Recently my husband and I returned from a vacation to the Cancun Mexico area. We stayed at a resort on the Riviera Maya and since we didn’t frequent the bars were not exposed to the multitude of college and high-school students visiting during spring break.
That is until we were on our way home. At the airport we heard four teenage girls talking about their spring break vacation. We overheard the following conversation, “You promise you won’t say anything?” Her friend responded, “Of course, after all what happens in Cancun, stays in Cancun.” Later another girl said, “I drank so much alcohol I probably have liver cancer.”
Their comments brought to mind a special my husband watched a few years ago where a camera crew shadowed a group of teenagers visiting Cancun on spring break. A number of parents and teens were shocked and embarrassed when they were shown the footage of girls participating in wet t-shirt contests and both boys and girls drinking through a tube until they were too drunk to stand. Many parents said that they weren’t aware of what happened or didn’t think that their child would participate.
The reason young adults go out of the country for spring break is so that they can drink, and even if a teen wouldn’t normally participate in such activities peer pressure is difficult to resist.
Statistics report that during spring break the average male consumes 18 alcoholic drinks per day and the average woman 10 drinks per day. At least 40 to 50% of these drank until they passed out or became sick.
Even more startling is a resent report from the American Medical Association. It says “more than half of college students know friends who were sexually active with more than one partner during spring break and nearly 3 out of 5 women know friends who had unprotected sex during spring break.”
After the recent disappearance of Natalie Holloway more parents are becoming aware of the dangers of teenagers and young adults traveling by themselves in foreign countries. Yet many parents, like those of the four young girls my husband and I saw, still allow it. I have to ask myself how they can not be aware of what their son or daughter is doing while on spring break, because the statistics speak for themselves.
If your child wants to go out of the country for spring break try and direct them elsewhere. If they insist share with them the information in the MSN article Be Street Smart On Spring Break by Clint Van Zandt, which offers preventative measures to take while vacationing during spring break from a former FBI profiler.