Health risks are avoidable during spring break: don’t let your sunny week off from school turn tragic

By Olivia Driscoll

Every year students look forward to that sunny week off from school: spring break.

This week is meant to be fun and it can be, but it often leads to dangerous situations.

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), as many as one in seven high school students under the age of 18 are allowed to go on unsupervised trips during spring break. Now, not everyone may be able to party it up on the beach in Florida or California.

However, many teens are left home alone unsupervised, which gives them more opportunities to drink alcohol and take other dangerous substances such as drugs.

There are 700,000 car accidents each year involving people under the age of 18 who are under the influence of alcohol. During the week of spring break, the amount of fatal car crashes involving alcohol more than doubles.

According to The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 27.5 percent of teens aged 12-20 had drank alcohol within a month of their survey in 2000. This statistic is at any given time, and during spring break, this number is most likely greater.

According to the Trauma Foundation, a study showed that during spring break about 50 percent of college drinkers engage in unplanned sex and 52 percent in unprotected sex.

About 60 percent had trouble with the police and 59 percent were injured.

There may not be too many things to do in Mountlake Terrace during spring break, but teenagers do not have to resort to drinking alcohol or doing drugs to ease boredom.

Since all athletes and students who participate in activities have to sign an activity code stating they will not do drugs, smoke, or drink alcohol, if they are caught during spring break, the consequences still apply.

If teenagers decide to drink than to be safe they should know their limit and not drive. According to, “26.4 percent of underage persons (ages 12 through 20) used alcohol, and binge drinking among the same age group was 17.4 percent.”