Dr. Cali Estes - The Addiction Coach ®

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The Addictions Coach: How To Cope When Your Favorite Team Loses

This is the perfect time of year to bring up this subject. It isn’t really talked about very often but it can lead to relapse with drugs and alcohol. I am talking about when or if your favorite sports team loses a BIG game and the season comes to an end.


There are many examples in just the NFL alone over the past few weeks. You have Dallas Cowboys fans upset that their team missed out on the playoffs all together with a week 15 loss, or Atlanta Falcons fans upset over losing in the playoffs to clearly a weaker Eagles team with a backup quarterback.

Then we have the worst defensive play in NFL history as time expired this weekend by the New Orleans Saints that ended their season ripping the hearts out of the entire Southeastern Louisiana area.

And last, but not least, I’m sure you have all seen the YouTube video of the Pittsburgh Steeler fan smashing his tv, screaming at his wife and threatening to commit suicide by hanging himself after the Steelers lost to Jacksonville ending their season 45-42.

These are all situations that need some special attention for those of us struggling with drugs and alcohol. Your team losing “the big game” can be that “excuse” or even trauma that you need to give yourself a reason to use again. Here are a few helpful steps to think through before you decide that using drugs and alcohol is the wiser choice.

Acknowledge your feelings. If your team loses a big game give yourself time to vent. It’s okay to be disappointed, but keep control. It’s only a game and there is no reason for your destructive behavior to lead to destructive behavior.

Talk to other fans. Sports are a great tool for healthy communication. Consider joining your team’s fan club or enjoying their interactive websites.

This next one is a hard one.

Turn the television OFF after the game when your team loses. Don’t sit there for hours watching replay after replay and listening to all the so-called experts dissect why your team lost. This only makes things worse.

Exercise and be active after a tough loss. Go to the gym, ride bikes, swim or get involved in organized sports. This helps with mood swings caused by a tough loss by your team.

So there you have it. We have given you a few steps to help cope with your team’s loss. Before we end, you also need to remember a few things. First, stay loyal to your team. One loss shouldn’t be enough to drive you over the edge. Also remember the good times! Most teams have a rich history to reflect on (unless your an Eagles fan) so enjoy the past a little if the present isn’t so good at the moment. Last but not least, stay optimistic!

There will always be another game and another chance to win it all. We here at www.theaddictioncoach.com are here to help if you feel you can’t cope after a tough loss by your team. Contact us through the website or by calling 1-800-706-0318 for help.

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