We have entered into the season fondly referred to as “March Madness;” exciting for all of the basketball fans, out there; however, there is another kind of madness that seems to enter into this season, as well. It began with Mardi Gras, in February. March Madness brings on “Spring Break,” partying associated with the month long basketball games, and St. Patrick’s Day (continue reading to see the relevance of the color ‘green’). So, while there are many fun things to look forward to as Spring arrives, there is news here that make this blog not so much fun to write, or read.
Binge drinking will be experienced by tens of thousands of high school and college students during this month. Facebook and other social media will abound with photos that many will wish had never been taken. Binge drinking is defined as having four or more drinks (usually much more) in just a few hours. It can cause alcohol addiction, high risk behaviors including driving while impaired, sexual behavior including unprotected sex, organ damage to liver and kidneys, bad hangover, and alcohol poisoning, among others.
Binge drinking has worse effects on girls than guys. Studies from Universities of California, and Stanford found negative effects on the brain of females, including diminished activity in the areas of memory, compared to nondrinking teens. The study came up that females are more open to neurotoxic effects of heavy alcohol abuse to which males may be somewhat more resilient (but don’t be mistaken guys, there ARE harmful effects for you, too). www.caron.org
Aside from the science, which is significant, the social and relational implications are striking, as well. Those Facebook, SnapChat, and Instagram photos of passed out daughters/sisters/friends with the words ‘whore’ and ‘slut’ written all over them in lipstick/markers amount to Cyber-bullying, as well as ruined reputations and lives. Notice we don’t seem to see similar photos of the passed-out guys!
So, before partying, consider your options and choices: Have yourself a key word or catch phrase that catches your attention before you start taking endless shots. The old, ‘Stop, Drop, and Roll for fires can have relevance here; Stop and think. Drop what you’re doin’, and roll on out, before ‘getting burned’. Have a friend with mutual accountability. Parents, talk to your sons and daughters openly and straightforward rather than assuming they will figure it out o.k. Take time to read those Spring Break primers from your school’s student affairs that give good tips ie. not accepting that pretty tropical drink that somebody hands you (with roofies in it). Explore the countless alternatives to alcohol and drugs for your ‘good time.’ Volunteer (perhaps in another country)! Consider ‘sanctioned’ risk taking, ie. skydive, rock climb, snowboard, parasail, para glide.
Enjoy truly living this Spring!
If you or someone you love is wondering if there is a drinking problem or fighting substance abuse please contact David Wiley for a test 919-649-5882. Our team at RCA are warm and caring here to help you with the tough times of life.
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