177702 Are sexual orientation and gender identity being included in substance abuse research: A survey of recent research and state treatment databases

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 1:06 PM

Annesa Flentje, MA , Department of Psychology, University of Montana, Missoula, MT
Bryan N. Cochran, PhD , Dept. of Psychology, University of Montana, Missoula, MT
Rates of substance use have been shown to be higher among persons with recent same sex relationships or same-sex sexual orientation (Cochran, Ackerman, Mays, & Ross, 2004, Stall et al., 2001), yet substance abuse research often fails to query about sexual orientation. Additionally, in 2001 only one state treatment database was collecting information about sexual orientation and gender identity (Cochran & Cauce, 2001). This study is being conducted to examine the research question of whether or not sexual orientation and gender identity are being included as variables in current substance abuse research literature and in state treatment databases. Our pilot study randomly sampled 30 articles from the PsycINFO Database with the parameters: empirical studies, in peer-reviewed journals, published in 2007, and with the keywords “substance abuse” and found that only 3.7% (n = 1) of the programs sampled reported sexual orientation or gender identity. The data to be presented will include a larger sample of studies published in 2007 (n = 200) and will include a survey of treatment database administrators for each of the 50 states. Failing to query for or report these variables does not allow for an understanding of how LGBT status may relate to substance use behaviors, nor does it allow for researchers or practitioners to understand the representativeness of the sample when they read research. Future research should include these variables, and journal editors should begin to request the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity as basic demographic variables.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the extent to which sexual orientation and gender identity are being included in the current substance abuse research. 2. Understand the extent to which state treatment database information is filtering into current substance abuse research. 3. Describe the importance of including sexual orientation and gender identity in the substance abuse literature.

Keywords: Substance Abuse, Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My research area is LGBT substance abuse treatment; I have published and consistently review articles in this area
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.