For many teens and young adults spring break trips full of wild parties, heavy drinking and drugs are a right of passage. However, this combination of youth, inexperience, drugs and alcohol can be deadly. The US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcohol abuse (NIAAA) estimates that 1,825 college students aged 18 to 24 die each academic year from alcohol-related injuries. That number is both concerning and staggering. If your son or daughter needs help with substance abuse, call Legacy Freedom. Our drug and alcohol treatment center in Wilmington NC uses only the best holistic therapies to help them beat addiction.
Substance Abuse and Reckless Behaviors During Spring Break
The dangers aren't limited to the use and consumption of drugs and alcohol alone. Promiscuous sex leads to the exposure to sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies. Extreme alcohol consumption can also lead to reckless and potentially criminal behaviors. Petty crimes like stealing street signs and urinating in public to more serious crimes like sexual assault, DUI, and battery often accompany these youthful over indulgences. Feelings of youthful invincibility feed poor reasoning and incidents of fatal balcony falls, vehicle accidents, boating and jet ski accidents and alcohol poisoning all increase.
Whether you are a college student headed out for spring break with your friends or a concerned parent, it is important to know the signs of alcohol poisoning or drug overdose. Should any of these symptoms occur, seek emergency help immediately:
- Loss of consciousness or extreme confusion
- Slow or irregular breathing with long pauses (more than 10 seconds)
- Complaining of being cold and sleepy
- Pale skin
- Blue or dusky coloring around the mouth
If possible, keep the person awake and talking until help arrives. Do not attempt to give them water or food as they may have a seizure and choke on any liquid or food in their mouths.
Spring break tourism is big business. In 2013, students spent almost $1 billion on spring break in the states of Texas and Florida alone. South Padre Island estimates that they conduct 25 arrests per day and amass $80,000 in fines during the influx of college students. Panama City Beach police arrested 1,300 party goers. In fact, sixty percent of students who attended spring break reported having some sort of contact with an officer.
It's not just the jails and backs of patrol cars that are filling up during spring break, the emergency room is also busy. Sixty percent of students reported being injured in some way during spring break. On an annual basis, some form of sexual assault or rape was reported by more than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24. That number of assaults is likely even higher. since that number doesn't account for all the cases that go unreported. The number of students assaulted by another student who was drinking is a staggering 690,000. Almost 600,000 students are treated for injuries they sustained while drinking.
For many young adults, spring break is their introduction to excess. According to the NIAAA, 75 percent of college-aged males and 44 percent of college-aged females reported getting drunk daily during their spring break trip. Approximately half of these students will binge drink to the point of unconsciousness at least once during their trip. Columbia University released a recent report that showed that approximately one in four of the nation's college students has some form of chemical or alcohol dependence. Coupling this trend of addiction with inexperience and peer pressure has life altering results.
Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center in Wilmington NC for Young Adults
At Legacy Freedom of Wilmington, we understand that experimentation is part of exploring yourself as a person. However, when that experimentation goes too far and leads to a full blown addiction, we are here to help. Our program is not a 12 step program. At our drug and alcohol treatment center in Wilmington NC, we only utilize holistic methods to treat your drug or alcohol addiction. Working together with your Life-Purpose Coach, you will develop a treatment plan that is focused on you. Combining traditional one-on-one talk therapy, group therapy and alternative therapies like acupuncture, adventure therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy help us get to the root of your alcohol or drug addiction. Incorporating nutritional therapy as well as physical therapy into your program will help your body heal from addiction and facilitate your transition into a healthy and sober lifestyle.
Across the board, the incidence of drug use by college students is on the rise. Drugs like Xanax, Ritalin, and sedatives are being used on college campuses and by college students in alarming numbers. Marijuana use has doubled since the late 1990's and the use of cocaine and heroin is up 52 percent across campuses nationwide. This information and the information from the American College of Health (ACH) on college-age binge drinking pose serious health concerns for students long after they have left the beaches. The ACH studies have found that the average female spring breaker consumes 10 alcoholic beverages per day while the average male spring break attendee consumes 18. This is a significant increase over "typical" college drinking.
Continued excessive or binge consumption of alcohol can be seen on MRI scans in the form of long-term brain damage. Many people fail to realize that brain development continues into the mid-twenties. The brains of students who routinely binge drank showed excessive nerve tissue damage when compared to those who did not drink. This damage manifests in the regions of the brain that impair significant functions like body movement, fine motor coordination and both short and long-term memory.
If you, or someone you love, have a drug or alcohol problem, now is the time to get help. The staff at Legacy Freedom specializes in treating co-addictions, alcohol and drug addiction. Utilizing drugs or alcohol to manage chronic pain, depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, schizophrenia or bipolar issues may actually be making them worse. Identifying the underlying reasons for your substance abuse is critical to the success of your sobriety. Whether you have tried and failed at 12 step programs or are reaching out for help for the first time, Legacy Freedom has all the tools you need to make your journey towards sober living successful.
Experts believe that education about the dangers of mixing alcohol and drugs as well as the risks involved with binge drinking should be stepped up on campus. Dr. Eric Collins, a psychiatrist at Silver Hill Hospital in New Cannan, CT says that one of the biggest problems with alcohol consumption in the college set is the ambivalence in US society to do anything about the issue of underage consumption.
Collins asserts that American society turns a blind eye to college students drinking. That, in fact, most people don't mind that they drink. What they fail to realize is that the bigger problem is that college students are more likely to binge drink, a behavior that has very little stigma thanks to the media. This common expectation that heavy drinking is acceptable for young people contributes to the problem, says Collins.
No one wants to take the fun out of spring break. The goal is only to make it a safer and reduce the number of arrests, injuries and deaths that occur each year. Before you book your flight, pack your bags and head to paradise, read our next blog on spring break safety tips. Ensure that you know the signs of alcohol poisoning and if your desire to party to excess makes every night feel like a night in Cabo, it's time to call Legacy Freedom of Wilmington.
Take back your life from drug and alcohol addiction and begin your journey to sobriety today.