Every year, students find themselves in situations they never expected to be in. For some, it’s the occasional slip up after a night out. They’ve had too much to drink, hormones are in full effect, and the infamous “heat of the moment” presents itself.
According to the Provincial Department of Health, drinking alcohol leads to increased risky sexual behaviour, like not using protection to prevent pregnancy, or STDs, (or having sex that you might later regret you had).
Out of 20 students talked to for this article, 13 said they had engaged in some form of sexual activity that was induced by drinking. Because they were under the influence, eight out of the 13 said they had abandoned safe-sex techniques. Out of seven females canvassed, four claimed to have had a pregnancy scare or actually got pregnant following a sexual experience they had under the influence.
“Accidents can happen and people can make bad decisions in the heat of the moment and have unprotected sex,” says Catherine McKee, the Registered Nurse Coordinator at the Humber Health Centre. “They should come in to our clinic or they can go to the Toronto Public Health Website, to see where the sexual health clinics are located for follow up. ”
What most students don’t realize is that a thoughtless, impulsive decision from a night of partying can actually change the rest of their lives forever. In the long run, a hangover or broken heart will be the least of their worries.
“Alcohol is the number one date rape drug,” says McKee. “When we drink alcohol it can affect in all sorts of ways. Prevention is the key.”
One student who wishes to remain anonymous says that: “Waking up the next morning knowing what you did and knowing what the possible lifetime consequences could be is scary! I don’t ever want to go through that again!”
Most students assume that catching a sexually-transmitted disease or getting pregnant are possibilities that just won’t ever happen to them. They go about life with a single thought in mind which is to have fun. Beers after beers, shots after shots, students party without limits.
But these “one-time drunken hook-ups” are actually when the risk factor of getting pregnant or catching an STD is the highest. The effects of alcohol contribute to whether or not someone is coherent enough to put on a condom, use it correctly, or even inquire about their partner’s sexual health.
According to the U.S. Department of Health, and Human Services, in two-thirds of unplanned pregnancies, the women were intoxicated during sex. Sixty per cent of STDs were transmitted when the partners were drunk.
“Why would you want to put yourself in that situation when we’re so young and you have a whole career ahead of you,” says a third year Business male student. “You can still have fun (by wearing a condom) making sure you’re not going to have a baby or catch an STD.”
For more information, or to get tested, you can visit the Humber Health Centre to book an appointment or TEL. 416-675-6622 ext. 4533. All health files are confidential and results are only given in person. Students can also pick up free condoms.
As seen in the Radix published on Oct. 1, 2012