Spring Break - March 2009
Keeping Safe while on Spring Break
This newsletter is dedicated to an enjoyable and safe Spring Break. Spring break
has always been an exciting time for college students. It is an opportunity to go
to a favorite warm-weather destination , and make an attempt at ignoring the stresses
of school and snow. We would like to provide you with some safety precautions and
tips to help you have a fabulous Spring Break.
Beautiful weather, a week off of school, and little responsibility leaves many students
engaging in extreme consumption of alcohol in an attempt to make the most out of this
relaxing week. This may sound appealing, but there are many dangers to binge drinking
which can turn a much-needed vacation into a scary situation. Extreme alcohol use
can result in impaired decision-making, loss of memory, and alcohol poisoning, among
There are many factors that go into responsible drinking habits, and putting to use
these practices can be the difference between an enjoyable spring break and a regrettable
spring break. While on vacation and drinking alcohol, take into account your own
weight, height, gender, what you had to eat that day, the alcohol you are drinking,
and how fast or slow you are consuming the alcohol.
If you are going to drink during Spring Break, it is very important that you take
precautions. Drunk college students are seen as a target for both theft and rape.Keeping
these factors in mind and drinking responsibly, you will have a more enjoyable vacation
as opposed to a visit to a police station or worse, an emergency room.
Think before you drink
Death: 1,700 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related
unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes.
Injury: 599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 each year are unintentionally injured
under the influence of alcohol.
Assault: More then 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 each year are assaulted by
another student who has been drinking.
Sexual Abuse: More than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 each year are victims of
alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.
All drinks are not created equal
Most people don't know what counts as a standard drink, and therefore, don't realize
how many standard drinks are in the containers in which these drinks are sold.
For beer, the approximate number of standard drinks in
12 oz can/bottle of beer = 1 standard drink
16 oz can/bottle of beer = 1.3 standard drinks
22 oz can/bottle of beer = 2 standard drinks
40 oz can/bottle of beer = 3.3 standard drinks
For malt liquor, the approximate number of standard drinks in
12 oz malt liquor = 1.5 standard drinks
16 oz malt liquor = 2 standard drinks
22 oz malt liquor = 2.5 standard drinks
40 oz malt liquor = 4.5 standard drinks
For table wine, the approximate number of standard drinks in
A standard 750 ml (25 oz) bottle of wine = 5 standard drinks
For 80-proof spirits or "hard liquor", the approximate number of standard drinks in
a mixed drink = 1 or more standard drinks
a fifth (25 oz) = 17 standard drinks
a pint (16oz) = 11 standard drinks
1.75 L (59 oz) = 39 standard drinks
Past the point of possible no return......
Excessive drinking can be hazardous to everyone's health!!! Some people laugh at the
behavior of others who are drunk. Some think that it's even funnier when they pass
out. As you are laughing about the drunk who has passed out in the corner, there
a couple of things that you should know.
It is common for someone who has indulged in an excessive amount of alcohol to vomit
since the alcohol is an irritant. Alcohol depresses nerves that control involuntary
actions such as breathing and the ability to gag (which prevent choking). Typically,
one of the biggest concerns when someone vomits, and is unable to control their gag
reflex to prevent choking, is aspiration of the vomit. When vomit is aspirated, the
lungs are flooded with foul material which blocks the ability for oxygen to get in
and out. If not treated, this could eventually lead to death . If a member of your
group become intoxicated, never leave them alone. If they pass out, make sure they
sleep on their side to prevent choking, and if their level of consciousness is too
low to get a response, call 911.
Common myths about sobering up include drinking black coffee, taking a cold bath or
sleeping it off or walking it off. These are just myths. The only thing that reduces
the affects of alcohol in your system is TIME. And time is something that you do not have enough of when you are suffering from
Signs of Alcohol Poisoning
-Mental confusion, stupor, coma, or person cannot be roused.
-Slow breathing (fewer than eight breaths per minute).
-Irregular breathing (10 seconds or more between breaths).
-Hypothermia (low body temperature),
bluish skin color, paleness.
Don't be afraid to seek medical help for a friend who has been drinking. In the long
run, you could be saving their life.
Not only during spring break, but anytime, it is always smart to use the buddy system
while out with friends. The buddy system means that before going out, you will designate
which friends will stay together and make sure that no one ends up alone and/or in
a compromising situation.
1) Safety in numbers. Go out in groups and make sure that no one is ever left alone
2) Don't ever leave your drink out of sight. If you take your eyes off of it, discard
3) Wear sunscreen
4) Always keep emergency money in a separate place other than your purse or wallet.
5) Only accept drinks from a licensed bartender or drinks that you pour yourself.
Do not accept drinks from strangers unless you watch it being poured. You put yourself
at risk for receiving an altered beverage if you don't know the source of the drink.
6) Do not travel with illegal substances
7) Avoid casual intimate relationships with someone you just met and make sure that
you practice safe sex.
8) Never leave an intoxicated friend. If a friend is sick, don't leave them alone.
If you feel sick, ask someone to look out for you. If a member of your group passes
out, turn them on their side to prevent choking and call 911 immediately.
9) Be careful following people you don't know back to hotel rooms, parties, homes,
10) Don't carry a lot of cash. Use credit/debit cards, or traveler's check. If theft
occurs, report your card stolen immediately and have it canceled.
High profile cases such as Natalee Holloway, a high school student who disappeared
during her Spring Break trip to Aruba, are uncommon. However, sexual violence and
other violent acts during Spring Break are not. Use common sense and follow these
simple safety tips.
1) Always be aware of your location and how to get back to your hotel.
2) Take only what you absolutely need during the day. The less baggage, the better.
Store valuable items in hotel safe. Or don't bring them with you at all.
3) Never share personal information with a stranger, especially hotel information.
4) Never go anywhere alone and always make sure someone knows where you are going.
5) Never take offers for free rides or tours from anyone.
6) Keep money, passport and ID in a pouch that is not easily accessible, such as a
neck pouch hanging inside you shirt or a waist belt inside your pants.
7) Be cautious of groups of kids, strangers offering to help with your bags and anyone
that inadvertently bumps into you.
8) Keep carry-ons, purse and other baggage near you. If you set baggage down, place
it securely between your legs.
9) Place your purse strap over a shoulder crossing it over your upper torso. Place
wallets in front pockets; they are too easy to steal from back pockets.
10) If you are robbed, don't resist -- give up any money, jewelry, or other valuables.
You can always replace material things. Call 911 as soon as you can.
1) Always keep your door locked whether you are in your room or away from it.
2) Keep track of your hotel key and never lend it to a stranger.
3) Use your peephole before answering the door.
4) Never leave your valuables in sight: lock them in a suitcase or room safe.
5) Never go anywhere alone. If you are in an elevator with strangers, stand next to
6) Be aware of the fire escape route. Know the way out if needed.
7) Don't horseplay or climb on balconies. Never sit on railings and always keep both
feet on the floor at all times. Falls from balconies, even those on lower floors,
can be fatal.