Doctors should conduct a short questionnaire when they see young patients, as it could help identify who is at risk of sexual health problems, according to new research.
A set of six screening questions, known as a CRAFFT, is being used at Children's Hospital Boston to see which children are having substance or alcohol abuse issues.
From this, researchers were able to see that in many cases, sexual contact without protection often takes place after young people have been drinking or taking drugs.
Dr Sharon Levy, one of the authors and a physician at the Adolescent Substance Abuse Programme at the hospital, commented that CRAFFT could make a real difference if it is used in more institutions.
"Clinicians should be prepared to discuss high risk sexual behaviours with their patients along with the dangers of engaging in sexual activity while intoxicated," she continued.
Recent research at the University of Gothenburg indicated that young boys in Sweden are not as careful about preventing the spread of Chlamydia as their female counterparts.