May is Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month & April was Alcohol Awareness Month. To celebrate these months, we welcome our first guest blog post from St. Jude Retreats.
Teen pregnancy and alcohol often go hand in hand. When you drink alcohol you can often times lose your inhibitions, leading you to be careless about making responsible choices that could impact your future. Maybe a teen who typically chooses to use a condom would be way less carefree about using protection while under the influence of alcohol and as a result they may not use anything and risk the chance of becoming pregnant.
If you’re a teen and are currently engaging in drinking alcohol there are a few precautions you can take to avoid teen pregnancy.
1. If you’re sexually active and often drink at parties it may be in your best interest to get on a form of contraception either birth control pills or by using condoms. Today, most birth control is at a very low cost or sometimes free to a teen.
This way, if you do become sexually active while under the influence you will be protected almost 99% from pregnancy. It’s important to know that birth control does not guarantee that you will not get pregnant or protect you from Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD). You should always talk with your physician about side effects of taking birth control.
2. Avoid taking drinks from strangers, or putting yourself in dangerous situations. You may be thinking to yourself that this suggestion is common sense but statistics from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy reveal that 60% of teen pregnancies today are from the act of rape. These statistics are not meant to scare you, but to rather prepare you to stay safe in situations where alcohol can be used as the main component to the rapist’s plan. There are certain drugs commonly referred to as “date rape drugs” that can be slipped into a drink and quickly dissolved. No matter if it is a stranger or a boy from study hall, you should avoid drinking alcoholic drinks that you did not pour or mix yourself. If you know someone who has been sexually abused or raped, it is best to call your local authorities immediately.
3. Lastly, you should make sure that you fully understand the consequences of drinking before you start practicing drinking and sexual intercourse together. Pregnancy will completely change your life and if you’re a young teen you will certainly not be prepared. Your life will take a new turn that may include missing out of some important milestones in your life such as graduating high school, attending college, your friends may avoid you, and most importantly you will be responsible for a new life. There are many other serious consequences of teen pregnancy.
The consequences of drinking could at times be just as life changing as early pregnancy. Regardless of the consequences, the choice to partake in these events are yours, but being prepared and educated is a responsible way to start to plan for your college and adult years. If you’re experiencing any of these issues it may be best to talk to a parent or guardian who can further help you make the right choices through your teen years.
Melissa currently writes for St. Jude Retreats, a non 12 step alternative to traditional alcohol and drug rehab. As well as writing for St. Jude’s, Melissa also enjoys blogging about health and relationships.