Our View: Have fun in moderation

DKS Editors

Spring break is a time to let loose and be carefree, but students shouldn’t throw all caution into the wind.

The nature of spring break fun has a lot of potential to put us at risk.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chlamydia and syphilis are on the rise in Ohio and throughout the nation. Even if you are from an area with relatively low rates, you could be going somewhere with or meeting someone from an area with higher rates.

Dr. Angela DeJulius from the Deweese Health Center said a study done by the Summit County Health Department found that half of syphilis cases are the result of anonymous sex.

Those who contract sexually transmitted infections and sexually transmitted diseases say they use condoms most of the time.

“Most of the time is not enough; you have to use one every single time no matter what,” DeJulius said.

Also, remember that STIs and STDs can be transmitted through oral and anal sex, not just intercourse.

STDs can also increase the risk of spreading HIV because of open sores.

Besides of the risk of infection and illness, there are emotional repercussions like regret and shame the morning after hazy decisions. People make choices that they would never make sober.

Be cautious of what is in your cup. Date rape drugs are colorless, odorless and almost tasteless. You may not realize what you consumed until you wake up with no recollection of the previous night. Even worse, date rape drugs can induce comas or cause death if taken with other drugs. Even low doses of date rape drugs can kill when mixed with alcohol.

Always watch your drink. Be leery of taking drinks from strangers. When you’re under the influence, this isn’t really on your mind. That’s why it’s important to be with friends you can count on to look out for you.

Alcohol poisoning is always a risk when consuming large amounts of it.

It’s also important to be cautious during the day if you’re lucky enough to be somewhere with some sun. Get some color, but do it safely with proper skin protection. Dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are all huge risks when spending time in the sun. These could have some serious effects if severe. Students can end up in the emergency room and miss a couple days of their break simply because they didn’t drink enough water. Be sure to take the necessary precautions to avoid such a situation. If you’re thirsty, drink water. More alcohol isn’t the best response.

To inform students about all the risks of spring break, University Health Services will present “Safe Spring Break” Tuesday from noon to 3 p.m. on the second floor of the Student Center. Students from the Public Health Student Alliance will be at the tables to discuss, conduct demonstrations and hand out information about safe sex, drinking and more to help students prepare for spring break. They will cover everything from how quickly your blood alcohol level rises to preventing skin cancer while you are relaxing on the beach. They will also be handing out free information and packets that include condoms, sunscreen and safety tips.

Alcohol is the common factor among all these risky behaviors. Accidents happen when judgments are impaired. Although staying sober is obviously the number one way to prevent negative consequences, we realize this simply isn’t realistic for college students on spring break. The best reasonable guideline is moderation. Set limits for yourself and always stay in control. Stay with people you trust, and use the buddy system — bring a good friend and be a good friend. Stock up on free condoms before your road trip. They are always free at the Health Center.

Have fun on spring break, but limit yourself so you will be able to remember the experience.

DKS Editors