Why It's Important to Test an Adolescent for STDs Prior to Addiction Treatment

Test an Adolescent for STDs Prior to Addiction Treatment

Many parents who suspect that their adolescents are dabbling in drugs hone in on the fact that they need to seek out addiction treatment targeted to teens. No matter how much your teen might deny it, as their parent you know them best and your gut instinct is likely to be correct when it comes to their drug use.While you might go so far as to research the different methods that you can use to confirm the fact that they are using drugs, there is another test that needs to be considered first: a test for STDs.

The Connection between Drug Use and STDs

There is Connection between Drug Use and STDs amongst sexually active peopleSurprised that you need to be concerned about testing your adolescent for STDs before attempting to find treatment for his or her drug addiction? The research into this subject shows a very clear correlation between the two.

According to a study referenced on the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s website (“Drugs Contribute to High Rates of Sexually Transmitted Diseases Among Juvenile Offenders” updated 2011), nearly 30 percent of the youth arrested in Tampa, Florida tested positive for some form of sexually transmitted disease. Over 11 percent of the boys and 19 percent of the girls who tested positive for STDs while being processed by the criminal justice intake system had positive results for gonorrhea, Chlamydia or both.Researchers have found that a definitive correlation between the prevalent use of drugs such as marijuana and cocaine and the incidences of STDs. The most common risk factor cited by the study when contracting a STD for both girls and boys was engaging in sexual intercourse with a heterosexual partner without using a condom.

The HIV Connection: It’s Not as Simple as You Expect

Another publication on the National Institute for Drug Abuse website entitled “Drug Facts: HIV/AIDS and Drug Abuse: Intertwined Epidemics” acknowledged the fact that nearly everyone these days knows that using drugs intravenously and sharing needles can pass HIV from one person to another.What is less well known, though, is that people who are taking certain drugs are more likely to participate in risky behaviors including having unsafe and/or unprotected sex.

Drug Addiction Can Increase Effects of STDs

Increase Effects of STDs are more common with substance abusersAs the National Institute for Drug Abuse website notes, being addicted to drugs can increase the effectives of STDs. For example, those adolescents who have HIV can face an increase in their cognitive impairment as well as considerably more injury to their still-maturing neurons.

The good news is that with the right addiction treatment, adolescents can learn how to curb their behaviors so that they incur less risk — both when it comes to drug addiction as well as with their sexual habits


Addressing One Condition to Help the Other

Due to the intimate link between drug use and STDs, addressing one in a positive manner typically yields the desired changes in the other behavior. In fact, when searching for an addiction program asking detailed questions about how they handle the risky behaviors associated with drug use and STDs should be a top priority.

  1. National Institute of Drug Abuse; Updated July 2011; http://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/nida-notes/2011/07/drugs-contribute-to-high-rates-sexually-transmitted-diseases-among-juvenile-offenders National Institute of Drug Abuse; Updated May 2012, http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/hivaids-drug-abuse-intertwined-epidemics

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