Spring break binge drinking can be deadly
For many college students, images of alcohol and a warm beach go hand-in-hand with spring break.
In many cases, it’s not just one alcoholic beverage, but several as peer pressure and other factors entice students to consume alcohol in excess – often to the point of binge drinking. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that about four out of five college students drink alcohol, and nearly half binge drink.
“Binge drinking can be dangerous under any circumstances,” says Dr. Aaron Malina, neuropsychologist at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Ill. “During spring break, this can be especially challenging since the student is away from his or her familiar environment and support network.”
Dr. Malina advises parents to be proactive with their kids in discussing drinking while on spring break, potential ramifications and managing peer pressure.
“For many college students, drinking alcohol is a common part of the college experience,” says Dr. Malina. “For some, their alcohol use can reach problematic levels, impacting their academic performance, friendships and family relationships.”
SafeSpringBreak.org offers these tips for individuals who are consuming alcohol 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. Those bowls of snack mix aren’t much substance to go on.
- Drinking + sun = 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.
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