When the March Madness college basketball tournament tips off, students and fans across the country will reach for alcoholic beverages. The binge drinking that comes with the country’s most exciting basketball series puts an increased number of late-teens and twenty-somethings at risk of alcoholism.
Upwards of 68 colleges and universities participate in the single-elimination tournament. That means the student bodies nationwide typically celebrate with keg parties and fill local bars to cheer their team. If you do the math, March Madness includes 67 tip-offs that equate to 134 schools over-indulging in alcohol during a three-week period. To says this opens the door to potential alcohol addiction would be something of an understatement. That’s why the experienced professionals at Serenity House Detox & Recovery Florida in Jupiter want college basketball fans to learn about binge drinking and alcoholism. If you’re ready to detox from alcohol, please contact our team today at 866.294.5306.
How Does College Binge Drinking Increase Risk of Alcoholism?
In many ways, the timing of March Madness creates a perfect alcoholism storm. The college tournament typically begins a day or two after the worst binge drinking event of the year: St. Patrick’s Day. For many, the sole purpose of the Irish holiday involves getting drunk.
For college-age people, that misstep ushers in March Madness and a sustained three weeks of excessive drinking. This period consistently posts the highest annual beer sales.
This Bermuda Triangle of binge drinking adds insult to sobriety injury because more than 50 percent of people 18-22 years old reportedly binge drink regularly. National alcohol abuse and alcoholism organizations typically define binge drinking in the following ways:
- Females who consume four or more alcoholic beverages during a single occasion
- Males who consume five or more alcoholic beverages during a single occasion
- Consumption that raises blood alcohol content to 0.08 one day or more each month.
When the March Madness partying begins, binge drinking can surge by 30 percent. Incidents of drunk driving also reportedly increase by nearly 10 percent. Habitual binge drinkers generally participate in the behavior five or more times monthly. Because March Madness invites precisely the activities associated with chronic overindulgence, people risk crossing a thin line between college spirit and alcoholism.
How to Avoid March Madness College Basketball Binge Drinking
Going to college and earning a degree represents a pathway to career opportunities and other life goals. It seems almost counterintuitive that peer pressure exists to follow the crowd into not-so-positive behaviors like excessive drinking.
Few would dispute the fact that many young adults want to fit in with a crowd and participate in meaningful events such as the NCAA tournament. But adulthood means you are tasked with making significant life choices. These are strategies that may help you navigate March Madness:
- Change Your Hangouts: Consider not going to alcohol-based parties or local bars during the tournament. These places will likely see escalated binge drinking. It may be worthwhile to support your school’s team with a pizza party or another fun event.
- Think About Consequences: Given that more drunk driving incidents occur during these three weeks, staying on campus makes sense. The college or university will likely show the big game at a facility away from binge parties. Watching the game in a controlled environment may be a better choice.
- Gather Like-Minded People: More college students refrain from binge drinking events than you may realize. Take the time to seek out non-drinkers and watch the games together. Embrace the power of numbers.
If you feel compelled to watch March Madness with friends who may drink excessively, consider setting limits for yourself. You can also bring a cold beverage container filled with a non-alcoholic product. Peer pressure can sometimes be sidestepped simply by pointing out you already have a drink.
Contact Serenity House Detox & Recovery Florida
Too many young adults make missteps during the month of March. From St. Paddy’s Day through the basketball tournament, binge drinking becomes a habit that becomes difficult to break. Fortunately, at Serenity House Detox & Recovery Florida, we’re committed to your healing. We offer a range of treatment options, such as:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Individual therapy
- Family therapy
- Group therapy