The following is an opinion piece submitted by a professional in the healthcare field. 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
March Madness is one of the most exciting basketball tournaments in the nation. It showcases incredible talent. Yet, for every tip-off during the tournament, it is a sure bet that students and fans are drinking excessively.
Whether this is tailgate parties, bar or house viewing parties, or post-game celebrations, there is a single-minded idea of consuming alcohol.
There are significant risks, yet there are practical steps to avoid binge drinking, whether someone is in recovery, choosing sobriety, or taking part in the festivities responsibly.
Firstly, If you know someone struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, it is vital to get them help. Addictions worsen with time when no interventions are done.
“Binge drinking is most common among men and younger adults aged 18 to 34,” said Marcel Gemme of Addicted.org. “Unfortunately, we often find that it involves a lack of awareness and preventative information about the risks.”
Binge drinking is a pattern that rapidly increases blood alcohol concentration. Among men, this would be five drinks or more within two hours, and for women, four drinks or more within two hours.
While March Madness positively affects every school involved in the tournament, it exposes students and fans to the influence of excessive alcohol consumption. Fortunately, there are essential steps that anyone can take.
Suppose you are a casual drinker of legal age. Choose to have one or two alcoholic beverages during the game. Drink water with each beverage. Have a full meal to ensure you are not drinking on an empty stomach. Avoid the drinking games or binge drinking atmosphere. Finally, even if you do not feel intoxicated, do not drive.
In contrast, if you are in recovery from addiction or choosing sobriety during this time of year, it is a good idea to have a plan in place. Begin by recognizing and managing relapse triggers and negative emotions healthily.
For example, bars, parties, people, places, environments, or large groups. Whatever the trigger could be, avoid it. Set clear boundaries and limitations for yourself. If you attend March Madness celebrations, bring non-alcoholic beverages to prevent people from offering you alcoholic drinks.
Attend games or parties with other sober like-minded people and rely on this support or ask for help. Also, have an exit plan if things become too much to manage. It is ok to turn down invitations.
There are real dangers associated with binge drinking, such as alcohol poisoning, suicide attempts, health problems, injuries, unsafe sexual behavior, driving under the influence, involvement with police, sexual assault, assault, or even death.
These consequences affect students, their families, and college communities. Yet, it is avoidable with awareness, prevention, and making responsible choices.
March Madness is one of the most exciting tournaments of the year. Yet, participating in the fun should not cost a person their health or future.