A deterrent to heavy drinking during Spring break
Spring break, although not exclusively defined as such, is typically a time when students, both college and high school, go to warmer coastal areas and party. On average 1.5 million students participate in this behavior, drinking large quantities of alcohol while vacationing. A study published in the September 2007 issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs found that students who go on spring break vacations with friends are likely to drink approximately three times as much alcohol than those that stay home with family.
Rather than exclusively saying, “don’t drink over spring break,” a good tactic for youth and young adult ministers to deter spring break drinking is to discuss the actual affects of heavy drinking on the body; this idea comes complements of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) The Science Inside Alcohol Project, which conducted research on the effects of teen drinking. The following is an excerpt of quiz content developed by the AAAS from Medical News Today that relays some simple facts about the effects of heavy drinking on the body:
1. Most college students do not drink very much during spring break.
FALSE. The Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs reports that students show “bursts” of heavy alcohol use during holidays, vacations and weekends. Students in this study reported having more than 30 drinks each over a four day period during spring break.
2. Vomiting, confusion, stupor, and the inability to wake up are the results of alcohol poisoning.
TRUE. Students may think their friend is just really drunk but he or she can also have alcohol poisoning, which can be fatal. More than 1,500 college students each year die from unintentional alcohol-related injuries including car crashes, according to MADD.
3. Black-outs (not remembering what happened while drinking) are a regular occurrence among college students who drink frequently.
TRUE. Twenty seven percent of students who drank reported at least one incident of forgetting who they were with or where they were while drinking. More than half reported having memory loss during drinking at some point in their lives.
4. Some women can drink as much as men and it won’t affect them differently.
FALSE. Alcohol mixes with body water and women have a higher percentage of water in their bodies, so the amount of alcohol women drink becomes highly concentrated quickly.
5. Only a few medications interact harmfully with alcohol.
FALSE. More than 150 medicines should not be mixed with alcohol including sleeping pills, antihistamines, antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, painkillers and also medicines for diabetes, high blood pressure, epilepsy, antacids and those for motion sickness. Mixing alcohol with these types of medications can be extremely dangerous.