The “Big Game” Hangover. Have You Heard of Super Bowl Monday?


According to a yearly study by the Workforce Institute, nearly 26 million Americans will be late or miss work on Super Bowl Monday this year. Not surprisingly, the top reasons for planned absenteeism are fatigue, nausea, and hangovers. In years past, 34 percent of individuals over 21 stated that drinking too much during the game was a key factor in their unplanned absence.


Super Bowl Monday Absenteeism

While an estimated 10 million Americans have arranged to take Super Bowl Monday off of work, another 8 million plan to ghost, call in sick or decide at the last minute how to explain their absence from the workforce. At Sanford Behavioral Health, we understand the football and alcohol phenomenon. We promise this is not an attempt at instituting the prohibition of alcohol during football games. However, there is never a better time to point out the negative aspects of alcohol in the workforce than when 1/3 of  American employees anticipate being less productive than usual at work on Monday after the Super Bowl. Likewise, when a projected 18.8 million plan to be “sick” or too exhausted on Super Bowl Monday to turn up.


Workplace Impact

The Super Bowl and Super Bowl Monday are only two days of the year, but the impact of alcohol on the workplace and workforce is yearlong. The workplace culture can play a significant role in disincentivizing drinking and drug use. It can also provide a safe space for discussion, approach to treatment, and reintegration into the workplace after addiction treatment. A proactive plan to manage substance use in the workplace can also provide overall cost savings and increased productivity.


“The lack of transparency between employees and managers creates a mounting problem in the form of unplanned absence, lost productivity, and erosion of trust — a problem that could be tackled by more honest communication and greater workplace flexibility.” The Workforce Institute at UKG


Worker’s Comp/Disability

There are many hidden costs associated with workplace substance use. These costs can include employer responsibility for high-risk safety concerns, including legal risk. In addition, substance use in the workplace puts other employees in jeopardy and is detrimental to company morale. Other factors less commonly considered include workplace theft, diminished company culture, and low productivity.


Addiction treatment while maintaining responsibilities like work, school or childcare is a click away. Real-life recovery day programs are available online!


Healthcare Cost

Employees who have substance use disorders (SUD) have higher healthcare costs. This includes a higher number of ER visits, higher healthcare utilization, higher premiums, and an increased risk of overdose or severe medical complications due to long-term drug use.


  • $81 billion – lost work, health care costs, lost productivity
  • $25.5 billion – lost productivity and absenteeism
  •  Addicted workers miss 50% more work
  •  Addicted workers are 3x more likely to be in workplace accidents
  • 1 in 5 say working with someone with a SUD is more dangerous, harder work
  • Healthcare costs are twice as expensive for those with SUDs
  • Employees with SUDs make more ER visits, spend more days in the hospital


Education on Drug and Alcohol Misuse

Prevention and education in the workplace are key components to providing and maintaining a safe environment for all employees. Employers have many options to implement addiction awareness into their training programs. Leaders in an organization can be trained to identify substance misuse and dependence and take the proper action to help employees when problems arise.


two people watching the Super Bowl

Super Bowl Monday can be productive!


The Super Bowl Party Next Year (and parties in general)

No one is asking you to turn off the television or avoid the Super Bowl party, or any party,  year (although if you are new to recovery, “no thanks” is always an option). If you drink alcohol, eat, drink lots of water, or substitute alcohol with a mocktail intermittently. Plan for your ride home with a sober friend or ride service (don’t be that “guy” who wakes up Monday morning on the host’s couch).


If You are in Recovery or Cutting Back on Drinking

  • Plan how you will respond if someone asks you what you want to drink. (Once the party is at large, no one will care.)
  • Bring a sober friend or have a friend on standby.
  • Be accountable – go to a meeting, review your coping mechanisms, or plan an exit strategy if things get uncomfortable.
  • Choose the more intimate party vs. the raucous, keg-stand variety.
  • Help the host!
  • It is okay to leave, arrive after the kick-off, or stay home.
  • Have fun and count your blessings. After all, you won’t be the one with the headache calling in “sick”  Monday morning.



If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, eating disorders, or co-occurring mental health conditions, don’t wait to change your life – click the link below to speak with an admissions specialist today.



after marilyn head shot bio

Marilyn Spiller is a viral writer, recovery coach, and recovery advocate. She is the Marketing Director at Sanford, responsible for written and creative content, website design, new media, promotions, subscriber outreach, and SEO. Excursions Magazine is a particular source of pride; it serves a wide range of readers, and “excursion” has become part of the company vernacular, describing Sanford’s signature experiential outings for those in treatment. She also developed and hosts the podcast Anatomy of Addiction and is Vice President of the Board of JACK Mental Health Advocacy.