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Spring Break Can Be Deadly

By March 13, 2014

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Spring Break Has Become More Dangerous

Today college spring break no longer resembles a 1960 movie with Connie Francis singing "Where the Boys Are" on the beach. It's more like watching an MTV bikini contest or an episode of "Girls Gone Wild."

These days, spring break presents a wide variety of dangers for college students targeted by marketing efforts that promote dangerous drinking and sex.

Spring break activities have become such a public health issue, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been prompted to issue a list of Spring Break Health and Safety Tips in the Family Health section of its website.

Limit Alcohol

The No. 1 tip for students headed for spring break vacations: Limit Alcohol.

That's because studies show that almost half of college students already admit to binge drinking, an at-risk level of alcohol consumption defined by five or more drinks within two hours for a man, and four or more for a woman.

But, when it's spring break time, drinking becomes even more extreme. One survey found that the average male college student admitted to consuming 18 drinks a day during spring vacation, while female students consumed up to 10 drinks per day.

The Dangers Are Real

Each year, almost 600,000 college students report accidental injuries that are alcohol related. And, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 1,800 college students are killed each year in alcohol-related injuries.

Also, almost 700,000 students are injured each year are victims of violent assaults by other students who have been drinking.

And the dangers for female college students are greater. Almost 100,000 students a year report being the victim of sexual assault or alcohol-related date rape. And those are the ones that are actually reported.

Use a Buddy System

All these risks increase during spring break when drinking can impair judgment and actions.

Students on vacation are advised to know their limits when it comes to alcohol. Using a buddy system is recommended during spring break. Know the symptoms of alcohol poisoning and if someone is passed out and exhibiting those symptoms, don't hesitate to call 9-1-1 or take them to the emergency room.

Alcohol Safety Tips

Other alcohol-related tips for students include:

  • Stay hydrated
  • Don't accept drinks from strangers
  • Never leave your drink unattended
  • Never drink and drive

Alcohol-related auto crashes kill someone in the United States every 31 minutes and injure someone every two minutes. Drinking while consuming any amount of alcohol can be dangerous.

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Photo: PCBeachSpringBreak.com
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