Triple Threat Position: March Madness Nets Addiction Connection

March 17, 2011 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
The NCAA Basketball Tournament is almost here and round ball fans everywhere are getting their polls up and running, their picks sorted and weighted and making sure TVs and munchies are locked and loaded. It's going to be a siege, and in more ways than one. Behind the hoop-la lurks an ugly secret that is in place or on the way: addiction.

March Madness brings glory days back for many and glory dreams for those playing on a driveway court or back lot. There is a cohesive force behind the magical madness that is basketball during this time of year. The Recovery Place drug rehab and alcohol treatment center is supportive of the best of March Madness and also vocal about the hidden worst of this highly anticipated event in American popular culture.

But why the cautionary tale?

March Madness is a well bracketed example of what big sporting events also bring to the boards: bars, alcohol and gambling.

Alcoholics and addicts, especially those busy trying to hide their addictions, are smart and savvy about defending their drug and alcohol use. What better way to justify getting together for two or three cold ones (or five, six, seven or ten) at a sports bar filled with big screen TVs and raucous basketball fans? It's a celebration after all, and one that is great camouflage for an alcoholic's excesses.

"One of the key indicators of an alcohol or drug problem," states John Cates, CEO of The Recovery Place, "is going out of your way to hide your drinking, justifying it to friends, coworkers and yourself."

And the office pools: another great place for gamblers with addictions to hide in plain sight, around the water cooler. This starts well before the drinking and cheering of the actual weeks of March Madness, as friendly rivalries about seed teams begin. But for someone with an addiction to gambling, this is like throwing a bag of pills down in front of a drug addict.

Basketball lovers on the watching side of the tube aren't the only ones affected. Think back to Gary McLain, Villanova point guard who played a starting position for the Wildcats in the 1985 March Madness 66-64 victory over Georgetown University. During much of his high school and college career he admits to being high on alcohol or cocaine.

McLain recently visited The Recovery Place drug rehab and alcohol treatment center in Fort Lauderdale, FL to share his story with fellow addicts. His successful recovery from addiction points out two things: that addiction to drugs or alcohol can happen to anyone, just as recovery is possible for anyone.

For families dealing with addiction, whether to alcohol or gambling, March Madness brings more stress, fear, worry and loss as their addicted loved ones fall even further under the bus, maybe this time permanently.

Recovery from drug, alcohol or gambling addictions requires specialized treatment and rehabilitation. The family needs to be included during the treatment process, and recovery is a lifelong process.

About The Recovery Place

The Recovery Place drug and alcohol treatment center provides comprehensive client-centered care. Multiple treatment tracks help clients and their families receive even more intensive and effective rehabilitation.

While The Recovery Place doesn't have a specific treatment program for gambling addictions, they are able to help find appropriate treatment options for those who need help.