- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 23, 2003

The three B's booze, beaches and bikinis commonly are linked to spring break in the minds of many students. Some considerations for parents of teens who are planning spring-break vacations include:

• Many "all-inclusive trips" to foreign destinations such as the Caribbean, Mexico and Canada include all-you-can-drink parties, booze cruises, unlimited open bar and parties sponsored by liquor distributors where alcohol is distributed free of charge.

• The drinking age is 18 or 19 in Mexico, Canada and much of the Caribbean, and in many of these places the age limits are only modestly enforced, if at all.

• U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country they are visiting. If a teen is arrested, there is little if anything that the State Department can do to help. Also, medical care in many resort areas often is inadequate to respond to drinking and other substance-related crises.

m Although some travel companies provide adult chaperones, these adults are not responsible for monitoring students' alcohol or drug consumption or sexual activity.

• Many young people don't know the signs of alcohol poisoning. Symptoms include the following: The person doesn't respond when spoken to, pinched or poked; the person vomits when passed out; the person cannot stand up or remain standing without aid; the person has a very slow rate of breathing fewer than six breaths per minute; he has bluish or purplish or clammy skin that feels cool to the touch; his pulse is slower than 40 beats per minute.

Source: Students Against Destructive Decisions



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