Sexual minority individuals have heightened risk for substance use; however, previous studies have not assessed severity of alcohol use disorders (AUDs), tobacco use disorders (TUDs), and drug use disorders (DUDs) among lesbian/gay and bisexual individuals and those “not sure” of their sexual identity compared with heterosexual individuals. A newly published study examined how three dimensions of sexual orientation (identity, attraction, and behavior) relate to severity of AUD, TUD, and DUD. This study used cross-sectional national data (N = 36,309) from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III.
· Sexual minority respondents had higher odds of severe AUD or TUD than heterosexual respondents.
· Those “not sure” of their sexual identity had higher odds of severe AUD, TUD, and DUD than heterosexual respondents.
The researchers concluded that bisexual and “not sure” U.S. adults are more likely to have a severe AUD and TUD. They also demonstrate the importance of treatment strategies that address sexual minority-specific risks, particularly for bisexual individuals and those “not sure” of their sexual identity.
Source: Boyd et al. (2019). Severity of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drug Use Disorders Among Sexual Minority Individuals and Their “Not Sure” Counterparts. LGBT Health, Jan;6(1):15-22. doi: 10.1089/lgbt.2018.0122. Epub 2019 Jan 14.