An item in the March 13 Tomahawk Leader
Every spring, parents around the country cross their fingers when spring break rolls around and their children flaunt their freedom in beach towns. Is there really any reason for concern with kids sowing their wild oats? The answer is yes, now more than ever before.
Today's spring break scene is drastically different from that of a decade ago, as tour and alcohol companies band together to create travel packages to exotic destinations such as Cancun or Cabos San Lucas where the legal drinking age is only 18. Travel packages often include free admission to clubs and unlimited alcohol, and are promoted using the appeal of limitless drinking and sex. Parents financing spring break trips are usually unaware of these marketing messages sent directly to students.
Spring break is literally the tip of the iceberg when you're talking about the drinking problem among college-aged citizens. According to a report by Dr. Ralph Hingson, now of the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 40 percent of college students indulge in binge drinking. (Binge drinking is five or more drinks within a couple of hours of each other.) Each year, 1,700 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die in alcohol-related accidents including motor vehicle crashes; and 599,000 are unintentionally injured under the influence of alcohol. Not only that, more than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape. More than 150,000 students develop an alcohol-related health problem and between 1.2 and 1.5 percent of students indicate that they tried to commit suicide within the past year due to drinking or drug use. And perhaps most telling, 31 percent of college students met criteria for a diagnosis of alcohol abuse and 6 percent met the criteria of alcohol dependence in the past 12 months, according to questionnaire-based self-reports about their drinking.
Spring break amounts to a national celebration of drug and alcohol abuse among this age group, propelling some individuals on to substance dependence or addiction and related problems.
For information on Narconon's successful drug and alcohol treatment and educational programs and materials, contact Narconon Arrowhead at 1-800-468-6933 or visit www.stopaddiction.com.