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Sex, alcohol and drugs

People are more likely to have risky sex or make decisions they are likely to regret if they have been drinking alcohol or are under the influence of drugs.

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  • Alcohol lowers our inhibitions. This means we take more risks, including having sex when we may not have done or not think about using a condom.
  • Evidence has shown that drinking alcohol directly impacts a person’s intention to have unprotected sex (Rehm et al 2012). The more you drink, the higher the risk to undertake unsafe sex.
  • Unsafe sex can lead to spreading sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea and Syphilis.
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Drinking can impair your ability to communicate effectively, which can make consent difficult to clearly establish

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  • Unsafe sex following too much alcohol can lead to unplanned pregnancy
  • Drinking alcohol, especially in the first three months of pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, premature birth and the baby having a low birth weight.
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  • Make sure you carry condoms with you when out drinking and use them.
  • The only way to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections is to use a condom every time you have sex.
  • Condoms can protect against unplanned pregnancy

Local sexual health information and signposting to local services can be found on Buckinghamshire Sexual Health and Wellbeing homepage.

Here4YOUth – Young People

Here4YOUth is an alcohol and drug service for children and young people aged 10-25 across Buckinghamshire.  Click here for more information on the services offered.

One Recovery Bucks – 18+

One Recovery Bucks is for anyone aged 18 or over who is using, or affected by the problems associated with drugs and/or alcohol.. If you are over 18 and concerned about a substance misuse problem, click here for details of how the Substance Misuse Treatment Service could help.

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Need to speak to someone?

If you need further advice, or if this page hasn’t answered your questions then get in contact with your local bSHaW Sexual Health Clinic for a friendly chat.

Call 0300 303 2880 to book an appointment or use our service finder to locate your nearest clinic.

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