Rest, Recharge and Rage! It’s Spring Break

Oh yes, it’s that time of year again, and for those of us who classify ourselves as salty old buggers, spring break “festivities” truly seem mysterious. There’s no doubt college students, many yet to have “come out of their shells” have a fair amount of stress that needs to be alleviated, but there’s no doubt in the minds of experts and parents alike that binge drinking on a beach for a week straight isn’t the safest, or healthiest, way of shaking off a heavy workload. During spring break, 44 percent of college girls and 75 percent of college guys get drunk on a daily basis. Approximately half of college students binge drink—many will drink to the point of passing out at least once during their vacation (NIAAA). Surprising isn’t it? Well, the biggest, and most welcome, surprise of all is that for the past 30 years in the US the level of drinking during spring break has actually remained the same! Well that’s about it for the good news, unfortunately. The risks of excessive drinking aren’t always tied in to the sheer amount of alcohol consumed. In fact, what poses the biggest risk to hard-partying college students during spring break is the profoundly negative effect binge drinking has on the developing brains of young college students.

 

Studies of MRI scans of the brains of young people who drank heavily showed damaged nerve tissue compared to those who did not drink.

The brain is still developing well into the twenties and can be harmed by excessive drinking. Studies have shown that alcohol can cause long-term damage to the brain and as well as impair one’s memory, coordination, and movement. Bottom line: The human body isn’t made to absorb a lot of alcohol in one short time without serious consequences”.

The long term damage, which is the biggest worry, shouldn’t distract parents and loved ones from the immediate dangers of too much alcohol. Loss of coordination, breathing problems and passing out aren’t welcome endings to a night of fun with friends, especially if any of these leads to a trip to the hospital. Young girls also need to be careful because of the loss of inhibition which can lead to being taken advantage of sexually, the same applies to young men even if it isn’t as widespread a problem.