Spring Break and the Dangers of Binge Drinking Amongst College Students
Spring Break is recognized as a time for college students to temporarily separate themselves from their school work and study obligations to hang out with friends often times vacationing to a popular destination. Usually, Spring Break is two weeks in duration and the main activity that vast majority of college students engage in is consuming alcohol better known as binge drinking.
Per Forbes.com, binge drinking is defined as the practice of consuming large quantities of alcohol in a single session, usually defined as five or more drinks at one time for a man, or four or more drinks at one time for a woman. The number of beverages consumed is often times less for women than men due to their smaller stature and overall body makeup, therefore, taking a lesser amount of overall alcohol consumption to generate higher a much higher BAL or blood alcohol level. Alcohol also doesn’t break down as quickly in women as it does in men. Research conducted by Forbes has shown that binge drinking is the most popular activity amongst college students
Per Rebab.com, past and present binge drinking studies have estimated that during spring break, approximately:
- 42 percent of students get drunk at least once
- 11 percent of students “blackout” or pass out due to drinking
- 32 percent experience hangovers
- 2 percent get into trouble with the police
Another study done by the American College of Health found that the average man consumes around 18 alcoholic beverages per day while the average woman typically ingests around 10 drinks per day during spring break, which is obviously beyond the safe levels of alcohol consumption.
Binge drinking can have serious and negative physical, legal, and social impacts. Below are statistics about common consequences of binge drinking published by the NIAAA also known as The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
- Death: It’s estimated that approximately 1,800 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol- related unintentional injuries, including motor-vehicle crashes.
- Injury: An estimated 599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are unintentionally injured each year under the influence of alcohol.
- Physical Assault: Approximately 646,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted each year by another student who has been drinking.
- Sexual Assault: Perhaps greater than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape each year.
- Unsafe Sex: An estimated 400,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 had unprotected sex, and nearly 110,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report having been too intoxicated to know if they consented to having sex.
- Health Problems: More than 150,000 students develop an alcohol-related health problem each year.
- Suicide Attempts: Between 1.2 and 1.5 percent of college students indicate that they tried to commit suicide within the past year as a result of drinking or drug use.
- Drunk Driving: Roughly 2.7 million college students between the ages of 18 and 24 drive under the influence of alcohol each year.
- Memory Loss: National estimates suggest that 10 percent of non–binge drinkers, 27 percent of occasional binge drinkers, and 54 percent of frequent binge drinkers reported at least one incident in the past year of blacking out, defined as having forgotten where they were or what they did while drinking.
- Property Damage: More than 25 percent of administrators from schools with relatively low drinking levels and more than 50 percent from schools with high drinking levels say their campuses have a “moderate” or “major” problem with alcohol-related property damage.
In conclusion, although Spring Break is utilized as a time for students to vacation and relieves stresses, often times drinking activities are very dangerous sometimes resulting in arrest, serious injury or even death. In order to avoid an increased likelihood of negative, alcohol-related consequences during these spring break trips, it’s important for this issue to be addressed, especially before the trips are planned, and expectations are misplaced.