Did you know that just by using drugs you are also raising your risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease? It’s true. If you are a woman, this bit of data should concern you since untreated STDs like chlamydia can ultimately evolve into pelvic inflammatory disease and eventually infertility.
Therefore, being addicted to drugs not only puts your health at risks but the health of your unborn children. Here are three ways your chronic drug use can put your sexual health in jeopardy.
(1) Risky Sexual Behaviors
Much of the reason why many people begin using drugs is in hopes of an escape from reality. Drugs lower inhibitions, increase impulsivity, and seriously escalate the chances that you will engage in risky sexual behaviors.
Individuals who abuse substances have a greater likelihood of participating in unprotected sex, having sexual encounters with multiple partners and engaging in anal sex without a condom, which is one of the biggest risk factors for contracting HIV. Abstaining from drugs and alcohol allow you to make better judgments regarding your sexual encounters and reduce the risk of getting an STD.
(2) Date Rape Drugs
In addition to causing you to make sexual decisions you may regret, chronic drugs users may also be frequently exposed to more dangerous situations and people than non-users. For example, drug users typically hang out with other drug users, neglecting sober family and friends. The environment that you are in may have a higher risk of you being drugged and assaulted.
Since your attention, focus, and reaction reflexes are all impaired due to drug use, you may miss the signs that you are in a risky location where people do not have your best interests in mind. Again, being raped could lead to you contracting a variety of sexually transmitted diseases or even having an unplanned pregnancy.
Using drugs makes it difficult for you to protect yourself against potential perpetrators. Get the help you need to overcome your drug problem today and reduce this risk.
(3) Intravenous Drug Use
Another risky element of being an addict is the dangers of intravenous drugs use. Drugs that are injected such as heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine are involved in a third of all new AIDS cases in America. What’s more, 4 out of 10 individuals who die from AIDS were associated with substance abuse (NIDA, 2010).
If the drug preparation and injection equipment that you use is shared with an infected person, you are largely increasing your risk of being infected, also. HIV contraction can take place due to sharing blood-contaminated syringes, reused water, reused bottle caps or spoons, or reused cotton or filters. If you are an injection drug user, your best chance of preventing infection of HIV, AIDS, or hepatitis is to stop immediately.
If you’re interested in having a healthy baby someday, you have the responsibility to take care of your body, mind, and reproductive health. Chronic use of drugs removes this responsibility and puts your health in danger.
Destination Hope can help you in your journey to sobriety. Our women’s program is structured to uniquely meet the needs of addicted females. Someone can talk to you more about your STD risk and substance use and help you get started with recovery. Contact our knowledgeable team and learn about how you can significantly lower your risks of contracting an STD.
- STDs and infertility. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. October 2013. https://www.cdc.gov/std/infertility/
- Substance abuse/use. AIDS.gov. 2014. https://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/prevention/reduce-your-risk/substance-abuse-use/
- Drugs, brain, and behavior: The science of addiction. National Institute on Drug Abuse. August 2010. http://ibg.colorado.edu/cadd/newsletters/sciofaddiction.pdf