Warnings over alcohol misuse and unsafe sex

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NATIONAL Alcohol Awareness Week (14-18 November) warns of the dangers of alcohol misuse and unsafe sex.

Cambridgeshire Child & Adolescent Substance Use Service (CASUS) and Cambridgeshire Chlamydia screening programme have joined forces during National Alcohol Awareness Week to remind young people of the link between alcohol misuse and unsafe sex.

The local campaign called ‘Alcohol and Sex, what d’ya know…?’ aims to raise awareness of alcohol and sexual health and warn young people of the potential risks when the two are combined.

The teams from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) and Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust (CCS NHST) will be out in force visiting local schools, hostels and youth groups with a variety of activities, information, resources and drop-in sessions to educate young people.

Liz Cracknell, senior substance misuse practitioner nurse, CPFT, said; “We think it is really important that young people have the opportunity to find out about the risks they may face when alcohol and sex are combined. We want to encourage young people to come along and talk to us and grab some info and freebies, when we’re out and about during this Alcohol Awareness Week.”

Kathryn Faulkner, Cambridgeshire Chlamydia screening programme co-ordinator, CCS NHST, said: “Alcohol can reduce young people’s inhibitions which may lead to them taking risks and practicing unsafe sex. This can in turn put them at risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI), which is why we’ve teamed up with CASUS to promote National Alcohol Awareness Week.

“Chlamydia is now the most commonly diagnosed STI among under-25s. Often there are no symptoms, and although testing and treatment are simple, left untreated it can cause serious complications, including reduced fertility in both men and women”.

Alcohol Awareness Week is run by Alcohol Concern, the national agency on alcohol misuse, which campaigns for effective alcohol policy and improved services for people whose lives are affected by alcohol-related problems. Go to www.alcoholconcern.org.uk for more information.

If you would like a visit from CASUS and the Chlamydia screening programme telephone 01223 214614 or email casus@cpft.nhs.uk; or telephone 01480 415278 or email Kathryn.faulkner@nhs.net Alternatively, to find out more about these services go to www.casus.cpft.nhs.uk and www.cambstakeatest.com