As University of West Georgia (UWG) students prepare to make plans for Spring Break vacation, there are many situations that must be taken into consideration.  According to TripSmarter.com, on its Spring Break section, there will be over 1.4 million students that will be on Spring Break vacation during the dates of March 15 through March 23. Students must be aware of their surroundings at all times. What was meant to be a Spring Break to remember could end up as a complete nightmare.

Students seek to travel out of state for their desire for some fun in the sun.  According to some UWG Students, destinations that some will encounter will include Miami, Myrtle Beach, Cancun, Savannah and Panama City Beach. There is nothing but space and opportunity when a vacation is presented for young adults. Those options can pose great dangers to some who are not well prepared for what could be at stake.

“Students should make sensible choices when they are on Spring Break vacation,” said Liz Butts, UWG’s Health & Wellness Promotion Coordination. “I have heard of tragic stories where students don’t make it back home. This is why students should plan accordingly before departing for their Spring Break destination.”

There are many precautions that students should take into consideration when planning and arriving at their Spring Break destination.

When students are on the beach for a long period of time, interacting with friends and strangers, they will need to prepare for the temperature of the sun.

“Students should eat healthier while being on the beach, this includes eating fruit, nuts and edibles that are high in protein,” said Butts. “If students plan to be on the beach for hours at a time, applying sunscreen and wearing a hat is a must. This is because the spring season is just arriving and it is early and fresh, so the skin is the most vulnerable”.

Butts also recommend 20-30 minutes of active beach play a day.

It’s impossible not to talk to a stranger when on Spring Break vacation, but you must keep your guard up.

“Don’t lose sight of who you are and end up with serious consequences that can play with your life,” said Butts.

When alcohol is in the equation with stranger, friends and many other factors, the outcome could possibly be dangerous.

“If you are going to drink, you should never leave your drink unattended; always keep your drink with you,” said Ron King, UWG’s Lead Health Educator. “Being aware of your surroundings is the most important.”

Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) is the number one date rape drug and is very frequent among Spring Breakers, King said.

“GHB can be easily slipped into a drink, increases sex drive, which makes you vulnerable, and is out of your system within hours of you knowing it,” said King.

Hooking up with strangers under the influence can cause potential dangers. Students can possibly drink too much and realize they did not use protection. Condoms should be worn at all times during sexual intercourse. Women who use birth control should still use a condom, not to just avoid pregnancy, but to avoid acquiring a sexually transmitted disease.

Recognizing behavior cues is important to determine if you or someone else intoxicated.

“Slurred speech, stumbling, loss of balance and being aggressive and argumentative are some key signs that someone who is intoxicated,” said King. “Knowing the signs of alcohol poisoning is important and can save a life.”

The most common sign of intoxication is vomiting. People vomit in the result of drinking too much because the liver is rejecting it. Another sign of alcohol poisoning is blacking out. If someone is to blackout, you should roll them on their side to keep them from choking on possibly their own vomit. The most serious sign is someone losing bodily function. When someone defecates on urinates on themselves, it’s a serious matter. Do not let the victim sleep it off, call 911.

Majority of people do not know what exactly is considered a drink. Just because you have had three cups of a mixed drink, does not really mean you have only had three drinks. A drink is considered one ounce of liquor, five ounces of wine and 12 ounces of beer. What you may call having a “drink,” could actually add up to be four to five drinks in reality.

“I always thought a drink was just a cup, but now that I know this I will be more cautious,” said UWG student Charles Ashley. “Students must be aware of these factors because mixed drinks are usually made to not taste the alcohol, so I can see where problems can arise”.

UWG students should be aware of all possibilities while on Spring Break vacation. Students must be aware of their surroundings, know how much they are drinking and be aware of the sun. If some are not prepared for all the possibilities of an out of town Spring Break vacation, situations could possibly turn bad for some students. Planning ahead for safety is vital for a safe vacation.

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