Linkage to Care Blog: Sexual Health on Campus

Sexual Health on Campus

College can be a fun and exciting experience, however, engaging in risky behavior can damper this new experience. There are a lot of parties and drugs that can influence one’s behavior, so there are several reasons why you should adopt safe behavior. 25% of college students have a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Young adults ages 15-24 account for more than half of new STD diagnoses annually—although they represent only 25% of the sexually active population. The top 3 most common STDs on college campuses are Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Chlamydia, and HSV-2 Genital Herpes. Many STDs are curable and all are treatable or managed.

Reasons you should use a condom

  • Condoms prevent pregnancies and prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections like HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.
  • Condoms are cheap.
    • The Student health center provides free condoms, and most pharmacies, grocery stores, and gas stations sell affordable, durable condoms.
  • Condoms are easy to get.
    • Once again, the student Health center is typically within walking distance for students. Stop by and get protected today!
  • Condoms can taste good.
    • Condoms come in flavors like banana, strawberry, and blueberry. Why deal with that rubbery smell when you can add some flavor?
  • Condoms can add to your sexual pleasure.
    • Most condoms are lubed up, allowing for easy entry and better sensation, especially for people with vaginas. But this is especially true for anal sex.
  • There are no side effects.
    • Hormonal birth control can affect menstrual cycle regularity and flow, and for some, it may cause acne or cramping. If hormonal birth control hasn’t worked for you, consider condoms.

Sexual Health on Campus – Drugs

College is one of the most common places drugs are found, sold, and abused. For many students, college opens up the world of opportunity to try new things and have new experiences without the supervision of parents. Unfortunately, this includes engaging in risky behavior without fear of the real consequences. The rates of abuse of drugs on college campuses have more than tripled for some substances, leading to increased tolerance and possible addiction later on.

49% of full-time college students drink and/or abuse drugs (illegal and prescription).

It’s no surprise alcohol is the number one abused drug on campus, simply because it is so widely accepted to consume. You constantly hear reckless stories about college kids getting wasted and causing havoc. Most college parties serve alcohol and even bars close to campus are coined as “college bars.” Alcohol is a legal activity for older college students; however, the typical freshman is 18 years old, far below the legal drinking age.

Binge drinking has also become a popular habit on college campuses included in sporting events, celebrations, and in many cases of hazing. Binge drinking can be very dangerous and lead to alcohol poisoning which can then lead to death.

Nearly 50% of college students have tried marijuana at least once.

Although still illegal in many states, marijuana has been the most popular drug in the United States other than alcohol for several decades. Mary Jane, bud, grass, and weed are just a few nicknames echoed around campus.

Commonly used to relax or to mix in with the party scene, marijuana does have significant effects on the body. Negligence caused by the high of the drug, such as driving while under the influence or injury from lack of judgment, has taken a toll on college students and could result in severe injury even if it is not possible to overdose on the drug. Relaxing the nerves and putting one in a sleep-like state is also common, leaving responsibilities of homework and studying a priority for another day.

One study found that more than 60% of students with a valid prescription from ADHD medication were diverting it to other students without prescriptions.

College-level work gets harder for many as they move up a grade level, making it harder to focus in class and complete assignments. Adderall and Ritalin are very commonly sold and abused drugs on college campuses. These drugs are designed to block out the distractions in your surroundings and in your head, making it easier to concentrate and retain knowledge. Exam week is a popular time in which students scramble to find these pills that will supposedly help them study. Friends sell to friends until the word gets out, turning prescriptions into profitable sales.

As raves and festivals grow in popularity, so does the use of “rave drugs,” with ecstasy being the most popular. Alcohol is the go-to party drug for house parties and normal outings at clubs, but ecstasy is the most common choice at many music festivals and raves. Users claim the music helps intensify the

feelings manifesting from the drug. In the college atmosphere, it has become as normal to take ecstasy at a festival as it has to drink alcohol at a bar. The downsides of the drug; however, can be pretty intense as well.

One study shows most users (69%) started using cocaine after college entry. From Year 1 to Year 4, lifetime prevalence of cocaine use more than tripled, from 4% to 13%.

While the popularity and use of ecstasy has risen, cocaine has followed closely in its path. Cocaine is highly addictive and illegal in the United States. It is derived from the coca plant in South America and is portrayed as the rich man’s drug from its expensive cost to its euphoric effects. Although it is very expensive, college students seem to want to get their hands on it as much as they can. It adds to the party atmosphere but can really damage the brain after use. One in four of those who try cocaine will become addicted in their life, damaging their hopes and dreams along the way.

With that said, you can have fun in college, but take the precautions to BE SAFE and take care of yourself!

This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *