Many people continue to debate the plays of Sunday night’s Super Bowl game -- in which the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks after the Seahawks were on the brink of winning their second in a row. For millions of others, the days after the big game are a chance to confront the binging that brought on that massive headache along with a few post-game pounds. The answer -- dieting or even checking into rehab.
“The Super Bowl is synonymous with drinking,” said Drew Rothermel, CEO of Origins Behavioral Healthcare, an inpatient treatment center for substance abuse in West Palm Beach, Florida.
“Friends and families get together for parties where alcohol is served, and gambling is often part of the mix as well,” he said. “It’s a scenario where problems that have been bubbling under the surface all year long finally come to light. Friends and family may also notice a problem and approach their loved one about seeking treatment.”
In the most recent high-profile case to emerge, Johnny Manziel, the 22-year-old quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, a Heisman trophy winner, said this morning that he entered a rehab program just last week, though for privacy reasons he didn’t reveal exactly why. His partying ways, however, have made headlines and he said on several occasions he wanted to mend his ways.
The days that follow Super Bowl Sunday actually bring the most check-ins all year long for drug and alcohol treatment centers, even more than around the holidays. In anticipation of the spike in admissions after the Super Bowl, Origins and other rehab centers around the country have been gearing up.
“Often a person experiences a blackout or behaves in an embarrassing way on Super Bowl Sunday, which prompts them to realize it’s time to get help,” Rothermel said.
Super Bowl Sunday is indeed one of the unhealthiest days of the year all told.
It’s the biggest junk food day of the year: Pizza consumption is up 67 percent from the average daily consumption in 2014 and at its highest all year, according to data gathered by fitness tracker app myfitnesspal. It’s also the biggest day of the year for eating tortilla chips (up 200 percent) and chicken wings (up 327 percent).
It’s a huge day for beer, too. In 2014, beer consumption was up 90 percent from daily averages, clocking in as the second biggest beer day of 2014, right after July 4th.
Men actually drink more alcohol on Super Bowl Sunday than on a typical Saturday, the heaviest drinking day of the week, a 2014 study from the University of Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions found.
For those who have stopped drinking completely, the Super Bowl can also be the night when they relapse.
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