Ways to Stay Safe During Spring Break at Clearwater or St. Pete’s Beach
Studying at college can be hard work. With a break in classes, it makes sense that students want to celebrate, get away from it all and have fun.
But there’s a very basic difference between the student who returns from spring break refreshed and ready to learn and the student who returns with an addiction, a police record and a life tragedy — or the one who never returns at all.
The difference is in believing whether you can celebrate joyously by retaining your awareness, judgment and rationality — or by throwing those values away. Keep reading to learn some spring break safety tips, so you return with a memorable vacation and not a horrible nightmare.
Spring Break Drug Abuse
Every year, spring break in south Florida is full of unpleasant statistics. Crowds of college students swarm the beaches and bars of Clearwater and St. Petersburg, and many end up in emergency rooms. The most common dangers of Spring Break include:
– Car accidents
– Alcohol poisoning
– Sexual assault
– Firearm injuries
Most of the problems are fueled by drug and alcohol abuse and the general spirit of “anything goes” amongst spring breakers.
Drug dealers in south Florida know spring break is their busy season. According to a report by National Geographic, the drug dealers who operate in Clearwater and St. Petersburg and the surrounding areas scramble to increase their volume to keep up with demand during spring break.
Illicit drugs are dangerous to begin with, but when the suppliers are under pressure, quality can only falter. Dealers desperate to meet the demand for party drugs may cut their supply with any substance available. Remember, there’s no label on these products and no FDA inspections.
Spring Break Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol use among college students is common on most campuses. Even more dangerous to the adolescent brain is binge drinking, a trend among people of this age group. For many, spring break is an opportunity to drink more, longer and for several days in a row. The result can be disastrous.
Spring breakers can end up drinking all day outside on the beach in the hot sun. The combination of alcohol and heat creates dangerous conditions. Without classes, tests and homework, college students on spring break may choose to occupy their time with drinking and drinking games, excuses to drink more alcohol faster.
Over-consumption of alcohol on spring break can lead to all kinds of problems. The long-term effects of this behavior can even follow you back to school. A week of binge drinking can result in an addiction to alcohol, even if you weren’t addicted before. A spring break addiction can be a souvenir from your vacation that lasts a lifetime.
How to Stay Safe on Spring Break
You may find it impossible to go on spring break with your friends and not drink at all. However, in many circles, drinking is a social activity that brings people together, and you don’t want to miss out on the fun. If you want to avoid injury or long-term damage from your spring break trip, though, you should follow these tips:
– Don’t leave your drink unattended. This could be an invitation to some well-meaning revelers to spike your soda and include you in the fun. If you choose to drink alcohol, it should be your choice, not someone else’s.
– Make a plan. Before you go out, decide what your boundaries will be for the evening. If you plan to drink, think about how many drinks you should have and stick to that limit. Responsible drinking takes preparation.
– Use the buddy system. Make a pact with a friend that you’ll stick together for the day. Talk about what behaviors you think are appropriate and help each other set limits when the party gets too hot.
– Fuel up. Make sure you eat a healthy meal before you start drinking. Your body needs the nutrients from food to stay healthy. Plus, it’ll slow your absorption of alcohol, keeping you in control.
– Don’t be a follower. Set your own limits and stick to what you know you can handle. Don’t try to do what others are doing or keep up with someone else.
– Avoid hazards. Partying on a balcony, drinking in the sun or operating any motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol are situations that can easily end badly — so don’t put yourself in those types of If you’re going to drink, do so in a safe place with people you know and trust.
– Broaden your focus. Many people go on spring break with the explicit intension of getting drunk and high. Those same people have a very narrow definition of fun. Instead of planning your vacation around drugs and alcohol, include other fun, healthy activities in your trip. When you realize how much fun you can have without alcohol, you may be less inclined to over-
Have a Safe Spring Break Week
Surrendering one’s ability to think is a short-range, “live for the moment,” “forget about the consequences” view of life. This view is something recovering addicts struggle heroically to break away from. It was a contributing factor to their addiction, and it will contribute to their relapse if they don’t escape it completely.
The staff at Tranquil Shores is experienced in working with clients to help conquer their addictions so they can reclaim their own lives. Through our counseling services, you or your children can benefit from our expertise before addiction ever happens, and prevent it from ever happening. The same life skills and happiness skills that overcome addiction and prevent relapse, can stop addiction before it starts. You won’t need to reclaim your life if you never surrender it. Contact us today!