156696 Drug use and sexual orientation in a cohort study of U.S. youth

Tuesday, November 6, 2007: 9:30 AM

Heather L. Corliss, MPH, PhD , Adolescent Medicine, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA
Margaret Rosario, PhD , Department of Psychology, The City University of New York - City College and Graduate Center, New York, NY
David Wypij , Department of Biostatistics, Harvard Shool of Public Health, Boston, MA
A. Lindsay Frazier, MD, ScM , Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
S. Bryn Austin, ScD , Adolescent Medicine, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA
Illicit drug use appears to be more common in sexual minority compared to heterosexual youth. We compare past-year prevalence of drug use across sexual orientation and examine how involvement in gay community social events/venues associates with drug use among 9297 U.S. youths (mean age: 18.6 years; range: 16-23) in the 2003 follow-up of the Growing Up Today Study, an ongoing cohort study. After controlling for age, among females, mostly heterosexuals (MH) and lesbians/bisexuals (LB) were more likely than heterosexuals to report use of marijuana (MH: OR 4.1, CI 3.4, 5.0; LB: OR 4.1, CI 3.0, 5.7), cocaine (MH: OR 5.1, CI 3.7, 7.0; LB: OR 4.6, CI 2.7, 7.7), ecstasy (MH: OR 4.8, CI 3.3, 7.0; LB: OR 7.8, CI 4.8, 12.9), and crystal methamphetamine (MH: OR 5.6, CI 3.0, 10.5; LB: OR 10.5, CI 5.0, 21.9). Likewise, MH and gay/bisexual (GB) males were more likely than heterosexual males to report using marijuana (MH: OR 2.8, CI 2.0, 3.9; GB: OR 2.1, CI 1.3, 3.2), cocaine (MH: OR 3.0, CI 1.7, 5.3; GB: OR 1.7, CI 0.7, 2.8), ecstasy (MH: OR 4.1, CI 1.9, 8.8; GB: OR 5.0, CI 2.3, 11.1), and crystal methamphetamine (MH: OR 3.8, CI 1.4, 10.7; GB: OR 3.4, CI 1.0, 11.7). Within sexual minorities, past-year attendance at gay-related social events/venues was associated with increased risk of using drugs. Interventions targeting gay community social settings may be a useful strategy for reaching sexual minority youth at high risk for using drugs.

Learning Objectives:
Describe patterns of illicit drug use risk among male and female youth who report a minority sexual orientation relative to heterosexual youth. Identify important factors associated with drug use risk among sexual minority youth. Recognize the importance of considering sexual orientation when developing public health interventions to prevent drug use among adolescents and young adults.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Drug Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.