From infamous beer commercials, tailgating parties, and drinking games to a massive rise in alcohol sales, overcrowded bars, and an increase in drunk driving, the weekend of the big game is not only about football and chicken wings, but it is one of the biggest drinking weekends among all Americans. Individuals who choose to drink during the big game plan on spending an average of $44 on alcohol. This famous sports holiday is a chance for friends and family to bond, and for strangers to become new friends. However, it can also potentially bring a lot of problems for those individuals who choose to overindulge in alcohol and those who are in alcohol recovery. Any big drinking holiday always results in some negative consequences such as physical and verbal altercations, driving under the influence, and alcohol poisoning. The weekend of the big game is no different. Alcohol consumption among the general public is at it’s highest during the weekend and for those individuals who are currently in recovery, this weekend can potentially lead to unwanted triggers and relapses. It is essential to take the proper steps to ensure your sobriety is not threatened.

Plan ahead

If you plan to attend a weekend of the big game party, find out from the host if there will be alcohol served. If so, you need to ask yourself if you are comfortable enough to be around alcohol in this setting. If you have not been around alcohol in your sobriety yet, then a party is most likely not the best time to test this out. If you are comfortable around liquor, then you should have an escape plan in case you feel the need to drink. Are you able to sit in a quiet room alone? Can you drive away from the party? Will there be a friend there who you can speak to when you have these feelings?

Attend a sober big game party

If you are in a recovery support group, then you most likely are connected with other individuals who are also in recovery. Reach out to your sober community and inquire if there are any dry weekend of the big game gatherings available. If not, invite a friend over to watch or host a party at your home. “Sober Bowl” is a large community event in many major cities that host a party for individuals who are in recovery or who choose not to drink. A large community of like-minded individuals gathers around to socialize, enjoy the game and eat great food and usually a ticket purchase is required to cover the cost of the venue and food.

Plan a safe alternative

Going to the event with friends or family is always enjoyable. But if alcohol consumption proves to be too much of a challenge for you, then you might want to consider other options.
The big game is not a necessary spectacle. There are plenty of people who do not watch the game or attend parties. Plan something else that you enjoy such as a hike, a day trip, or an afternoon spent relaxing at the movies or reading a book. There is no need to feel as though you have to watch the game or attend a party as this can be a regular Sunday for you or you can make it special by planning something that you enjoy.

Avoid the bar scene

No matter where you stand in your sobriety, bars during the weekend of the big game are jam-packed with people who are intoxicated. This scene is too tempting and can be very dangerous and therefore, should be avoided at all costs.