A high percentage of parents agree that the tourism and alcohol industries should stop promoting dangerous drinking to kids during this rite-of-passage holiday.
Spring break used to be a time for students to take a well-deserved break and get a little sun. Today, it can be a life-threatening proposition. According to the American Medical Association, 91 percent of parents want to put an end to spring break marketing and promotional practices that promote dangerous drinking.
“The tourism and alcohol industries promote heavy drinking and sex, creating an environment that can lead to rape, fatal injuries and death by alcohol poisoning. We agree with parents that we must put an end to these promotions that target students, most of whom are underage,” said J. Edward Hill, MD, AMA chair-elect in a news release.
Then there are the parents who are unaware that tourism companies market to students with promises of a wild week featuring excessive drinking and sex. And it’s not just US destinations that are doing this. American tourism companies, in partnership with alcohol producers, promote destinations outside the country where the drinking age is 18, making them a big draw for underage students who can’t drink legally back home.
The poll showed that a whopping 80 percent of parents were concerned about college students drinking alcohol during spring break, while 70 percent were worried about students driving while intoxicated or with a drunken driver. Meanwhile, 88 percent of parents said they think that spring break is primarily a problem of underage drinking, because many college students are younger than the legal drinking age of 21, and 61 percent believe that underage students are more likely to drink than 21-year-olds.
Networks like MTV and reality shows also add to the idea that spring break should be one big alcohol-fueled party. It’s unlikely that parents will be able to stop these spring break trips altogether, but awareness is the first step. Students need to be clear on the dangers, too.
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