Studies show that mixing alcohol and drugs with sex have dangerous consequences the greatest being the practice of unsafe sex which may lead to pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Paul Wong
A new study shows that the use of alcohol and drugs may often lead to unprotected sex, diseases and pregnancy.<br><br>Photo Illustration by BRETT MOUNTAIN

A study released last week by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University in conjunction with the Kaiser Family Foundation, found that about 23 percent of sexually active 15 to 24 year olds, 5.6 million people, admitted to having unprotected sex because they were under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

The study conducted between November 2001 and January 2002 randomly sampled 1,200 young adolescents and young adults in the nation aged 13 to 24.

According to the study, about 29 percent of adolescents and young adults say that because of alcohol and drugs, they behaved “more sexually than they had planned.”

University of Michigan psychology Prof. Dan Horn said research on personal activities may yield inaccurate results because people embellish their answers, feel apprehension towards the questions, and have misconceptions about the activities of their peers.

For example, the study indicated that of the 15 to 24 year olds surveyed, 50 percent say people their age mix alcohol or drugs and sex frequently.

Seventy-three percent reported not believing that their peers use condoms after using alcohol and drugs.

“What the study gets at is people”s beliefs of their peers, not necessarily about themselves. That is, opinion and not necessarily actual fact. That may have changed the results dramatically,” Horn said.

In a written statement, Joseph A. Califano Jr., former U.S. secretary of health, education and welfare and president of CASA said more education is needed to ensure students” safety.

“The message of this study is loud and clear: To be effective, sex education in all its forms must discuss the connection between sexual activity and alcohol and drug abuse.”

Places such as the Sexual Assault and Prevention Awareness Center and Planned Parenthood provide information about sex and its relation to alcohol and drugs.

Drew Altman, president of the Kaiser Family Foundation said in a written statement, “Many teens as well as young adults are mixing sex with alcohol and drugs. These are sensitive issues that many young people don”t like to talk about, so these data likely underestimate the problem.”

Many young people believe that the connection between drugs, alcohol and sexual activity is obvious and that alcohol and drugs will have a negative impact on safe sex regardless of education on the subjects.

“Drugs and alcohol are just excuses for not being protected in sex,” said LSA freshman Annabelle Su.

“”I was drunk and I didn”t know what I was doing” is not a legitimate excuse,” she added.

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