It’s important to talk to kids about underage drinking before spring break
Parents, Teachers: Play It Safe During Spring Break. Talk About Underage Drinking Before the Party Starts
For many high school and college students, a spring break provides a week of relief and relaxation from busy class schedules. However, it can also be a period of partying, often without adult supervision. Students attending beach weeks and taking trips to popular spring break destinations are faced with many situations that can involve risky behavior and underage drinking.
Events like spring break and prom are major milestones for high school and college-age students. But these occasions can be associated with underage and harmful drinking and an increased risk of the associated negative consequences. Drinking rates among college students increase substantially around this time of year: During spring break, 44 percent of college women and 75 percent of college men 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.
So, what can you do to minimize the potential for risky drinking and prevent underage drinking?
- Learn the facts about college drinking and underage drinking.
- Start talking with your high school or college student early and often (and learn how to address common questions and concerns during this conversation).
- Learn about other organizations that have addressed spring break and underage drinking, such as Virginia Beach’s Youth and Community Action Team and the University of California-Santa Barbara.
- Use digital storytelling techniques to discuss harmful situations that may arise during spring break or prom. Digital storytelling uses first-person narratives that incorporate video, images, music, narration, and text. For an example, read about what Lake County Build a Generation in Colorado did at its underage drinking Communities Talk event.