Spring break: traveling precautions

Spring break offers a buffet of poor choices. Drinking, drugs, and unprotected sex present persistent temptations.
“Someone is killed every 31 minutes in a drunk driving accident during normal times; during spring break, those numbers increase by as much as 23 percent,” Wagner Reese, an Indianapolis Attorney, said.

Staying safe during spring break can not only protect oneself but also friends and strangers, especially where alcohol is involved.

“If drinking alcohol is part of your break, remember that it can impair your judgment and actions,” the Center for Disease Control said. “Don’t drink and drive. There are plenty of non-alcoholic alternatives.”

Knowing what to do can help spring breakers stay safe, especially during situations involving drinking or drugs.

In party situations where drinks or other means of intoxication are offered, a polite denial is often accepted, especially at a big party. In a scenario where the server gets pushy, the situation gets sticky. One tip is for unwilling guests to tell friends they don’t feel comfortable and request a ride home. If the friends are drunk, then parents or sober friends can be called. Most parents or friends would rather pick someone up at four in the morning than not have that person come home at all. The site Treatment Solutions offers more ways to refuse a drink for other scenarios.

The CDC also recommends that people traveling to other countries be cautious about getting tattoos and piercings in other countries. Before tourists get a tattoo from a foreign location, the CDC reminds that it’s important to know the tools are sterilized and safe as well as making sure the “artist” is an actual artist.

Students might go to other destinations in a drunken state that seem all fun and games, until a terrible situation arises. A young woman named Natalee Ann Holloway disappeared May 30, 2005. On a graduation trip in Aruba, Holloway was allegedly given a drink laced with a date rape drug. That night she began foaming at the mouth, likely to chemicals she ingested, and essentially choked on her own vomit, according to media accounts at the time.

Holloway may have been drugged but voluntarily went with the men to the bar. Holloway left her friends at the bar. Travelers are now advised to always hold onto a drink and watch it being made. If someone suspects that their drink was tampered with, a new one should be ordered. Visiting a bar with a friends is also generally considered more safe. To read more about the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, see The Daily Mail.

It is also important to be comfortable with the word “no.” Saying “no” draws a clear line stating “this is not okay, you need to stop,” especially in the situation of intercourse. Anything that happens beyond that point is non-consensual rape.

Spring break also brings up concerns about pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The CDC says, “The only 100 percent sure way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancy is by not having sex. If you choose to have sex, using latex condoms and having a monogamous, uninfected partner may help lower your risk.”

If the situation becomes uncomfortable, most counselors remind college students that it is always best to makes one’s own decision to take control of their body.

For more information, check the website Everyday Feminism.