Background Drug and alcohol use by patients attending sexual health clinics is not widely assessed as routine. BASHH history taking guidelines and position statement on recreational drug use recommend obtaining such histories, enabling identification of patients at risk and refer appropriately.
Aim To identify drug and alcohol use among GU patients attending a routine clinic appointment.
Methods Anonymous questionnaires were offered to all patients over a five day period. Drug and alcohol use over past 6 months, whether it was patient-identified as problematic and where help would be sought were obtained
Results Of the 116 respondents, with an average age of 30 years, there were 61 (52%) women, 30 (26%) MSM and 25 (22%) heterosexual men. Of these 60 (52%) disclosed drug use and 105 (81%) disclosed drinking alcohol; 4 respondents were concerned about their drug use and 48 (49%) reported high alcohol intake.
Conclusion There is a high level of drug and high alcohol use by a significant number of patients of all genders and ages. However it is self-deemed as problematic by only a small proportion. More routinely collected data is required to fully understand this and the potential impact it may have on sexual health.