Posted by Steps to Recovery on April 1, 2013

For basketball fans, March Madness is a big deal. After all, the national champion of basketball for the year will be determined, this is what all college basketball fans are waiting for! Practically everyone from sports fanatics to college students, workplace pools to kids of all ages, even the President of the United States make sure to make their picks. It’s a big deal to a lot of people in this country.

Even more so, perhaps, to people who are addicted to sports gambling. For most people, this is just  a way to have some fun and mess around with friends, but for the gambling addict, March Madness could be life changing. Most research indicates that gambling on March Madness tops $12 BILLION worldwide. March Madness is irresistible for the problem gambler.

March Madness isn’t a social or just for fun kind of thing for the sports gambling addict. The compulsion to gamble is not harmless. And March Madness is unavoidable with the widespread media attention it gets. TV, newspapers, magazines, the internet, all through March it’s all about basketball. This can lead to devastating results, the drive to gamble can be overwhelming and life destroying.

March Madness isn’t just hard for the gambling addict. Thanks to intense advertising, it can be deeply triggering for an alcoholic as well. You can’t watch any of the excitement without seeing Budweiser all over the place. Budweiser is one of the top 3 companies dominating March Madness with their advertising. Makes sense, as it’s Budweiser’s strategy to out advertise competitors. Unfortunately, it also seems to be common practice to drink Budweiser while watching these games, so for the alcoholic, attending a live game could be especially triggering.

March Madness can be a really tough time for addicts. Between all of the gambling and drinking, it can be hard to stay on the right path. But if you work hard to keep yourself focused on your recovery and with proper support from people who understand, you can get through it without a hitch. Just remember to reach out for help when you need it and be really honest with yourself and those around you who are there to support you.