Clayton et al. (10.1542/peds.2015-2480) reviewed data from recent National Youth Risk Behavior Surveys to look for an association between non-medical prescription use and sexual risk-taking and sadly found such an association.. In fact, use of these prescription drugs without a prescription in teens resulted in an increased risk of being sexually active, multiple partners, and not using a condom among other sexual risk-taking behaviors. As the frequency of non-medical usage of these drugs without a prescription increased, so did the association with sexual risk-taking and in turn increased risk for contracting a sexually transmitted infection.
This is a disturbing report using cross-sectional data that leaves one wanting to do more to stop the non-medical usage of these drugs—and perhaps by limiting the amount we prescribe and monitoring the usage of these drugs in our patients, we can begin to make a dent in the troubling association described in this article which truly is a bitter pill to swallow.