Do you have proactive strategies in place to address alcohol use during Spring Break? Some cities and campuses have put broad strategies in place, working with local government and businesses. But even if you are not able to do that, you can do something locally. Check out some of these ideas below:
#1 Partner with local drinking hangouts
Partnering with local drinking places is one way to work with the community to make an impact. For example, FLPD in Miami partnered with local bartenders to prevent sexual assaults during spring break. What can you do? Provide flyers with information about alcohol poisoning. Let local bar staff know about safe ride programs; give them business cards or flyers with your information so they can give it to students.
#2 Set up an alcohol ban
Cities in Florida and Alabama (and probably others) have put a ban or restriction on alcohol sales during spring break season. While you may not be able to make that happen this year, it’s a good time to investigate what can be done to put a ban or restriction in place near campus.
#3 Teach your students creative ways to say “no”
The stress of college studies, newfound independence, and pressure to fit in can lead some students to drink even when they had no intention to. It can be hard to say “no.” Teach your students with creative ways to say “no” without actually having to say the word, “no.”
For example, instead of “no” say:
“My family has a history of alcohol abuse, and I don’t want to expose myself to it.”
"I don't like the way it makes me feel."
"I had a bad experience the last time I drank.
To make it easier for you, we’ve created a full set of social media posts with creative ways to say “no.” Feel free to share from our social media or download from the link below.
#4 Teach your students to recognize the signs of alcohol poisoning
According to the NIAAA, about half of college students will binge drink during vacation. Many will drink to the point of passing out.
While we can’t control what our students do, help them be active bystanders by sharing this info on alcohol poisoning:
#5 Push info on campus initiatives
You might have discussed campus initiatives at the beginning of the school year, but now is a good time to circle back. Talk up the programs that you have on campus, like safe ride programs. Make sure your students know how to get home safely if they have been drinking.
Prescription opioid misuse is more common among binge drinkers than among nondrinkers. Alcohol can also be a contributing factor in situations involving sexual violence. Do you have an amnesty policy in place, to encourage students to report serious incidents? If you do, make sure they know they will not get in trouble for reporting something, even if they have been drinking.
Put up posters on campus. Share about these initiatives through social media or on your school’s website. Get the word out!
What strategies have you used to proactively address problem drinking during Spring Break? We’d love to hear about them! We’d love to share them with others! Please email your thoughts on ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can highlight your ideas in a future blog