The Surprising Dangers of Spring Break Binge Drinking

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3204843_sAs any college student would agree, spring break can’t come fast enough. This is the time to kick back, relax and hang with friends for one solid week before having to go back to school to finish up the semester. There are many activities that can be done over spring break, but somehow, many college students end up in similar places. Bars, nightclubs and parties are the center of entertainment, and the carefree environments encourage excessive drinking.

Binge drinking is one of the most concerning activities that occur during spring break. Parents are aware it goes on, but it’s difficult to prevent it. College kids are away at school all year, and they’re used to partying, drinking and doing things on their own schedules. It’s unrealistic to think that parents will control this behavior during spring break and no other time.

Why is Spring Break an Attractive Time to Drink?

As we all know, spring break can take drinking to a new level. The spring break mentality is on everyone’s minds. Classes are done for the week, the weather is warming up and many college students have an entire week of nothing to do.

Also, many young adults leave town and travel to popular spring break destinations with their friends. The images portrayed by the media don’t help, either. How many movies, TV shows and music videos have you seen with beaches filled with incapacitated young people over spring break? Too many.

How Prevalent is Spring Break Binge Drinking?

Binge drinking is the biggest worry that parents have when it comes to spring break. Researchers report that 1,800 college students die each year from the misuse of alcohol, and many more become the victims of sexual assault or personal injuries. During spring break, it’s estimated that 44 percent of college females and 75 percent of college males become inebriated on a daily basis. Rather than consuming drinks over the span of many hours, the drinks are consumed in a single sitting.

How many drinks are college students consuming exactly? A study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that nearly half of all college students binge drink, with this behavior going to the extreme during spring break. Male college students report drinking 18 drinks a day, and females 10 drinks a day over break. This is far above the safe limits of alcohol consumption, and the consequences can be devastating.

Consequences of Binge Drinking

When college students consume this much alcohol, the risks include:

  • Unplanned and unprotected sex
  • Personal injuries
  • Sexual assault/rape
  • Violent crimes
  • Trouble with the law
  • Drinking and driving
  • Car accidents
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Death

Abstaining from Drinking Over Spring Break

We could discuss the many ways that you can drink responsibly over spring break, but the better option is to abstain from alcohol altogether.

If you know that you have a hard time being in a party atmosphere and staying sober, don’t put yourself in this position. Surround yourself with friends who don’t need to drink to have fun, and take the time to plan out activities that will get you looking forward to spring break in a healthy way. Drinking is not an ingredient for a fun spring break.

In this post, we covered great ideas for those who cannot drink but want to have a fun and relaxing spring break. Not only are there dozens of sober retreats, cruises and vacations, but also you can use spring break to volunteer your time, take lessons to learn a new activity or skill or reconnect with family and friends. You spend so much time with your friends at college anyway, why not visit with extended family who would love to see you?

Abstaining from alcohol is the best way to protect your safety, health and reputation. Once you start drinking, it’s easy to lose control of yourself, and this is when you put yourself at risk for the consequences listed above. These consequences are even greater when you travel abroad, as the party scenes are far more intense and predators know this. And though we all have different personalities and interests, we tend to think a week of horseback riding, surfing lessons or hip hop dancing is far more exciting than a week of being inebriated.