party, it is important that at least someone there knows you’ve quit drinking. Otherwise, other attendees might think something is up if you’re not drinking. (Though in reality, most people don’t notice or care.)
3- Can I bring someone with me?
If you have sober friends who aren’t triggered by other people drinking alcohol, it might be worth it to ask if they can come with you. People in recovery, generally, are not a glum lot. A sober friend can provide support
4- If I get too tempted, do I have an exit plan?
If you go to the party, driving yourself or knowing the bus schedule might work in your favor. No one in recovery is perfect, and temptations happen. But if the urge becomes overwhelming, it’s time to go. While Irish Exits are often thought of as drunken behavior, leaving without saying goodbye is well worth maintaining your sobriety.
5- Am I willing to be the designated driver?
Many of your friends might still drink a little too much while watching the game, and that’s okay. But no one wants to allow their friend to be a drunk driver. If you’re comfortable doing so, offer to drive some friends home. If you’re not comfortable telling people you’re recovering from alcohol abuse, saying you’re the D.D. might be a good way to smooth things over.
Finding Drug and Alcohol Detox Near Me
Sometimes drinking at a party can take a wrong turn, and possibly be a wake up call to cut out drinking. If you or a loved one wants to quit drinking or doing drugs but are having trouble doing so, there are treatment programs that can help. Trying to stop an alcohol addiction or substance use disorder alone can be very dangerous. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can include delirium tremens, and although it is rare, can be potentially deadly. That’s why entering a detox center rehab program with proper medical supervision will give you the best chance to recover safely. At TruHealing Centers treatment facilities across the country, we offer the full continuum of addiction recovery care including detox programs, residential treatment, mental health residential treatment, partial hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient programs, outpatient programs, and medically-assisted treatment.