I have hepatitis C from drug use; will my partner get it from sex?

Hepatitis C is most commonly transmitted through blood. Although it’s rare, Hep C can also be transmitted through sexual contact. Using condoms is a good way to prevent that from happening. We provide them free at our clinic!

Can drugs (like coke, ecstasy, etc.) affect how well birth control pills work?

On a chemical level, no: ecstasy, cocaine, and similar drugs have not been found to decrease the effectiveness of hormonal birth control. (Some prescription drugs and herbs do, though, so be sure your healthcare providers know what you’re taking).  If you’re taking your pills at the same time every day, they’re more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, even if you have recreational drugs in your system.

However, drug use can affect your sexual health choices in other ways.  It’s well-documented that those under the influence are more likely to engage in unprotected sex, increasing the risk of STI transmission. Being drunk or high can also negatively affect a person’s communication, decreasing their ability to set boundaries, read a partner’s reactions, and give/withdraw their consent. 

Keep in mind, too, that IV drug users face higher rates of blood-borne STI transmission than the general population. HIV, Syphilis, and Hepatitis B & C are easy to transmit when people share needles.  If you are currently an IV drug user, Teen Clinic recommends getting tested for blood-borne infections regularly.

So will using recreational drugs affect your birth control pill’s effectiveness? Not directly. But it’s important to recognize that drug use can negatively affect your sexual health.

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