Tackling Addiction Through Football – The Campaign

During lock down we have had contact with Rehab Clinics and their work tackling addiction through football. Please read the information below and follow the link if you feel it might be of benefit to you.

Football is a lifelong love for many. From avid supporters and professional footballers, to the backroom staff and managers, it’s their hobby, it’s their profession, it’s their life. We’re sure it’s probably yours too?

Yet, unfortunately, through this life, there are high associations with both addiction and mental health issues. Experienced by many rising football stars, continuously pressured in the media, to the drinking culture of Saturday live football and post-match celebrations or sorrows, alcohol fuelled, and gambling activity is normalised.

This normalisation has however caused high concerns in the sporting world, with a focus on football, questioning its true value when considering the extent of life-threatening habits. Yet, the biggest obstacle is the stigmatisations, linked to opening up and acknowledging an addiction, clouded by the idealism of the footballer’s life.

To turn this around, to break the stigma, it’s time to tackle addiction through football. It’s time to use the sport we love, the community we thrive off, the culture we advocate to normalise the struggles.

Glamour is part and parcel of football, both on and off the pitch. But behind the scenes, we are all human, we all have feelings, we all have emotions. Reaching out should feel doable. Through this campaign, we hope to raise awareness of addiction in football, for both fans and players, how you can help, and how reaching out can be standardised.

It’s time to

  • Increase awareness of addiction as a whole, including the footballing world.
  • Destigmatise addiction and mental health issues, promoting the benefits of reaching out for support.
  • Understand the normalisation of our emotions as humans, as supporters, as footballers.
  • Share confidential and effective ways to acknowledge and overcome addiction.
  • Do our best at tackling addiction through football, by changing the sporting culture for the better.

Why is addiction a prevalent problem in the world of football?

Like any sport, celebrations, passion, disappointments and frustrations are experienced in football. From the highs of promotions, to the lows of losses, a range of emotions will be encountered. Part and parcel of the industry, pressure is also present. Pressure from the fans, pressure from transfer window deadlines, pressure from managers, pressure from the next fixture. Every individual involved or witnessing a match or following a team will feel the pressure.

The most populated ways to react to those emotions and pressures is gambling and alcohol consumption. For some, this can be controlled. However, for others, gambling and alcohol consumption will be used to cope. To forget that loss, to work through an injury, to cope through your team’s relegation.

It’s also important to remember that a strong drinking and gambling culture has existed for years in the football world. Placing a bet on your favourite player or a half-time drink with friends is very common. However, this behaviour for some, spanned over a whole season can cause an addiction.

For those who do develop addictions, it’s vital to remember that there are no exceptions. The richest, the best, the most famous football manager or player can live with an addiction or mental health issue. As can fans, backroom staff or club members. Through this taught behaviour, through years of conditioning, addictions are rising. Highly concerning for health purposes, an addiction can be very tough to live with. Yet, the most challenging step in today’s society is speaking out.

We’ve recently witnessed many renowned football players acknowledge their problems with the hope to inspire others. From the struggles of retiring or pressures linked to the lifestyle, we’ve seen how a single trigger can lead to severe mental breakdowns.

Now we’ve seen it, it’s time that we talk about it, spread awareness, break the stigma and increase access to support, available at Rehab Clinics Group. Tackling addiction through football is our aim, will you join us?

Football and its voice for tackling the stigmatisation of addiction

Many people reading this will have little insight into the impacts of addiction in football. Some will have some exposure. While others will have first-hand experience. It’s important that we make a conscious effort to change this, to educate all individuals on the downfalls of competitive sport.

The best way we can achieve this is through football itself, utilising its community, reach and global exposure to tackle a real and highly impactful topic. By collaborating with the footballing world through our campaign here at Rehab Clinics Group, we aim to not only disrupt the normalisation of excessive alcohol and gambling activity, we also aim to break the stigma on reaching out for support.

Experiencing an addiction alone can be very tough, no matter who you are in the world. As football currently stands, no matter your investment to the sport, some individuals will have a higher susceptibility to addictive behaviours. This is nothing to feel ashamed about. This isn’t something you should hide behind. This is something that as a community, we should notice and talk about. 

Helping others through addiction

If you believe that those you care about or associate with are presenting the signs of an addiction, the best thing you can do is to offer support. Showing empathy, offering a listening ear can make the world of difference for those struggling with addiction.

Although this far, addiction may have been a difficult or sensitive talking point, now more than ever, support, compassion and non-judgmental talks are needed. You can help others through addiction by listening, by encouraging, by providing the option of rehabilitation.

If you are concerned about a family member or friend, our helpline is fully open to support you.

Helping yourself through addiction

Through our campaign of tackling addiction through football, we’ve created a dedicated free helpline, available for all football supporters and fans. If you are personally struggling, our team of dedicated professionals are available to provide advice on your next best steps.

Although our service as a private rehab clinic is optional, it is our job to ensure that you are aware of your recovery options, offering incredible value and privacy. If you’ve been affected by this article, by addiction or by the pressures in football, we are here for you.

See the link below for more details:

Rehab Clinics