I also am posting a few spring break related studies to help you be safe:
New York, NY (PRWEB) March 14, 2009
Spring break time is here for countless college students across the country. Dreams of fun in the sun can provide much needed motivation to push through the grind of mid-terms. A few critical yet common-sense precautions can help prevent spring break dreams from becoming nightmares.
According to Steven Crimando, Managing Director of Extreme Behavioral Risk Management in New York, managing behavior is the main risk for students.
Excessive risk taking is pervasive among both genders. According to a University of Wisconsin study, 75% of college males and 44% of females reported being intoxicated on a daily basis during spring break. Nearly 50 percent of the males and more than 40 percent of the females also said they were drunk to the point of vomiting or passing out at least once during break.
Crimando says, "This is the kind of binge drinking that is the major cause of alcohol poisoning. Everyone who goes on spring break plans to have plenty of fun but no one is planning on getting sick, hurt, or in real life-changing trouble."
He adds that much of the risk associated with spring break is created by reckless behavior and that risk is compounded when students may be far from home, on someone else's turf and extremely vulnerable.
Crimando offers 7 tips for spring break survival:
1. Stay together: Crime prevention research concludes the probability of being victimized drops substantially if you are with at least one other person. Staying together in a group of three or more decreases the likelihood of trouble even further. Never leave a bar, club or party with a stranger. Arrange a buddy system and watch out for your friends.
2. Don't go looking for trouble: Stay out of areas known for drugs, violence or prostitution. Stay close to the hubs of spring break activity and resist exploring areas far from your hotel or friends. Become familiar with your street names, and landmarks which can be important if you get lost or separated from your group.
3. File a Flight Plan: Always let friends or relatives at home know your whereabouts. Leave your general itinerary with someone who is not traveling with you.
4. Watch that Drink: Don't accept a drink from anyone if you did not see it being prepared yourself. Also, don't leave your drink unattended for any period of time. If you have to, dump it and get a fresh one.
5. Have a Plan B: When entering a hotel, bar or club, always know where emergency exits are located in case of a fire or other urgent situation. In an emergency; don't just run from danger, run towards safety.
6. Carry a cell phone: If you're heading out of the country, check with your wireless service provider about coverage or add-ons to your plan that will allow your phone to work smoothly while away. Keep your phone charged, keep it on and learn the local emergency number if it is anything other than 9-1-1. Your cell phone can be a lifeline if you get in trouble.
7. Always carry cab fare: Don't rely on others, especially strangers, to get you from point A to B. If your friends have been drinking or there's a change of plans, make sure to have enough cash to get back to your home base.
Another study by the American Medical Association suggested that females be extra careful:
Study Warns Women About Spring Break
Mar 8, 7:11 AM (ET)
By LINDSEY TANNER
CHICAGO (AP) - The American Medical Association is warning girls not to go wild during spring break. All but confirming what goes on in those "Girls Gone Wild" videos, 83 percent of college women and graduates surveyed by the AMA said spring break involves heavier-than-usual drinking, and 74 percent said the break results in increased sexual activity.
The women's answers were based both on firsthand experience and the experiences of friends and acquaintances.
Sizable numbers reported getting sick from drinking, and blacking out and engaging in unprotected sex or sex with more than one partner, activities that increase their risks for sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.
The AMA is trying to call attention to underage drinking among women because their bodies process alcohol differently and put them at greater risk for health problems, Dr. J. Edward Hill, AMA's president, said Tuesday.
The AMA-commissioned online survey queried a nationwide random sample of 644 college women or graduates ages 17 to 35 last week.
Kathleen Fitzgerald, a 21-year-old junior at Illinois State University, said the AMA's effort to raise awareness is a good idea, but probably won't do much to curb drinking during spring break.
"I think a lot of students wouldn't really pay that much attention to it," Fitzgerald said. "They would just be like, 'Duh, that's why we do it.'"
About 30 percent of women surveyed said spring break trips with sun and alcohol are an essential part of college life.
Also, 74 percent said women use spring break drinking as an excuse for "outrageous" behavior that the AMA said could include public nudity and dancing on tables.
Of the 27 percent who said they had attended a college spring break trip:
_More than half said they regretted getting sick from drinking on the trip.
_About 40 percent said they regretted passing out or not remembering what they did.
_13 percent said they had sexual activity with more than one partner.
_10 percent said they regretted engaging in public or group sexual activity.
_More than half were underage when they first drank alcohol on a spring break trip.
The AMA said the findings highlight the need for alternative spring break activities. For example, the University of Nebraska, Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., and the University of Wisconsin offer spring break "service" trips.
Gemma Kite, a 21-year-old Lehigh junior, is in Brunswick, Ga., for spring break this week, helping build a house for Habitat for Humanity.
"It's so much fun. We're working outside in the sun," Kite said.
She said many students see spring break as "your chance to go wild and crazy in a different country where no one's going to know you." Kite admitted those trips have a certain appeal, and she hopes to take a more party-oriented vacation next year.
"I like to have my fun," Kite said.
Another study printed in Time Magazine from the American Journal of Sociology highlights the risk of sexual activity:
Kids complain that there's nothing to do in the Midwestern town scientists are calling "Jefferson City." For fun, teenagers drive to the outskirts of this largely white, working-class community and get wasted. Another favorite activity? Sex. A little more than half the 1,000 students in the only high school are sexually active; the average age of initiation: 15 1/2.
Shocked? Actually, it makes Jefferson's kids typical American teens. But in one way the town is highly unusual: it was the site of a unique study in which researchers tried to document every romantic and sexual liaison among high school students over an 18-month period. The purpose of the research--part of the huge National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health--was to learn how sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) travel through teen populations. But what is most remarkable about the study, published recently in the American Journal of Sociology, is the accompanying chart-- the first to map the sexual geography of a U.S. high school.
The map took researchers by surprise. Overall, 573 out of 832 surveyed students reported at least one relationship during the previous 18 months. The majority probably involved an "exchange of fluids," say the authors. There were 63 couples who had no outside partners, but an astonishing 288 students were linked together in an elaborate network of liaisons. Many students had just one or two romances, but they were at risk of contracting STDs from everyone in the chain. This, wrote the authors, is "the worst-case scenario for potential disease diffusion."
Adult sexual networks look very different and usually involve clusters of wanton individuals known to public-health experts as "core transmitters." (Think prostitutes, NBA stars.) Another surprise was the absence of tightly closed loops in which a foursome trades partners--what co-author Peter Bearman calls the Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice phenomenon, after the 1969 film. Teenagers seem to shy from such post-breakup swaps. Bearman, who heads the sociology department at Columbia University, suggests that dating the former boyfriend of your ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend may involve a loss of status or cross a line of loyalty. "It's an incest taboo of sorts," suggests co-author James Moody, an Ohio State sociologist. The behavior is a big factor in creating the long chains that spread germs.
Though girls tended to date older boys, the study found few behavioral differences between the sexes. There are promiscuous boys who prey on less experienced girls, says Bearman, "and girls who are predators of boys." Most relationships were "romantic"; only about 5% were sex-only "hookups."
Just 1% of the relationships were homosexual; nationally, says Moody, the figure is about 2.5% for teens, whose sexual identities are still emerging. The data were collected in the kids' homes back in 1995 using a secure, computerized survey. Says Bearman: "There was no incentive to lie."
Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1022618,00.html#ixzz1HcMdPmBp