There is a fair amount of stigma in the surfing world over drug addiction and confronting substance abuse problems. The lifestyle is one where freedom and enjoyment go hand in hand with the work involved in the sport, and drugs and alcohol can play a huge role in that. Chasing the high and adrenaline of catching an incredible wave, combined with the party culture can be a risky combination – especially for college students.
There is never one clear factor which causes addiction in a person, it tends to be a combination of things. But what do you do when you know you’re done partying and still can’t stop? The problem isn’t so much about binge drinking and recreational drug use in the surfing community, but that for some, addiction is going to happen and avoiding the problem only makes it worse.
The surfing lifestyle is one that can also promote discipline, good health and well-being. Surfing is actually remarkably suited to individuals in sobriety. There is a connection to a great force of life at work in the oceans tides – a higher power you get to connect with every day – and the athleticism involved provides a stand-alone endorphin rush that beats any rush that comes with binge drinking.
Facing addiction or a binge drinking problem and coming clean takes phenomenal strength and hard work. People who have overcome the obstacles in their path to keeping their sobriety one day at a time have earned the right to some recognition.
It may not be necessary to dismantle the party culture of college students, but in the very least, it’s time to begin promoting a healthier alternative for individuals who aren’t attracted to the ridiculous decision making which comes from a night of getting wasted.