Looking out at the tremendous snow storm we're experiencing, it's hard to believe that Spring Break is in full force. Thousands of college and high school students are off school now and Spring Break will continue over the next several weeks for many others.
Some people enjoy the end of the skiing season but many head south to the beaches and warm weather for a respite from the harsh winters of the north. And while most students behave responsibly on these annual excursions, others do not, and enter into a potentially lethal cycle of binge drinking.
Forbes has written about Spring Break binge drinking with some frightening statistics on the death rates among students every year.
Nearly 2000 students will die every school year from alcohol-related accidents, mostly to do with alcohol poisoning.
With alcohol poisoning, breathing slows down and a person can pass out. Alcohol affects the gag reflex and choking on vomit becomes a real risk. In fact, too much alcohol can cause the body to stop breathing altogether. Alcohol on its own can poison the body and shut organs down, causing death.
What is binge drinking?
For men, it's five drinks or more within two hours. For women, it's four drinks within two hours since they are smaller than men and absorb the alcohol more quickly.
But the Forbes article shared information given by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) that four or five drinks is not what's really happening. The NIAAA believes it's far worse. Males report having around 18 drinks per day and women estimate about 10 drinks daily.
While nearly 2000 annual deaths is hard to contemplate, there are other consequences of binge drinking that include falls, drunk driving accidents, drownings, physical and sexual assaults.
Here are some terrifying facts from Forbes:
More than 690,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.
More than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.