Mixing Alcohol And Sex Puts Young People At Risk
As part of a long term partnership, Drinkaware and Brook are joining forces over Christmas and the New Year to distribute packs to young people which contains information about alcohol, sexual health and personal safety. Research shows that teenage conceptions peak in December and January so the charities are reaching out to young people at a particularly risky time.
The 'Have fun. Be careful.' campaign will remind young people that drinking alcohol can affect their ability to assess risks, to use a condom if they choose to have sex and to make plans to get home safely after a night out. As well as receiving a campaign pack, which includes a condom and mobile phone credit, 16 and 17 year olds will also receive a text message on New Years Eve, reminding them to 'Have fun' and 'Be careful.' if they're celebrating.
The Drinkaware and Brook survey of 16 and 17 year olds also shows that:
- One in four (25%) admit they would be more likely to have sex without a condom if they were drinking alcohol but over half (51%) rarely or never carry condoms on a night out;
- One third (32%) would be unlikely to have an STI test after having sex without a condom;
- 15% get drunk at least three times a week;
- Over a third (34%) walked home alone at night in the dark when drunk;
- One in 10 (10%) had sex when they were drunk and regretted it afterwards.
Chris Sorek, Chief Executive of Drinkaware, says:
"We know that many 16 and 17 year olds regularly get drunk and this can increase the chances of young people finding themselves in a difficult, often risky situation.
"Young people might think they know everything there is to know about alcohol, sex and how to look after themselves, but it is really important for us all to ensure they have the right advice and information to help avoid taking unnecessary risks.
"Providing advice over Christmas and New Year is especially important as this is when teenage conceptions are at their highest, but young people need to know that drinking to excess can make them vulnerable all year round. We hope the Drinkaware and Brook packs will help 16 and 17 year olds remember that drinking alcohol can mean doing something you might regret."
Jules Hillier, Brook's Director of Communications, says:
"We know from what young people tell us that they come under pressure to have unsafe sex in many ways, including as a result of alcohol use, so we are delighted to be working with Drinkaware on the closely connected issues of alcohol and poor sexual health. This campaign enables us to provide targeted support to young people when they most need it and in ways we know they like. By working this way, we hope to help young people better understand the risks they take and the links between alcohol and unsafe sex.
"The 'Have fun. Be Careful' campaign reminds young people to have fun, and if they are going to have sex to be extra careful and to make sure they use contraception."
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