Spring Break: Risky Behaviors and Substance Abuse

Spring Break: Risky Behaviors and Substance Abuse

Spring break is defined as a week’s worth of vacation for students and usually takes place in the spring, typically around Easter. For some students, it’s a time of relaxation and letting go of the stressors of school. But for many others, it’s also a time when risky behaviors, such as binge drinking and unprotected sex, are becoming increasingly prevalent.

A University of Wisconsin study revealed that 75 percent of college males and nearly 44 percent of college females reported being intoxicated on a daily basis during their spring break. Additionally, 50 percent of college men and more than 40 percent of college women reported drinking so much that they vomited or passed out at least once.

Spring Break and Alcohol

Statistics show a strong correlation between alcohol and spring break, and over recent years binge drinking has seemed to become a ritual. While the average American college student has six drinks per week, the average student spring-breaker has 10 drinks per day.

A study conducted by the University of Michigan reported that students who went on a spring-break trip were nearly four times as likely as other students to engage in binge drinking. Consuming too much alcohol is extremely dangerous and can cause harmful consequences such as:

  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Unintentional injuries such as car crashes, falls or drowning
  • Intentional injuries such as firearm injuries, sexual assault and domestic violence
  • High blood pressure, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases
  • Neurological damage

Spring Break and Risky Sexual Behavior

Experimenting with drugs or alcohol over spring break may also lead a person to make risky choices regarding sex that wouldn’t otherwise be made when sober. For example, during spring break students are more likely to experience things such as unprotected sex, sex with multiple partners and unwanted sexual contact. These actions can have lasting consequences such as sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancy and sexual assault.

Experimenting with drugs or alcohol in any capacity can have serious negative effects on a person and those around them. Although throwing all caution to the wind during spring break may seem glamorous in movies and the media, real consequences can follow you home. Taking precautions, such as sticking with friends and making a pact to leave no one behind, can help you avoid these dangers and enjoy spring break with no regrets.

By Jenna Mitchell

Contact Elements Behavioral Health

Call 855-678-8337 for a confidential assessment or fill out the form below and we will call you.