LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 1, 2012) -- Spring break can be one of the most exciting times of a student’s college career. It can also be the most dangerous, a time when young adults need to consider their actions and the ensuing consequences.
The 1.5 million college students who go on spring break every year spend about $1 billion. Much of that money is spent on alcohol. Both men and women consume an average of 10 drinks per day, every day of spring break. That compares to about six per week during the school year while on campus.
During the traditional spring break intervals of 2000 to 2009 in Panama City Beach, Fla., one of the most popular spring break destinations, officials report more than 50 deaths, “thousands” of reported sexual assaults and more than 100,000 other crimes.
According to Rachel Carnahan, assistant director of the University of Kentucky Office of Substance Education and Responsibility, most college students think spring break is a time when rules and consequences don’t apply.
“Most college students on spring break are involved in a variety of high-risk behaviors,” said Carnahan. “For example, about 76 percent of male college students ‘want’ to sleep with someone they never met while on spring break, compared to 19 percent of college-age women who have the same expectation. Most have unprotected sex,” she said.
The UK Office of Substance Education and Responsibility wants to address these issues and others of equal importance at a Spring Break Safety three-day event Monday, March 5, through Wednesday, March 7. All events are free.
· Monday, Pills and Pizza, 6-8 p.m., Gallery Room of the William T. Young Library. Discussions are designed to boost awareness of prescription medications, alcohol and other substance abuse on college campuses and during spring break. University Health Services (UHS), Student Wellness Ambassadors and GenerationRX will provide pizza, beverages and giveaways.
· Tuesday, Sexy and Safe Spring Break, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Starbucks area of the Student Center. UHS Sexperts and Student Wellness Ambassadors from the Office of Substance Education and Responsibility will discuss how to stay safe on spring break. Students will receive pocket-sized cards with information about date-rape drugs and alcohol poisoning, spring break safety kits and sex-in-the-sack bags. Attendees will be entered to win a variety of prizes.
· Wednesday, Fuel Your Spring Break Bod, 5-8 p.m., Bernard Johnson Student Recreation Center on Complex Drive. Some might call this a "Wellness Gone Wild" party hosted by the Student Wellness Ambassadors of the Office of Substance Education and Responsibility and UHS. Students will receive all the information available at the previous events about how to be safe while on spring break. There will be activities, T-shirts, sunglasses, sex in the sack bags, and spring break safety bags full of lip balm, sunblock, information cards about alcohol poisoning and date rape drugs, and other goodies that can be useful during spring break 2012. Participants will also get a chance to be entered into drawings to win gift cards to over 50 hot spots around the Lexington community.
“The Student Wellness Ambassadors' events promoting spring break safety are an effective way of educating UK students on how to stay safe while enjoying themselves on vacation. Not only are the events fun and set up in convenient locations, but also they provide useful information and safety items (condoms, sunscreen, sunglasses, etc.) that will help even the most high-risk spring breaker stay responsible,” said Matt Soergel, vice president of the Student Wellness Ambassadors, a group of UK student-volunteer educators affiliated with the Office of Substance Education and Responsibility.