For many college students, images of alcohol and a warm beach go hand-in-hand with spring break. And in many cases, it’s not just one alcoholic beverage, but several as peer pressure and other factors cause students to consume alcohol in excess- often to the point of binge drinking.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports that about four out of five college students drink alcohol and nearly half of all college students binge drink.
“Binge drinking can be dangerous under any circumstances,” says Dr. Aaron Malina, a neuropsychologist at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington. “During spring break this can be especially challenging since the student is away from his/her familiar environment and support network.”
”For many college students, drinking alcohol is a common part of the college experience,” says Dr. Malina. “For some students their alcohol use can reach problematic levels impacting their academic performance, friendships and family relationships.”
Dr. Malina advises parents to be proactive with their students in discussing drinking while on spring break, potential ramifications and managing peer pressure.
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 your 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 can make you sick and those bowls of snack mix aren’t much substance to go on.
About the Author
Lisa O’Neil serves as director of public affairs and marketing at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington.
Lisa is also contributes to our Barrington Health series at 365Barrington.com focused on advice from area physicians, the latest medical news and trends toward better health in and around Barrington.