Mount Sinai Wellness Center

Substance use and Football Season

Football season is a time of excitement, camaraderie, and unforgettable experiences. However, tailgates and football games can present unique challenges for individuals in recovery or those choosing to live a sober lifestyle. This blog will explore strategies and tips for enjoying football season and tailgates while staying sober.

Plan and Set Boundaries

Before attending a football game or tailgate, planning ahead and setting clear boundaries for yourself is essential. Decide in advance that you will not consume alcohol or any other substances during the event. Communicate your intentions with friends or family members who will be joining you so they can support you in your decision.

Gather Sober Friends or Allies

Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals who support your sobriety can make all the difference. Seek out other friends who are also living a sober lifestyle, or find allies within your social circle who understand and respect your choice to abstain from alcohol. Having a sober support system will help you feel more comfortable and included.

Embrace Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Just because you’re not drinking alcohol doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a beverage during the game or tailgate. Get creative and explore a variety of non-alcoholic options, such as mocktails, flavored waters, or specialty sodas. Many venues now offer an array of non-alcoholic drinks, so you can still feel festive while staying sober.

Focus on the Game and the Atmosphere

Football games are about more than just drinking; they’re about the sport, the team spirit, and the vibrant atmosphere. Embrace the energy of the crowd, cheer for your team, and immerse yourself in the game. By focusing on the excitement of the event, you’ll find that alcohol becomes less of a focal point.

Engage in Alternative Activities

Tailgates offer more than just food and drinks. Take advantage of other activities available, such as playing lawn games, participating in team spirit contests, or attending live performances. These alternative activities will keep you occupied and distracted from any temptations.

Football season and tailgates are meant to be enjoyed by everyone, including those who choose to stay sober. By planning ahead, surrounding yourself with supportive friends, embracing non-alcoholic beverages, immersing yourself in the game, and engaging in alternative activities, you can fully experience the excitement and camaraderie of football season while staying true to your sobriety goals.