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University Health Services offers education on ‘Spring Break Survival Skills’

Maximize your spring break fun! Minimize your spring break troubles!

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AUSTIN, Texas—Maximize your spring break fun! Minimize your spring break troubles!

Staying awake while driving. Helping a friend who’s had too much to drink. Making sex safer. Avoiding sunburn. Preventing and treating “tourista”. Avoiding and caring for poison ivy. Keeping food safe. Bicycling safety.

This information and more, plus giveaways, will be available at the University Health Services (UHS) “Spring Break Survival Skills,” to be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday (March 8) and Thursday (March 9) on the West Mall of The University of Texas at Austin.

“We are providing this information to help students have an enjoyable and relaxing spring break, while minimizing potential health problems,” said Sherry Bell, UHS assistant director for health promotion. “Whether students are going to the beach, to the mountains, south of the border or just on a road trip home, we want them back safe and sound after spring break.”

“We also want students back without legal problems,” said Frances Hamm, coordinator of University Health Services Longhorns against Drunk Driving (LADD). LADD staff will be providing information on Texas alcohol-related laws including the “zero tolerance” laws for underage drinking and DWI laws for those 21 or older. LADD is funded by a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation.

“The best rule for drinking and driving is “don’t,” advises Hamm. “Plan to take a cab or other transportation to and from your destination, or designate a non-drinking driver before you go out. Take turns being the designated driver for fairness and be nice to your designated driver. Buy them dinner, put gas in their car or pay their cover charge.”

Courtney Cording, coordinator of UHS Alcohol and Drug Education Programs, warns that car crashes are not the only problems that can result from overuse of alcohol. “Fights, drownings, falls, pedestrian accidents, injuries, bad sunburns and a host of other things are related to the over use of alcohol — up to and including alcohol poisoning.” UHS Alcohol and Drug Education peer advisers will be providing information on signs of alcohol poisoning and how to help someone who is excessively intoxicated at the event.

Information on date-rape drugs also will be available. “During spring break, many students are in unfamiliar surroundings and around lots of people they don’t know, or don’t know well. This, combined with intoxication is a set-up for sexual assault or other crimes,” said Cording. “Students need to protect their drinks, not accept drinks from strangers and look out for one another.”

Students may get information on any of the following topics on the West Mall, Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.:

  • Rohypnol and other Date Rape Drugs
  • Preventing and treating “Montezuma’s Revenge”
  • Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac
  • Sunburn Prevention and Treatment
  • Heatstroke and Heat Exhaustion
  • Food Safety for Picnics and Camping
  • Dealing with Jet Lag
  • First Aid for Strains and Sprains
  • Safer Sex
  • Helping a Friend Who Has Had Too Much to Drink
  • Alcohol Safety
  • Frostbite and Hypothermia
  • Safe Road Trips
  • DWI Laws
  • Staying Awake
  • Avoiding and Dealing with Road Rage

For more information, contact Sherry Bell at 475-8458.