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Spring Break Confessions: Part 1

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Teens go for the fun, sun, and surf ... and many add massive amounts of drinking, drugs, and dangerous sex when they get there.

These spring break confessions are shocking testimonials from real teens for whom going away means going to scary extremes--getting drunk and high, hooking up with strangers--and, too often, ending up arrested, sexually assaulted, or clinging to life in the hospital.

Although stories like Natalee Holloway's make front page news, author, pediatrician and ML contributor Dr. Cara Natterson says most teens can't anticipate consequences because, "their frontal lobe, the C.E.O. of their brain, isn't fully developed yet," which is why so many teens still live like there's no tomorrow.

So, how can you keep your child safe? "The most important thing is to set limits," says Dr. Natterson. "If you know the situation will be wild, don't let him or her go. It is equally important to keep talking to your child. Bluntly tell him or her what worries you. Use short-term examples like: 'You won't to be able to play sports next week,' instead of talking about long-term addiction or eventual loss of brain-cells."

"While it is true that the chemistry of the teen brain, with its impulse-intensive responses, will often win out over your words of warning--your words are still valuable," says Dr. Natterson. "Every time you sit with your child and have that talk, it's another piece of hay on the haystack. Eventually the stack gets big enough that you are influencing your child's decisions." Ready to get started? Download our discussion guide: HTML or PDF.

Did you or your child go on spring break? Take our Spring Break Survey.
Survey for teensSurvey for parents

Coming tomorrow: Shocking teen confessions about spring break sex.


next: Kegels for *Dads* ... Say What?
185 comments so far | Post a comment now
Joe April 7, 2008, 8:52 PM

As a college student myself, I am not terribly surprised by this video. I just think it is amazing that these teens featured on the video are brave enough to give drunken confessions for all to hear, including their parents.

I personally did not need spring break to do those things. I went to a party school myself, and did some moderate drinking myself, being involved in things like beer pong, and other drinking games.

I completely agree with the concept of rebelling against authority. All through high school, I was invloved in enough activities to keep me out of trouble, not to mention I was brought up being a christian in my teens. As soon as I had the freedom of being on my own though, I thought being a christian was too strict and a waste of time, and I wanted to have real college fun, and it nearly ruined my life. At least I didn’t have to worry about getting a girl pregnant because I never had sex, or hallucinations because I never did drugs. I did though, have to deal with painful hangovers because of so much beer and liquor.

At any rate, that is behind me now. I’m 26 and am looking forward to a better future for myself. I have to agree with many on here that parents HAVE TO BE PARENTS! I don’t think its a good idea to forbid your kids from having fun, but if you love them enough, teach them some responsibility unless you want your daughter ending of like Natalee Halloway!! There are other ways to enjoy spring break besides alcohol and sex. I personally spent my spring break helping out hurricane katrina victims, and that was so much more enjoyable than sex and alcohol :-)

Truthful April 7, 2008, 8:53 PM

Yeah, drugs, sex and alcohol have been around FOR AGES and will be long after we’re gone.

That’s not the point.

The point is:

Good teens—stay that way and tell your parents you love them. Pass on your good minds and hearts!

Good parents: pat yourselves on the back for a job well done.

Out of control teens: ask yourself WHY you need to put yourself through all of this pain?

Not-a-clue parents: YOU’RE really to blame for all of this crap. Your kids are in PAIN or they wouldn’t be acting out as they are…SO put away your checkbook, stop trying to be their “cool buddy” and LISTEN, LOVE, DISCIPLINE AND LEARN. Love is what you DO, it’s not something you buy and it doesn’t come with telling them what they wanna hear all the time.

If you can do that, there might be some hope left for you and yours after all!

S,D an Fukin April 7, 2008, 10:10 PM

It’s reality,why so much denial is absurd to me! Girls just wanna have fun! Boys just wanna get laid or stupid drunk for no particular reason! Girls want to get laid also,but they don’t want their parents to know that SEX is FUN! Duh,they wouldn’t be here if they didn’t enjoy the pleasures of SEX also! It is of your own choice that you become an adult through whatever means that you deem necessary!Do,however,remember that once you have made the transgression from childhood to adulthood you can never revert back to being an irresponsible kid again!Enjoy your youth to the fullest,for it shall not last very long!!!!!!

L.K April 7, 2008, 10:45 PM

As many have said before, there are tons of stupid people between the ages of 16-25. I am 26 years old and went on a spring break trip to Cancun in 2000. We all acted crazy and fortunately got away with it. But not 2 weeks after returning from our trip I lost 4 of my friends including my best friend in a drunk driving accident. A party I was supposed to be attending and riding in the same vehicle. This really shined a light on me and just how fragile my life is. I realized that it was time to clean up and get my act together. I can now say that I am happily married with a 2 year old and twins on the way. I am very lucky to have had the chance to clean up unlike my friends. Kids really need to pay attention to their parents and Parents need to mentor their kids. I would hate for my kids to learn the same way I had to. So I plan on paying close attention to what they are doing and do the best I can to mentor them in what is right and wrong even though I did these things when I was growing up.
I just wish other kids would listen before it’s too late like my friends that never even made it to high school graduation.

One who is concerned April 8, 2008, 9:17 AM

Why don’t girls/guys respect themselves. If you value yourself, why would you let yourself be used and abused by someone who really does not care for you. Would you allow a stranger to use and break something that belongs to you (such as your laptop, ipod, etc.)
Why do you place more value on your things (which can be replaced with one exactly like it) but with yourself, (there is no one like you, you are special, unique, and loved more than you
could ever imagine by the Creator of this universe - Jesus, who became flesh, lived a sinless life, died on a cross for your sins and mine, rose from the dead) you treat like a five and dime toy that if it breaks - so what. I wonder if these children are hurting so much inside that they just don’t care anymore about themselves. I wish that there was a way where Christians could get involve in tent gatherings near the beach during these spring breaks. We could offer nutritious food and drinks, Christian comedians, music, teaching geared to the youth, etc. This is the next generation and we need to reach out and go where the need is. Also, let’s hold these communities accountable. They should be imposing a stiff penalty for adults supplying liquor to underage children, and supervising the beaches, etc. We want the youth to be maturing, but allowing them to break the law (by underage drinking, gang rapes, etc) only makes them disrespect authority.
I know that there are many ministries that minister to the youth such as Jentzen Franklin’s, but I think we need to bring the youth gatherings to the children who really need it. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, to have the Christian youth involved in leading the youth at these spring breaks to the knowledge of the ever-loving Lord. The harvest is ripe. Are there any workers?

Brent April 8, 2008, 10:07 AM

This is rediculous, parents need to be more worried about what their children are doing when they are in school not when they are out having fun. Most of the posts I have read sound like they want to keep their children in a box, what a life! Those are the ones who go off to college and die from alcohol posioning. They are so sheltered when they actually go away to college they are overwhelmed and can’t handle it. I’ve seen it with some of my friends who lived sheltered lives never went to partys in high school because they parents said “no” and then struggled in school because they got caught up in being free. If you have taught your children well, they will make decent decisions.

Brent April 8, 2008, 10:10 AM

And for those who are bringing religion into this… We are human and making mistakes is a big reason why Jesus died on the cross, for our sins. Im not saying we should all just go out and sin as much as possible, but live your life and have fun and if you make mistakes be thankful that we have someone who is willing to forgive us for them (Jesus). We all know most parents won’t, they are too judgemental.

paul April 8, 2008, 3:11 PM

In the pool 775 of the respondents said they would NOT let their kids go on Spring break. What a crock. Then all these od gooders with their Jesus schtick. Do folks think that if there is a god he can look over everyone? Everywhere? CROCK, there is not god. On Spring break it is time to let it all hang out. If you make it fine if not fine, the gene pool will only be helped. Evolution is as much fact as anything can be, so weed out the weak, losers, and not so wise. And especially, Spring break is great for older guys as they can gdt laid just by showing up. Gotta love it!


Anonymous April 9, 2008, 5:24 PM

this kind of stuff happens all the time, not just on spring break.
And the tapes were edited to make everything seem more dramatic than it really was.

Everyone should get over it, kids are gonna do whatever they want to do.

JasonGoldtrap April 9, 2008, 9:18 PM

Parenting is important but the biggest factor in whether or not your child is bound for empty sex and booze is going to be their friends. Too often, even the best kids end up with sorry friends. The best decision is, while they’re in YOUR home do not hand over your child to the demon of lust and lose behavior.

Anonymous April 9, 2008, 11:49 PM

As a recent college grad, I can definitely comment on this. I ALWAYS wanted to do the hardcore partying spring break, and my parents told me I could once I was of age (as in 21 + my senior year)so the trouble I got into was all my own. I think that was the best idea ever-I never ended up going and instead spent the money on a semester abroad studying art history and learning how to drink responsibly in Italy. Pre-my term abroad, I was partying a LOT at college-drinking, no drugs-but once I realized that alcohol can really be a part of your life in a responsible way, any binge-ing hasn’t even been a thought. I’m now in law school-good thing I didn’t go and get myself arrested!

Another note-the drinking doesn’t surprise me. Pot also not a surprise. Heroin though? Extacy and Acid? WOW. and WHY? EW!

Jake April 10, 2008, 12:01 AM

Im 21 and live in south florida, attend college down here, and live by myself. First of all I want to state that most of your kids can see right through you, they know what went on in the days that you all grew up in. The only one’s who cant be called hypocrits while having this conversation is your parents and grandparents. Give your child the chance to truly understand the REAL cons and why people do drugs. All of you are so hooked on prescription drugs you think your kids are just stupid, there not stupid! Just ignorant because you either dont have the time or understanding to explain things to your kids. I had a wonderful childhood and am not mad at my parent’s, just independent and dont understand why its so dificult for you parents to talk to your kids. I’ve had more than my share of the fun displayed on this site and have never been arrested. But then again im not as “ignorant” as some of your kids because MY MOTHER TALKED TO ME. The old saying is accurate, knowlege is power. Stop depriving your kids.
-concerned about parents-

ida April 10, 2008, 11:08 AM

First of all people. These kids do have minds of their owns or at least they should. Second of all parents can not be blamed for every aspect of a childs life. My kids have been taught since 5 that they are responsible for their own actions right or wrong. I don’t take credit for what they do right nor do i take blame for what they do wrong. They are living breathing human beings.You can teach them how to be a good person to make good choices but ultimately what they do and the actions they take were their own. So stop blaming parents and start letting the kids be responsible for their own actions.

bob April 10, 2008, 12:32 PM

I don’t see much having changed since the 1970’s.

These events are rights of passage.

Such events are not in any way limited to Spring Break.

I never did drugs in high school/college….but lots of my friends did. The stuff was always around.

The common denominator was the alcohol.

Lots of young girls get raped at that age while drinking….far more than admit to it. Those that are already sexualy active get incredibly abused in the drunken state.

The desire to run off with your Buds…and do stuff you ain’t supposed to do…and be wild….that is not going to go away.

The War on Drugs that Nixon started…never has wiped out the drugs.

So bad stuff is going to happen.

Gail April 10, 2008, 12:39 PM

My girlfriend and I went to Ft. Lauderdale in 1977-we were 21. After being raped, drunken lunatics smashing bottles, screaming and trashing hotel rooms-5+ to a rm. we took the next plane home. We were disgusted by the spring break behavior and happy to be back at our full time jobs and safety of our own apts-that we paid for. Our parents built a sense of pride, respect and dignity into us-obviously. I don’t think this generation had much of that instilled. Anything goes-should have gone away with the 60’s trash.

Rocky April 10, 2008, 2:43 PM

Why is it that PETA, in Virginia, took in 3,061 animals for placement and only placed 12? Twelve? 12? That means they killed the other 2,981. And these people claim they are for ethical treatment? Shame!

dagfly April 10, 2008, 3:16 PM

terrific music, really sets the mood for observation

Linda April 11, 2008, 11:29 AM

Our society is all about money or we would stop furnishing these juvenile delinquents a place to continue ruining there lives. How many alcohol poisoning deaths occur each spring break? Close these beaches expecially to the underaged during this “wood stock” mimicking weakend.

Tracey April 12, 2008, 6:23 AM

For those of you who say “let them go because all kids will experiment or lose their minds with a little freedom”… One mistake can be fatal! Alcohol poisoning, drug overdose can kill your kid! If you want them to grow into adulthood keep them away from drugs, sex & booze that is what spring break is about. Picking up strangers to have sex with could lead to AIDS or an STD that there is no cure for. Plenty of freaks go to spring break places so your daughter or son could wind up gang raped or worse,,killed. Not every kid makes it back from that kind of experience. Ask Natalie Holloway’s mother. Precisely because teen brains are not capable of too much rational thought process is exactly why parents should not let them go. Paying for it with their own money? They can still be harmed that how does that help when you are burying your child? Even the kids of “good parents” can make bad choices no matter what you teach them at home so don’t be so smug out there people. Just Say No to Spring Break and get them a ticket to spa day with you if they are so stressed.

jimmy April 12, 2008, 7:12 AM

spring break is just a small fraction of these types of parties. if your kid will do things at spring break, chances are they have done them in your home.

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