Posted by Steps to Recovery on March 29, 2013

Spring break is underway for most of the United States currently, and I know this is exciting for so many people, especially college kids who are ready for a much deserved break from the grind of studying hard and surviving long lectures. After all, when you are working your fingers to the bone to get that life changing education, nothing is better than a nice break, especially when the first signs of spring are popping up, chasing winter away, right? Yes, indeed. But there is a dark side to all the fun that is spring break. It can actually be deadly for unsuspecting young people who are just looking for a good time.

The thing with spring break and the dangers it holds for young people is that it is a holiday centered around drinking and partying. That, in addition to these young folks being away from home and the people who would help restrict dangerous activity, can be a major problem. Young people celebrating spring break away from home often get swept up in all the partying, just wanting to have fun with friends. Studies show that kids who vacation with friends for spring break drink and use drugs dramatically more than if they vacation with parents. Every year during spring break, there is a huge increase in emergency room visits and hospitalizations of young people due to alcohol and drug abuse. So how to talk to your kids about staying safe during spring break?

  • You must be clear, firm and consistent when discouraging your teen from using drugs and alcohol. These talks can be really hard, but finding a time to sit down and talk with your teenager could be the difference between life and death for them and even other people.
  • Talk to your college kid specifically about drug and alcohol use during Spring Break. Show them some statistics and talk about previous spring break incidences in your local area. Making references to local situations can help make the possibility of this happening to them seem more realistic.
  • Talk to your kid about their spring break plans. Where will they be, who will they be with, when are they leaving and returning? Talk to them often during spring break to see how they are doing and to give yourself the opportunity to support them if they need it.
  • Trust your kid. And listen to them without judgment if they need you. Offer open minded support and guidance. Be there for them so that if something comes up they know they can turn to you for help.

Spring break can be a lot of fun. Just make sure your college kid is aware of the dangers and knows that you are there for them if they need support. How do you talk to your kids about spring break?