STDs and Substance Abuse

Many studies have shown a strong correlation between heavy drinking and higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases.  Among people who drink alcohol and use drugs, the risk and occurrence of STD’s is even higher, especially amongst females. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, young adults who drink heavily are twice as likely to have sexually transmitted diseases as those who do not drink or use drugs.  This can be attributed to a number of factors.  When an individual is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors, which have many serious and potentially lifetime consequences.  As we all know, heavy drinking and drug use can lead to serious addictions and dependence-related problems, including loss of friends, family, housing, job, health, and even
life.  According to another study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each time beer taxes go up or the legal drinking age is raised, gonorrhea rates usually dropped among young people.  This shows a direct correlation between underage drinking and sexually transmitted diseases.  In addition to sexually transmitted diseases, alcohol consumption by people below the minimum legal drinking is also associated with higher incidences of adverse alcohol-related health outcomes (motor-vehicle crash-related deaths, liver cirrhosis, suicide, and violent crime, including domestic violence). Providing education, awareness and improved enforcement of minimum legal
drinking age requirements have been highlighted as some potential strategies to
reduce alcohol consumption by minors.

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