Alcohol is a social lubricant and can give that little boost of confidence. Perhaps this is why dating and cocktails have been such a good match. However, Alcohol causes a whole host of health issues. Since alcohol and dating tend to go together, can that relationship be bad as well?

 

Alcohol and Inhibitions

 

Alcohol causes the release of more endorphins (dopamine and serotonin) in the brain. These are the “feel good” neurotransmitters, and like so many things, too much is not a good thing. Excessive endorphin release can make it hard for the brain to discriminate between a good idea and a bad idea; they all “feel good.”

 

With impaired decision making, the brain tends to gloss over the pesky details like condoms and personal health. With this in mind, it’s easy to see that there could be a connection between STDs and alcohol.

 

Moderation is the Key

 

There is no evidence to say that alcohol causes STDs, but it can cause a person to engage in the behaviors that do cause STDs:

  • Penetrative sex without a condom
  • Multiple sexual partners
  • Anonymous sexual partners

 

The amount of alcohol needed to facilitate these types of uninhibited behavior varies according to multiple factors. However, public health officials urge caution and to know the limits of individual alcohol tolerance.

 

Knowledge is Power

 

Getting tested for STDs is paramount to controlling many diseases from being spread, according to the CDC. It’s your responsibility to talk to any potential sexual partner about any STDs, and alcohol can interfere with that communication.

 

How to Enjoy Alcohol Without Fear of STD

 

There are some things you can do to avoid STDs while still getting comfortable socially:

  • Eat before drinking; it slows the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream.
  • Alternate non-alcoholic beverages with alcoholic ones.
  • Limit yourself to one or two drinks total.
  • Never leave your drink unattended. There is the risk of someone spiking your glass with a stronger drug, leaving you even more intoxicated.
  • Always have condoms with you. More than one, and all the time; you never want to be caught up in the moment and not be prepared.

 

Alcohol Can Be a Problem

 

Binge drinking is considered more than four drinks for a woman, and more than five drinks for a man. If you are among the roughly 25 percent of people that reported to engage in binge drinking at some point, you may wonder if there was ever an occasion when alcohol-induced behavior exposed you to an STD.

 

Sexual activity can be a sensitive and embarrassing topic to bring up with your doctor. Getting tested for STDs doesn’t have to be that way, you can get fast, reliable and confidential testing performed without having to make a doctor’s appointment.

 

Getting Help

 

If you do feel that you have a problem with alcohol, it’s important to talk to your doctor about your concerns, not only in regards to STDs but for your health in general. Getting help for drinking problems will improve your health and maybe even your dating life.