Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Substance Abuse Diagnostic Test For Teens Can Also Predict High Risk Sexual Behavior

Date:
November 10, 2009
Source:
Children's Hospital Boston
Summary:
Alcohol and drug use are known contributors to adolescents engaging in dangerous sexual activity. Yet, research suggests that fewer than half of pediatricians report screening patients for such at-risk behaviors. A new diagnostic test allows clinicians to quickly and accurately screen teens for high risk drug and alcohol use. Now, researchers have established that the same test can also identify teens who more likely to be engaging in high risk sexual behaviors.

Alcohol and drug use are known contributors to adolescents engaging in dangerous sexual activity; leading to substantial health risks such as unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted illnesses, drug overdoses and alcohol poisonings. Yet, research suggests that fewer than half of pediatricians report screening patients for substance use and at-risk sexual behavior. CRAFFT, the diagnostic test developed and currently being employed at Children's Hospital Boston, allows primary care physicians to accurately screen teens for high risk drug and alcohol use in a matter of minutes.

Related Articles


Now, according to a new study appearing in the Journal of Adolescent Health, Children's researchers have established that the CRAFFT diagnostic test can also identify teens that are more likely to be engaging in high risk sexual behaviors.

The studies researchers found that teens who screened positive for substance use had significantly greater odds of having sexual contact after using drugs or alcohol. According to the findings, these teens were more likely to have unprotected sex, multiple sexual partners and even a sexually transmitted illness. The cross-sectional survey consisted of 305 adolescents from ages 12- to 18-years-old in 3 different urban clinics. Participants were asked the CRAFFT questions, and also completed a self-administered questionnaire about high risk sexual behaviors. Of those who screened positive, 42.6% reported having sexual contact without a condom, 26.1% after drinking alcohol, 15.6% after drug use and 21.7% with a partner who had been drinking alcohol.

Developed by the Children's Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research, the CRAFFT screen, which refers to the mnemonic acronym in the six screening questions, includes questions such as "do you ever use alcohol or drugs to relax, feel better about yourself, or fit in?" and "do you ever forget things you did while using alcohol or drugs?" Answering "yes" to two or more questions is highly predictive of an alcohol or drug-related disorder and now at-risk sexual behavior.

"Primary care physicians are on the frontline of identifying adolescents who are at-risk and all should be screened with questions like these at every routine medical visit," says Sharon Levy, MD, co-author of the study and physician in the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at Children's. "Clinicians should be prepared to discuss high risk sexual behaviors with their patients along with the dangers of engaging in sexual activity while intoxicated. Something as simple as asking an adolescent a few questions during a clinical appointment might make the difference."

The CRAFFT test is routinely administered during adolescent clinical appointments at Children's. All adolescents who take the test receive brief advice on alcohol and drug use, and those who test positive are recommended to further assessment for substance use disorders. The authors suggest that these adolescents also receive counseling to avoid high risk sexual behaviors and sexual activity after alcohol or drug use.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Children's Hospital Boston. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Children's Hospital Boston. "Substance Abuse Diagnostic Test For Teens Can Also Predict High Risk Sexual Behavior." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091016141409.htm>.
Children's Hospital Boston. (2009, November 10). Substance Abuse Diagnostic Test For Teens Can Also Predict High Risk Sexual Behavior. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091016141409.htm
Children's Hospital Boston. "Substance Abuse Diagnostic Test For Teens Can Also Predict High Risk Sexual Behavior." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091016141409.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins