Have a fun Christmas, but play it safe by following some important tips from West Sussex Public Health.
Say no to sex you don’t want. Don’t be pressured into anything you don’t want to do.
Get your contraception sorted out now so you don’t have to worry about it later. See your GP or the Integrated Sexual Health Service.
Some sexually transmitted diseases have no symptoms, but if you have it you can still pass it on. Get yourself checked regularly at a clinic – visit www.sexualhealthwestsussex.nhs.uk.
Accidents happen –emergency hormonal contraception is available from your GP, sexual health clinic (free for everyone) and at many pharmacies (free for under 22-year-olds only).
On nights out, stick together with friends and look after each other.
Pace yourself when out drinking – follow alcoholic drinks with a soft drink to keep yourself hydrated.
Don’t feel under pressure to drink alcohol when socialising. There are plenty of alternatives out there – no one will know there’s no vodka in your lemonade or that the beer in your glass is alcohol-free.
Plan your journey home. Never drink and drive or get into a car with someone who has been drinking. Know the times of public transport or pre-book a taxi and remember to keep money aside to pay the fare.
Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing Christine Field said: “Christmas is a time of year to relax and let our hair down, but please be sensible and have a Christmas to remember for all the right reasons and not one you’d rather forget.
“Think ahead, and don’t feel pressured into doing anything you don’t want to do.”
For information and advice on the sexual health services available in West Sussex, visit www.sexualhealthwestsussex.nhs.uk.
To find out how drinking can affect health, or for support with cutting down, visit www.rethink-your-drink.co.uk. You can also sign up to Dry January and pledge to stop drinking alcohol for 31 days at www.dryjanuary.org.uk