Finally, spring break is just around the corner! For college students, spring break is a time for relaxation and fun. Many plan vacations to go to the beach and other places, and it really feels great to get away. Some popular destinations include Fort Lauderdale, Daytona Beach, Ocean City and even Cancun. Spring break is a time to just get away, relax, and have a great time.
However, spring break fun can get out of hand. Tens of thousands of teens travel (sometimes alone) to Florida and other popular locations and hit the crazy party scene, filled with drugs and underage drinking. According to the Journal of American Health, during spring break, the average male reported drinking 18 drinks per day and the average female reported 10 drinks per day. About half drank until they got sick or passed out at least once.
A government survey also reported that 42 percent of college students are binge drinkers. Such acts are not only dangerous but can get you into major trouble, especially if you are underage. According to drugfreenoblecounty.org, last year in the 4 week spring break period, there were 2,000 arrests in Panama City and Daytona of individuals age 15 to 21 and 20,000 fake IDs were confiscated in Panama City and Daytona alone.
With all of this going on, it is extremely important to be aware of the dangers that may occur during spring break. Each year, dozens of rape cases are reported to the police, along with drinking and driving accidents. Sadly, there have been students that have lost their lives during spring break due to alcohol poisoning or drinking and driving.
To keep yourselves and others safe, Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, released ten valuable safety tips for spring break. Please keep these tips in mind this spring break. They may not only keep you safe but your closest friends as well. You could even save a life.
1. Trust your instincts. If you get that gut feeling that something isn’t right, don’t ignore it. Listen to it.
2. Stick with your friends. There is strength in numbers. Don’t wander off alone, and arrive and leave together. Do not leave anyone behind, and keep an eye on each other.
3. Don’t post your location on social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. Sharing too much information could endanger your safety. Be careful about what you post.
4. Make a plan. Establish a meeting place with your friends if you split up, know the address of your hotel or wherever you are staying and establish a way to get back safely.
5. Don’t let your guard down. Treat your vacation spot as you would any unfamiliar environment. In reality, you are still surrounded by strangers. Do not assume that someone will look out for your best interests.
6. Practice safe drinking. Do not take a drink from a stranger and never leave your drink unattended. If you are worried someone has tampered with your drink, throw it out and get a new one.
7. Intervene. If you witness a situation that seems questionable, speak up and say something. You could prevent someone from being a victim of sexual violence or a crime from occurring.
8. Avoid being alone with a stranger. Be sure to stick with a group with friends. If a stranger asks to go somewhere alone with you, make up any excuse you can to avoid it.
9. Be aware of your surroundings. Check out your location before you go out and make sure you know a way to get back to where you are staying. Be alert and aware at all times.
10. Be prepared. Have your cell phone on you and be sure to carry emergency cash if you need to call a cab, etc. Be prepared for anything. You never know what could happen.
Remember to keep all these tips in mind if you are going away for spring break this year. You don’t want to put yourself and others in a dangerous situation. Have fun and stay safe.