Spring Break: Fun or Fatal? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/1/05

Spring Break: Fun or Fatal?

It's spring break time and time for parents and others to warn young people that sunburn may be the least of their problems on spring break.

A study conducted by the University of Wisconsin found that during spring break, males consumed 18 drinks per day and females drank 10 drinks. They participated in binge drinking and almost 50% drank until they got sick or passed out.

For women, these behaviors can lead to sexual assault and rape. The date rape drugs, rohypnol and GHB, are readily available.

Getting to the spring break destination can also pose problems. Long drives and sleepy drivers are a deadly mixture.

Resorts in Mexico are favorites with students in the Southwest. Many attract young people by emphasizing that you can drink legally at 18. Bars are crowded and many fights break out under the influence of alcohol. Mexican justice and jail can prove daunting to the inexperienced.

Under the sway of alcohol, both young men and women engage in behaviors that would make them blush at other times. They engage in sexual activity and risk STD's and for the women, unwanted pregnancy. Bad choices can have lifetime effects.

The American Medical Association has some tips for parents:

  • Talk to your children before spring break about the dangers of rape, drunken driving, and bar fights
    related to excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Teach them the signs of alcohol poisoning.
  • Talk about the consequences of making bad choices.
  • Young women should be warned to never accept drinks from strangers or leave their drink unattended.

For younger students, parents should consider making spring break a vacation for friends and family. The supervision may not be as tight but certain rules still apply.

Many communities, high schools and universities now have programs to warn both young people and their parents of the hazards. Spring break can and should be fun. It does not have to be the most regretted time in a young person's life.

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