Of course holidaying abroad is common among Britons hoping to escape the country’s wet weather this summer. Yet the idea of a ‘Summer Holiday’ has evolved into something quite different for the nation’s teenagers, who visit party central destinations, which guarantee heat and endless clubs and bars.
The majority of these trips are made following the end of exams, often at degree or college level. Consequently the revellers have much to celebrate and don’t hold back as they consume large quantities of alcohol and lose their inhibitions.
Whilst providing a gateway to fun and freedom, abuse of the constant party scene can result in devastating consequences, both at the time and in the long term. Firstly, the false sense of security created by the consumption of alcohol is more dangerous when abroad, where you are completely out of your comfort zone, and unaware of the geography of the surroundings. Each year the devastating news is heard that another over-zealous teen has suffered a fatal injury, as a consequence of intoxication. Binging abroad also exposes drinkers to an environment in which they are surrounded by strangers, increasing the danger of them being befriended once intoxicated.
‘Binge drinking’ also leads to various long term health concerns. Cirrhosis of the liver, previously only recorded among middle aged people, has become common among the younger population. Effects to the body, including damage to the brain can be seen in a relatively short space of time, highlighting the dangers of week-long binges. Whilst the consuming of alcohol is a common aspect of our leisure culture, early binge drinking can be linked with the foundation of an addiction to alcohol. Here the danger is that teenagers will become dependent on activities involving drinking to socialise, unwind and meet new people.
Whilst these are of course important aspects of any holiday, binge drinking is not the route to success, with boozy nights leading to unglamorous consequences, with vomiting, headaches and memory loss being recurrent aspects of a ‘hangover’. These provide clear warning of the negative effects of alcohol upon the body, as the drug is visibly rejected. In addition, when intoxicated a person is more exposed to the dangers of other drugs, being more likely to both experiment with them or fall victim to drink spiking.
The common usage of date rape drugs places women in particular danger of becoming targets for drink spiking. With drugs such as Rohypnol being colourless and odourless, the risks of this drug are all too clear, as a victim can ingest it without knowing. Rohypnol is commonly proscribed as a sleeping pill, and it is this sedative quality which leads its victims into danger.
Therefore a trip that was designed to de-stress and relax can swiftly become a nightmare, as both a person’s safety is jeopardised through the consumption of alcohol, whilst wreaking havoc on the health of the