Spring Break and Binge Drinking
It’s that time of year where college students head out with friends to take a break from studies and enjoy spring break. Although most college kids look forward to spring break, many parents feel unnerved by the events that they’ve heard can happen. Chief among most concerns is alcohol consumption. It seems that college spring breakers and alcohol more often than not go hand in hand. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “four out of five college students drink alcohol. Half of these students that drink also binge drink, which is defined as consuming between 4 to 5 drinks in two hours. This is a dangerous amount of alcohol and can have many health consequences if done on a regular basis. Alcohol abuse in college also accounts for 1,825 deaths and 599,000 assaults each year. Over 150,000 develop health related problems due to their drinking.”
So why are college students more likely to binge drink during spring break?
- Many spring break events, as previously mentioned, involve alcohol. Because students know they don’t have to be at class or work during the break, or simply because spring break is a “bigger party” than normal, students may tend to drink more than they otherwise would
- The easy access of alcohol, especially if college students travel out of the country to popular spring break spots, allows for more binge drinking
- Spring break can provide even more freedom than college students (who are already adjusting to new amounts of freedom) are used to back on campus. They may feel that if they are off campus and even further from “supervision” they can indulge even more.
Although, as a parent or loved one, you may not be able to control a college student’s binge drinking or other activities during spring break, you can take precautions not to encourage dangerous behaviors. If they take a vacation with friends, ask them to check in with you a few times so they know that you are thinking about them while they are away. Just knowing that someone else is aware of them and hoping they will make good decisions can instill a desire to keep things in check. Further, don’t fund trips or excursions that include individuals who may encourage your college student to binge drink or engage in other dangerous activities. College binge drinking is a serious concern and escalates during spring break but awareness and concern can help lead to more caution by those you love.