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Planned Parenthood

Sex, Alcohol, and Drugs

Sex, alcohol, and drugs at a glance:

  • Being drunk or high can cause you to do sexual things that you wouldn't normally want to do.
  • Mixing sex with drugs and alcohol can increase your risk of unintended pregnancy and STDs.
  • If you have sex with someone who's drunk or high, it could be considered a crime.

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How do alcohol and drugs affect my sex life?

For starters, drugs and underage drinking are illegal. But also, getting drunk or high can cause problems in your sex life — and your relationships.

Mixing drugs (including alcohol) with sex is a bad idea because it can:

  • Make people have sex or do sexual things they wouldn't want to do if they were sober. Drugs and alcohol affect consent.
  • Make you forget to have safer sex.
  • Make you use condoms and birth control wrong.
  • Make it harder to orgasm (cum). 
  • Make it difficult for guys to get and keep erections.

How can drugs and alcohol affect my decisions about sex?

Drugs and alcohol cloud your judgment. Choices about what music to listen to or what movie to see aren't very important. But the decision to have sex is a big one. Lots of young adults say they've done more sexual stuff after drinking or doing drugs than they'd planned.

And if you're drunk or high, you might not use condoms correctly, or you might forget to use them at all. So mixing sex with alcohol or other drugs increases your risk for unintended pregnancy and STDs.

How can drugs and alcohol lead to sexual assault?

Someone who doesn't want to have sex may be too out of it to say "no" if they've been drinking or doing drugs. If you have sex with someone who's drunk or high, it could even be a crime. If you're hooking up with someone who's drunk or high, it might be hard to tell if they're really into it — and if you can't tell if your partner wants to have sex or not, STOP.

How can I get help with drug and alcohol issues?

Using drugs or alcohol can keep people from understanding their feelings and working through their problems — and it ends up making their problems worse. If you think you need help, talk to a parent, teacher, school counselor, or another adult you trust.

If you think your partner has a problem with alcohol or drugs, then you probably need to talk to them about it. But before you do, it might be helpful to talk with an adult you trust first. An adult may be able to help you find resources to help them and give you advice on how to start the conversation.

Here are some tips to help you talk with your partner:

  • Talk when they’re sober.
  • Let them know that you care about them and are worried.
  • Use specific examples of how they act when drunk or high.
  • Offer your help.
  • Be prepared for your partner to get angry during this talk.

You can contact the National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Service for more help.


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Sex, Alcohol, and Drugs