Last month, a study published in the journal Addiction found that alcohol use can increase a person’s likelihood of engaging in unsafe sexual practices. Specifically, researchers discovered that the more an individual drinks, the greater their intention to have unsafe sex becomes. Not using contraceptives is how sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are spread, suggesting that there may be a connection between drinking and sexual infection rates.
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report saying that 17 percent of U.S. adults admit to binge drinking. MSNBC reports that this comes out to about 38 million people who participate in this potentially dangerous activity, may put them at risk of engaging in unsafe behavior. Furthermore, the survey found that the majority of binge drinkers are young adults between the ages of 18 and 24. According to the CDC, people in this age range are also at the highest risk of contracting an STD.
“Binge drinking causes a wide range of health, social and economic problems, and this report confirms the problem is really widespread,” said Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., director of the CDC, quoted by the news source. “We need to work together to implement proven measures to reduce binge drinking at national, state and community levels.”
Researchers stated that the 17 percent statistic could actually be low, considering that many people claim to drink less than they actually do.
These findings highlight that more needs to be done to eliminate the problem of binge drinking. According to the authors of the study published in Addiction, alcohol influences the decision-making process, which may lead to higher incidences of unsafe sex or other risky behavior.