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Sex, Drugs, and Alcohol In Adolescence Michael Hoerger.

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1 Sex, Drugs, and Alcohol In Adolescence Michael Hoerger

2 Sex Facts  25% by age 14  50% by age 17  90% by age 21  Pregnancy before age 16: Increased risk of complications  1/6 couples are infertile, primarily due to untreated STIs

3 Sexually Transmitted Infections  Higher risk in adolescence due to weaker immune systems, multiple partners, not using condoms  Most with STIs have no symptoms  Curable: Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis  Life-long: Herpes, HPV, HIV  > 50% lifetime STI rate  25% lifetime herpes rate (90% w/o signs)

4 Sex Myths  “I can’t get pregnant”  Preventing STIs is effective if… Using birth control pills, pulling out/showering/ brushing teeth/peeing, not having noticeable signs, seeming like a “nice person”  Preventing Pregnancy is effective if… Sex during menstruation, showering  Early pregnancy OR abortion have drastic negative long-term outcomes  Abstinence programs are most effective

5 Drugs “Here and everywhere else, we all use drugs: aspirin; coffee; tea; vitamins. How do we define a drug? That’s become a political concept too. It’s no longer a pharmacological concept. Caffeine is certainly one of the most powerful drugs; Coca-Cola Company fills its drinks full of caffeine and it is being sold to children in schools and they become hyperactive. Wonder of wonders!” – Szasz


7 Drugs  Gateway drugs: cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana; increase risk for harder drug use

8 Drugs  Minor drug or alcohol use is normal; related to better long-term psychological outcomes than no use  Alcohol: impairs decision making (15x the risk for car accidents)  Tobacco: stunts growth, highly addictive  Marijuana: slows thinking and reasoning

9 Harder Drugs  Cocaine (stimulant): heart and respiratory problems, paranoia, overdose  Heroin (opioid): overdose  Most problems result from these drugs being illegal Turf wars, stealing/fencing to afford drugs, intravenous drug use, withdrawal $100 of heroin could be made for pennies/day  Stimulants like caffeine, Ritalin, nicotine, and cocaine differ mainly in degree

10 Drugs and Discrimination  “We do our bodies more damage, more irreversible damage, by smoking cigarettes and drinking liquor than by using heroin” – Reiman  “To cast the problem of psychiatric drug use into the problem of drug use in general is more honest and realistic and should enable each person to make a more informed choice” – Lewontin et al.

11 Drugs and Discrimination  Marijuana laws began in the 1930s to discriminate against Mexican Americans  Cocaine became popular among the white upper class in the 1970s; crack among low SES in the 1980s  Mandatory 5-year sentence for 500 grams of powder cocaine OR 5 grams of crack Crack offenders: 86% black, 5% white

12 Michael Hoerger To cite this lecture:  Hoerger, M. (2007, March 12). Sex, Drugs, and Alcohol. Presented at a PSY 220 lecture at Central Michigan University.

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