Alcohol is key to Devon teens putting their lives at risk

Youngsters in Devon are putting their lives at risk by having unprotected sex after drinking, say health officials from NHS Devon.

Youngsters in Devon are putting their lives at risk by having unprotected sex after drinking, say health officials from NHS Devon.

National figures show that almost nine in ten young people fail to use a condom during sex when intoxicated.

This can lead to unwanted pregnancies or sexually transmitted infections such as Chlamydia or even HIV/AIDS.

Julia Loveluck, teenage pregnancy coordinator for NHS Devon, said: "Only 13 per cent of young people are likely to use contraception when they have drunk too much.


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"Our message to young people is to get their contraception sorted out before they get caught out.

"Young people need to think about the benefits of a long term method of contraception and of course remember that even if they have unprotected sex, access to emergency contraception is always available in a range of outlets."

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Young people are more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol than adults as it can be more concentrated in their smaller bodies. They also tend to drink stronger brands of beer, cider, lager, wine and spirits.

There is also a direct link between alcohol and crime. Over one in six school children who commit crimes do so under the influence of alcohol.

Paul Thomas, head of Devon Trading Standards Service, said: "The majority of young people and retailers are law abiding and responsible, but results of our test purchasing operations indicate an unacceptable level of illegal sales are still taking place.

"In a recent operation in north Devon, nearly half the pubs and clubs visited sold to a 15 and a 16 year old volunteer."

Alcohol awareness week takes place between 19-25 October.

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