Sobriety strategies for Super Bowl success: Navigating alcohol challenges with tips and support

February 7, 2024

GREENVILLE, SC – As football enthusiasts from coast to coast prepare for the year’s most anticipated event – the Chiefs vs. the 49ers matchup – the planning spectrum ranges from grand-scale celebrations to more intimate get-togethers. Amidst the excitement, it’s no surprise that alcohol frequently takes center stage in Super Bowl revelries.

“At Recovery Centers of America, our mission is to empower individuals on their path to sobriety. Our pledge is to assist and inspire those with substance use disorders, providing guidance and strength as they navigate celebrations such as this,” says CEO of Recovery Centers of America at Greenville, Lisa Goodnough. “We want them to approach these occasions with resilience, armed with the knowledge that they are supported on their pursuit of sobriety.”

For those in recovery from alcohol addiction or those looking to cut back, managing triggers and controlling drinking during the game can be a challenge. Here are some tips to help you navigate the big game on Sunday while prioritizing your recovery:

1. Know Your Triggers
Maintaining recovery involves understanding your triggers. Identify the feelings, people, places, or sensations that may prompt the urge to drink. Develop a plan for managing cravings at events, such as practicing mindfulness, having a supportive friend to call, or taking a walk if things become intense. If attending a party with old drinking buddies poses a significant risk, consider skipping the event this year. Be honest with yourself and prioritize your recovery.

2. Eat + Hydrate
If you choose to attend a party and plan to drink in moderation, ensure you eat and hydrate before and during the evening. Consuming food before drinking can help absorb alcohol and reduce its effects. Drinking water between alcoholic beverages can help pace yourself, stick to limits, make healthier choices, and enjoy the game safely.

3. Bring a Sober Buddy
Consider bringing a sober friend or an accountability buddy to the event. This provides emotional support and someone to talk to if you find it challenging to avoid alcohol. While it’s not their responsibility to monitor you, having a friend who encourages sobriety can make a significant difference.

4. Set a Limit
Before the festivities begin, establish a maximum number of drinks you’ll consume. Communicate your plan to others and create an accountability system. Try the coin trick: place coins in your back pocket for each allowed drink and move them to the front as you finish each one. When your back pocket is empty, it’s time to stop.

5. Hold a Nonalcoholic Drink
To deflect peer pressure and avoid drink offers, keep a nonalcoholic beverage in your hand throughout the evening. Choosing a drink you enjoy makes it less likely that others will notice it’s alcohol-free. This tactic helps you steer clear of well-intentioned offers for more alcohol and enables you to have a sober Super Bowl experience.

6. Have an Exit Plan
Prepare an exit plan in case you feel too tempted to stay. Decide on a comfortable, non-triggering place to go after leaving the event. Ask a friend if you can call them or see if someone at the party is willing to leave with you. This way, you can exit quickly if you find yourself too triggered.

7. Host a Sober Game Day Party
If the risk of being around alcohol is too high at someone else’s party, consider hosting a sober party of your own. Provide alternative refreshments, plan sober activities, and make it clear that the event is alcohol-free. Hosting your gathering or organizing a virtual watch party with friends and family allows you to control your immediate environment while ensuring everyone has a good time.

Whether it’s Super Bowl Sunday, holiday gatherings, or any time of year, controlling drinking in social situations can be challenging. Remember, prioritizing your well-being and recovery during Super Bowl celebrations is crucial. These strategies can help you enjoy the game while staying true to your commitment to a healthier lifestyle.

If you or a loved one is unable to maintain sobriety on their own, encourage them to enter or reenter treatment. The staff at Recovery Centers of America is here to help– 24/7, 365 days a year. Don’t wait, call 1-844-5-RCA-NOW (844-722-2669) for help today.



Recovery Centers of America is dedicated to helping patients achieve a life of recovery through evidence-based treatment for substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health conditions. RCA has 11 inpatient facilities in Earleville and Waldorf (near Washington D.C.), Maryland; Danvers and Westminster, Massachusetts; Devon (near Philadelphia), and Monroeville (near Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania; South Amboy and Mays Landing, New Jersey; St. Charles, Illinois (outside of Chicago); Indianapolis, and Greenville in South Carolina. A full spectrum of outpatient treatment is also provided at many of these facilities. Patients can obtain care by calling 1-844-5-RCA-NOW (844-722-2669) with complimentary transportation provided in most cases. For the fourth year, RCA is recognized as having multiple sites atop Newsweek’s America’s Best Addiction Centers rankings for excellence.