Alcohol and drug abuse wreak havoc on men’s and women’s lives every day of the week. But rarely is the level of temptation as intense as that which is offered during spring break. Each spring, teens and young adults scramble to vacation destinations like Cabo San Lucas, Cancun and Daytona Beach, determined to throw caution to the wind on many fronts – from underage drinking to drug use to sexual promiscuity. The devastating results range from car accidents to overdose and unplanned pregnancies…to name a few.
Scary Spring Break Facts
“Young Americans have suffered injury or even death from automobile accidents, drowning, and falls, in addition to other mishaps during spring break. While these accidents sometimes occur by chance, most result from alcohol or drug abuse.”
~U.S. Department of state, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Travel Safety Information for Students
“Studies of spring-breakers reveal that more than half of all males and 40% of females reported drinking until they became sick or passed out.”
“Nearly half of all college students binge drink — and during spring break it seems to go to the extreme.”
~ The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
“Doctors see the effects of intoxication (during spring break) at three to five times the legal limit; injuries from high-speed car and Jet Ski accidents, pumped stomachs, broken legs and spinal compressions from balcony falls, and maybe once a day, date rape.”
The Risk of Long-Term Substance Abuse
If the immediate aftermath of spring-break-related substance use was the only caveat, one might argue the annual event is a worthwhile endeavor. After all; who could blame American college students for wanting a break from the daily grind? Unfortunately, however, another direct result of binge drinking is addiction.
To qualify as binge drinking, the amount of alcohol one consumes must be significantly more than one would normally imbibe in a similar timeframe. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the formal criteria to objectively measure binge drinking episodes include:
- The consumption of four or more alcoholic drinks on the same occasion by females at least one day during the month.
- The consumption of five or more alcoholic drinks on the same occasion by males at least one day a month.
- The consumption of alcohol in a single timeframe which raises one’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) to a level of 0.08 at least one day a month.
SAMHSA defines heavy alcohol users as those who binge five or more times during a month. Heavy drinkers run a significantly higher risk of developing an alcohol use disorder than occasional drinkers. While binge drinking does not automatically lead to a diagnosis of alcohol use disorder, habitual binge drinkers more often battle alcohol use than individuals who do not engage in binge drinking. Rather than being tied to specific quantities of alcohol consumption, alcohol use disorder relates to how alcohol use affects the drinker’s life. Heavy drinking often compromises a person’s ability to function normally and satisfactorily control their use of alcohol.
How to Identify Signs of Binge Drinking
Do you or someone you love:
- Ignore the concerns of others?
- Become defensive and attempt to rationalize alcohol use?
- Drink excessively on weekends or holidays?
- Frequently drinks more alcohol than he or she intended?
- Engages in risky behaviors when under the influence of alcohol?
- Fails to live up to family or work-related obligations due to alcohol use?
- Experience one or more memory lapses after drinking?
- Drink alcohol and use other drugs/medications regularly?
What to Do
Although no formal diagnosable “binge drinking disorder” exists, organizations collecting data on substance abuse agree that repeated binge drinking is a precursor to serious issues with alcohol. If you suspect that someone you love is frequently binge drinking, consult with a licensed mental health professional who specializes in addictive behaviors. A mental health professional can perform a formal assessment and make recommendations about how to proceed. If you or a friend or family member needs help, call MFI Recovery Center today (866) 218-4697.
About Mt Rubidoux MFI
Specializing in the inpatient treatment of men who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse, our treatment center is located in the shadow of Mt. Rubidoux in the City of Riverside. We provide structured and supportive addiction treatment in semi-private, comfortable apartment-style setting. Monitored by professional addiction specialists 24 hours a day, our modern apartments offer a haven for healing during the rehab process. Living and recovering in our Mt. Rubidoux residential treatment facility means becoming healthy again. Our clients receive intensive treatment and learn new, healthy strategies to sustain recovery. To find out more, call today 866-218-4697, or for non-admission related information, contact us at 951-683-6596.
About MFI Recovery Center
Throughout 10 facilities in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, MFI Recovery Center employs the Matrix Model for each client, creating customized treatment programs. Call today to find out more (866) 218-4697, or for non-admission related information, contact us at (951) 683-6596.