Spring Break Special: Alcohol

Posted on March 3, 2011


Spring break is notoriously known for its heavy party and drinking scene. Every year, 1.5 million students head to party destination spots in hopes of having a week to remember (or not remember). Excessive drinking has become the norm for fellow spring breakers with both men and women consuming an average of over 10 drinks per day. The notion that they are “just having fun” can sometimes take tragic turns.


Matt James, a Notre Dame recruit, was an all American lineman from with a bright future ahead.  His track record at St. Xavier had landed him scholarships from top school s such as Alabama, Tennessee, LSU, Florida State and North Carolina. In March 2010, the 6-foot-6, 250-pound football player was partying with teammates in Panama City, a hot spot for Spring Breakers. It was here that he tragically fell to his death.

“Witnesses and friends indicate he had become drunk and belligerent,” Panama City Beach police Maj. David Humphreys told reporters Saturday. “He had leaned over the balcony rail, was shaking his finger at the people in the next room over. He fell over.”(Chicago Tribune)

Sadly, the story of Matt James isn’t a rare one. Every year students are hurt as a result of too much drinking. Follow these tips for a fun and safe spring break:

  • Spring break is not an excuse to drink excessively. Drink no more than one drink per hour and alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks. Eat a real meal before drinking and snack throughout the time you are drinking.

  • Watch your drink! Watch your drink being made, do not accept a drink from anyone else, and keep your drink in hand. If your drink is out of sight for even a moment, throw it out and get a new one. Keep your hand over your cup or your thumb over the top of your bottle. Date rape drugs, such as GHB and Rohypnol, could be placed in your drink while you are distracted to facilitate rape or other crimes.

  • Use the buddy system. Watch out for your friends and ask that they watch out for you. Make it a rule to never leave without anyone you came with.

  • Always make sure there is a designated, non-drinking driver if you are drinking. If your designated driver takes a drink, they are no longer your designated driver. Call a cab.

  • Know the signs of alcohol poisoning

  • If traveling outside the U.S, be aware that laws in other countries can differ greatly from those in the U.S. Penalties are often much stiffer and individual rights often are not the same as in the U.S.

The statistics don’t lie, here is an overview of spring break facts you may find interesting:


As always, the Mayors Health Line is here to help. Call us at 617-534-5050 if you have any more questions.