Sidmouth in drunken teen sex pregnancy warning

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

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

National figures show that almost nine in 10 young people fail to use a condom during sex when drunk, which can lead to unwanted pregnancies or sexually transmitted infections like Chlamydia or even AIDS.

However, figures relating to alcohol-induced pregnancies in Sidmouth are so low, releasing them might identify those involved.

Glynis Bath, teenage pregnancy coordinator for NHS Devon, said: "We cannot release the numbers of teenage conceptions in Sidmouth because they are too low and could lead to the identification of individuals.

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"If young people have unprotected sex, emergency contraception is available in Sidmouth at Blackmore Health Centre, Sidmouth hospital's minor injuries unit (MIU), and via the nurse at Sidmouth College."

Statistics for Devon show only 13 percent of young people 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," said NHS Devon teenage pregnancy coordinator Julia Loveluck.

"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."

Young people are more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol than adults and also tend to drink stronger brands of beer, cider, lager, wine and spirits.

There is a direct link between alcohol and crime. More than one in six students 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 is 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 ends tomorrow (Saturday), October 25.

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