March Madness: Drugs Vs. Alcohol
Need help? Call our 24/7 helpline. 855-933-3480

March Madness: Drugs Vs. Alcohol


March Madness: Drugs Vs. Alcohol

March Madness has come around again—along with the usual annoying elevator conversations, confusing office pools and earsplitting screams from the neighbor’s apartment. But this year, there’s a twist: I’m in. Because Jezebel’s got its own Lion/Lamb season slap-down going on and it’s a multi-day competition called March Madness: Drugs Vs. Alcohol.

Jezebel Plays Ball

Finally a competition I can get on board with, ruminate upon during long subway trips and discuss with authority while pompously savoring statistics I’ve memorized like bathroom graffiti in a dive bar.

Previous Jezebel March Madness battles have witnessed the fur fly in “Cats Vs. Dogs” and the inflammatory tension between “Sex Vs. Chocolate” but this year we get the chance to vote on the big boys as they battle it out. To the left, we have drugs—both mellow and hyper; to the right, booze—hard and soft. Assess the competitors, reflect upon the half-salvaged memories, vote for your faves and give a sneer to lame-os (I don’t see Tylenol going far).

You can download the PDF bracket from the Jezebel site to examine the competitors, see who they’re facing off against and find out about yesterday’s wins. Then get your two cents in, nowish! Red wine is beating white wine and, hailing as I do from the wicker-furnished porches that breed White Winos, I feel the home team is under-appreciated. Will white wine be the Cubs of March Madness?

No Mercy for the Weak

As I write this, bath salts are knocking ketamine’s teeth in, Imodium is liquidizing Ex-Lax and it looks like there just might be a shocking upset. Guys, Vicodin’s beating Nicotine?! Every kid who’s stood behind the gym wearing black eyeliner and sucking on a crafty coffin nail has just been punched in the gut and told they’re fucking lightweights. Vote now to restore justice and arrhythmia to America! Coming up soon: Purple Drank takes on Prozac  and deceptively tough old pro Valium will (I predict) deliver a softening blow to Viagra.

But who will battle it out in the final? I’m thinking heroin—nobody but nobody will discount the tentacular grasp of that insidious devil. But vodka is a bear—clumsy, brutal and not to be messed with.

Enjoying While Not Endorsing

Keep in mind that no one’s recommending that you do any taste testing while engaging in this MM takedown. But I enjoy giving a wry nod to old school embarrassments (PBR half-flat from a keg, I knew ye well) while eyeing some surprisingly dangerous newbies (Vodka Tampon? All the buzz of alcohol poisoning without the life-saving glamour of vomiting = fear-based respect.)

I’m not usually this blithe about the dangerous nature of alcohol and addictive drugs. I’m aware that right now, probably in my apartment complex, there’s likely someone still caught in addiction’s isolating grip. And I know that most people on the Jezebel site will obviously be voting as “civilians,” with only a passing and jovial concept of these fearsome challengers’ powers. But part of the greatness of recovery is regaining a certain lightness in our lives. So I’m okay with the realization that, in this March Madness competition (as in life), I give way too much headspace to Jezebel’s competitors. What the hell? For once it’s okay. Also, it’s way, way more interesting than basketball.


Any Questions? Call Now To Speak to a Rehab Specialist
(855) 933-3480

About Author

Dana Burnell has written for The London Times Sunday Magazine, The Guardian Weekend Magazine, Inside New York and Time Out New York. A former Editorial Assistant at Harvard Review, she’s the received Mellon Foundation Grant and two Fiction Fellowship Grants from Columbia University. She’s written two novels, Mistaken Nonentity and The Tame Man.