The Link Between Drug Abuse, Risky Behavior, & STDs

 

As teenagers and college students settle back into the school routine and make new friends, they may begin to have new interests. While sports and art are great activities to participate in, a portion of teens and young adults will engage in using drugs and alcohol.

STD Rates in Incarcerated Teens

In an NIH study of 948 newly arrested youths undergoing criminal justice intake processing in Tampa, Florida, over 19 percent of girls and 11 percent of boys tested positive for chlamydia, gonorrhea, or both. Urine tests confirmed correlations between the prevalence of these STDs and the teens’ cocaine and marijuana use. The number one STD risk factor for both sexes was heterosexual intercourse without a condom and the second most common for girls was sexual assault. This study indicates a need to offer STD testing and treatment to all newly arrested juveniles, to improve the health of a population that frequently lacks access to health care.

Alcohol Increases Risks of Contracting STDs

According to several studies, alcohol use, especially binge drinking, is associated with risky sexual behaviors and STDs. In young adult students at the McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois, the link between alcohol abuse and risky sexual behaviors are common. 49 percent of men and 38 percent of women reported having sex as the direct result of drinking. Of those, 26 percent of men and almost 36 percent of women did not use a condom during sex with someone they met on spring break, binge drinking played a role in this behavior.

Of sexually active teens surveyed, 23 percent reported having unprotected sex because they were heavily using alcohol or drugs at the time. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health says more 18- to 25-year-olds have an STD than any other age group. STDs were especially high for those who had used both alcohol and an illicit drug in the past month versus only alcohol or only an illicit drug.

IF YOU SUSPECT YOUR TEEN OF EXPERIMENTING WITH DRUGS OR ALCOHOL, WE PROVIDE ACCURATE AND CONFIDENTIAL DRUG TESTING. CALL (816) 800-9699 OR CONTACT TEST SMARTLY LABS TODAY. YOU CAN MAKE AN APPOINTMENT AT ANY OF OUR 5 KANSAS CITY AREA LOCATIONS.

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