Sex, Drugs & Parties

Mix­ing drugs and sex is not uncommon.

Drugs affects us all a lit­tle dif­fer­ent­ly. They can open us to good sex or lead us to make risky deci­sions that can impact ours or our part­ners’ health and well-being.

Drugs — legal and otherwise 

When peo­ple talk about drugs, they usu­al­ly mean the ille­gal kinds that peo­ple use to get high. But there are oth­er kinds of drugs — legal ones — that also change the way your body and mind work. Cof­fee and alco­hol are drugs. So are med­i­cines. Just because you can buy a drug at your phar­ma­cy doesn’t mean that it’s safe. And just because a drug is ille­gal doesn’t mean it’s going to kill you.

Just like hav­ing sex is a choice, using drugs and alco­hol is a choice. Lots of peo­ple don’t use drugs or alco­hol, some peo­ple use a lit­tle, and some use more. Oth­er peo­ple might exper­i­ment and then stop or cut back. Just remem­ber that there is a risk that you can become addict­ed to drugs or alcohol.

If you’re using drugs or alco­hol and hav­ing sex, the impor­tant thing is to under­stand the risks and effects of what you’re tak­ing. Plan ahead.

Drugs, alco­hol, and sex

Peo­ple use drugs and alco­hol to change how they feel or think. So some peo­ple will drink alco­hol to feel more relaxed, which might make it eas­i­er to pick up’ and have sex. Oth­er peo­ple might use oth­er kinds of drugs like cocaine, ecsta­sy, and pot to be more turned on or to make sex last longer.

Even though cer­tain drugs and alco­hol might make you feel like you want sex more, your body might have a very dif­fer­ent reac­tion. A lot of drugs actu­al­ly make your body less turned on, mak­ing it real­ly hard to have an erec­tion or an orgasm. Even if that’s not a big deal to you, there are oth­er effects that you need to know. For exam­ple, many drugs make the vagi­na less lubri­cat­ed, which can cause con­doms to break unless you’re using lots of lube. Drugs and alco­hol can also make it hard­er to get and keep an erec­tion, so con­doms can slip off.

Drugs and alco­hol can also make you take more risks, like not using pro­tec­tion or birth con­trol at all, or hav­ing sex with mul­ti­ple peo­ple or strangers, or just doing things that you wouldn’t nor­mal­ly do.

Tips to keep in mind 

When par­ty­ing, unless you’re 100% sure that you won’t be hav­ing sex, have a plan so that you’re still pro­tect­ed from preg­nan­cy or an STI. Here are some easy tips:

  • Have friends with you. They can get you out of a jam if you’re feel­ing too drunk or high, or just if you need help. Make sure you’re in a place where you feel safe, and where you can get out with­out dri­ving (keep some cab mon­ey on hand or have a des­ig­nat­ed driver).
  • If there’s any chance you might be hav­ing sex, bring con­doms and lube with you. Lube is impor­tant because alco­hol and some drugs make the vagi­na less lubri­cat­ed, which can cause tears in the vagi­na and/​or to the con­dom, and make sex less plea­sur­able and more painful.
  • Know what you’re using and make sure you trust the per­son giv­ing it to you. Know exact­ly what the drug is and how it’s going to make you feel. You might want to start with a small­er amount at first and see how you feel before tak­ing more.
  • Keep an eye on your drinks, and where you’re get­ting them from. If your drink looks, smells, or tastes fun­ny, don’t drink it.
  • Know the risks if you might be mix­ing cer­tain drugs, or drugs with alco­hol. Some inter­ac­tions can be serious.
  • Think about birth con­trol. Talk to your health care provider, or (in Win­nipeg) vis­it Project CHOIC­ES. It’s a free pro­gram where you can get non-judg­men­tal sup­port and infor­ma­tion about using alco­hol and birth con­trol, and mak­ing the best choice for you.

Con­sent and sex­u­al assault 

When we talk about how alco­hol or drugs might make it eas­i­er to relax and pick up,’ you need to always make sure that your part­ner is able to tru­ly say yes’ to hav­ing sex.

Some­times date rape’ is not as obvi­ous as slip­ping some­one a drug with­out them know­ing. If you’re try­ing to have sex with any­one who is very drunk or high, or is black­ing out, that per­son can’t legal­ly say yes’ to sex or give their con­sent. This means that if you have sex with some­one who is too drunk or high to give con­sent, you can be charged with sex­u­al assault.

If you think that you might have been assault­ed while you were drunk or high, talk to a trust­ed friend or health care provider — like Klinic’s Sex­u­al Assault Cri­sis Coun­selling pro­gram — or check out Sex​u​al​ityAn​dU​.cas What to do if it hap­pens to you.

I’m using, and preg­nant! What do I do? 

Check out the preg­nan­cy and birth con­trol page to read about your preg­nan­cy options. If you plan to par­ent or have some­body else par­ent (adop­tion or guardian­ship), it’s nev­er too late to make a dif­fer­ence in the health of the baby. Even just a few of these things can make a big difference:

  • If you can, stop using drugs and alco­hol. Even just reduc­ing drug and alco­hol intake can also help you have a health­i­er preg­nan­cy. If you feel like you can’t quit on your own get in touch with a coun­sel­lor or health provider you trust, or con­tact AFM Youth Ser­vices, so that you can work togeth­er to reduce your sub­stance use while you’re pregnant.
  • Take a look at Mount Carmel Clinic’s Moth­er­ing Project to see if it’s right for you.
  • See your doc­tor, nurse prac­ti­tion­er, nurse, or mid­wife soon. Keep going reg­u­lar­ly. Pre­na­tal care is very impor­tant for both your health and the health of the fetus.
  • Eat healthy food and get lots of rest.
  • Low­er your stress by going for walks or spend­ing time with peo­ple who sup­port you.