Spring Break and Binge Drinking
Spring Break is just around the corner, when hundreds of thousands of college students across the nation cut loose. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 44 percent of college girls and 75 percent of college guys get drunk on a daily basis during Spring Break. Approximately half of college students binge drink – many will drink to the point of passing out at least once during their vacation. Despite the known dangers, some of the nation’s brightest students still think Spring Break and drinking are synonymous. Brad says, “Having fun and enjoying time off from a busy semester with friends helps to re-charge your batteries while also making lasting memories but remember that all good things should be enjoyed in moderation.”
Tips for College Kids on Spring Break
- Be responsible.
- Decide before you go out what your limits should be.
- If you do decide to drink, know the liquor laws of where you’ll be vacationing.
- Always keep an eye on your drink. If you go the bathroom, take your drink with you.
- Do not drink from open-beverage sources like punch bowls, pitchers, or tubs.
- Drinking and driving is always a dangerous situation and illegal, so avoid this by having a safe mode of transportation home planned before you go out.
- Pace yourself if you choose to drink, and don’t try to match friends drink for drink.
- Eat before drinking. Drinking on an empty stomach can cause alcohol to affect you much quicker and make you sick.
- Drinking mixed with sun equals dehydration. Alcohol dehydrates and draws vitamins and minerals out of your body. Remember the one-to-one ratio…drinking one serving of water for every serving of alcohol.
- Remember the golden rule of partying safe: Come with your friends, leave with your friends.
Health Problems Associated with Binge Drinking
- Unintentional injuries such as car accidents, falls, burns, and alcohol poisoning
- Violence including homicide, suicide, intimate partner violence, and sexual assault
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Unintended pregnancy and poor pregnancy outcomes, including miscarriage and stillbirth
- Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
- Sudden infant death syndrome
- Chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and liver disease
- Cancer of the breast, liver, colon, rectum, mouth, pharynx, larynx, and esophagus.
- Memory and learning problems
*Information according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
“The worst consequence of drinking and driving is when it results in a loss of life,” Brad says. Outside of that, those who violate drinking and driving laws often face a trip to jail, loss of their driver’s license and a mountain of other unanticipated expenses, such as attorney fees, fines and court costs. DUI convictions follow a person, so there are the factors of embarrassment, loss of academic eligibility and/or scholarship, and more. With the increased efforts by Texas law enforcement, the chances of getting caught drinking and driving are great. The Texas Department of Transportation conducted a study that showed even a first-time offender could expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $24,000 for a DUI/DWI arrest and conviction.
Brad says, “Drinking and driving is an extremely dangerous and costly mistake for anyone to make. As a parent, it’s important to talk to your kids and let them know they can reach you anytime to come and pick them up. Set up an Uber or Lyft account for your kids, especially if they are college-aged, so they don’t ever feel obligated to get in the car with a drunk driver.”