Planning For A Fun And Safe Spring Break
March 3, 2015
It’s that time of year again and the warm beaches of Florida are going to be prime destinations for spring breakers. Spring break is a lot of fun and can provide a lifetime of memories but it can also, just as easily, turn tragic. If you’re headed to the coast, remember the lessons learned in your drug and alcohol course as well as our top safety tips for a safe spring break.
- Maintain a buddy system – Travel with friends and stay with those friends to keep each other out of trouble. Along with college students, spring break also attracts unsavory types such as thieves and sexual predators. Don’t go off alone with someone you don’t know.
There are a lot of reasons not to drink but, if you feel you must:
- Have a plan – Plan on how you’ll get home safely, either by cab or a designated driver. Plan to limit your drinking. If you make a plan before you go out, chances are, you’ll stick with that plan but if you wait until after you’ve been drinking to decide what to do, your judgment will be clouded and you could drink yourself into trouble.
- Limit your drinking – While the effect of alcohol is different on everyone, a general rule of thumb is that it requires at least one hour for the body to process the alcohol from one drink. The more you drink, the longer it takes for the body to process the alcohol and get it out of your system. For females, who are generally smaller, one drink can affect you much more quickly than it will for a male and can take longer for the body to process.
- Binge drinking is deadly – Your body can only process so much alcohol before it becomes toxic. Alcohol affects your motor skills. You quickly start to feel the effect on the voluntary motor skills that control your speech, vision and ability to walk but too much alcohol can shut down the involuntary muscles controlling the heart and lungs and death from alcohol poisoning is the result. Drinking games look like fun but, for your own safety, make a plan before you go out not engage in any games that could lead to alcohol poisoning.
- Know what you’re drinking – Different drinks have different amounts of alcohol. Some sweet, flavorful cocktails can have up to four shots of liquor. Depending on your body size, a single cocktail can immediately put you over the legal limit.
- Females; guard your drinks – A female who leaves her drink unattended can easily become the victim of a sexual predator who has slipped Rohypnol (the date rape drug) into her drink. If you leave your drink unguarded at any time, dump it and get a fresh drink.
- Alcohol and the sun don’t mix – If you only drink alcoholic drinks when you’re out in the sun, you can easily become dehydrated. The combination of the sun and activities can quickly wear you out and alcohol will compound that effect. Switch off with water or fruit drinks.
- If it seems like a crazy stunt, it’s probably too dangerous – After drinking, spring breakers have died trying to show off by balancing on bannisters, doing pull ups off of hotel balconies, or trying to dive from a balcony into the hotel pool. Unfortunately, instead of stopping them, their friends, also under the influence of alcohol, urged them on. If you see someone trying to pull a dangerous stunt, try to stop them or call local security. You could save their life.
- Scooters and mopeds – If you rent a scooter or moped, make sure you’re familiar with its operation and watch out for other drivers on the road who may not be watching out for you. Never try to operate a scooter or moped if you’ve been drinking.
- Don’t party to the end – Don’t try to party up to the last second before leaving for home. If you’re driving, everyone in your party should try to get a good night’s sleep before heading home. Driving drowsy is just as dangerous as drunk driving.
- Stay alert driving on the road – Share driving duties and switch off with other drivers to remain alert. Long periods on a boring interstate can lead to “highway hypnosis”; avoid that by stopping every two hours or 100 miles to refresh yourself or take a short nap. If you have a long way to drive, don’t try to do it in a single trip. Stop and get some rest before continuing.
- DON’T DRIVE DRUNK OR DRUGGED!!!! – It should go without saying but there are far too many tragedies on spring break because people ignored this simple piece of advice!