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Substance use among lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients entering substance abuse treatment: Comparisons to heterosexual clients.
J Consult Clin Psychol. 2015 Apr; 83(2):325-34.JC

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

This study evaluated whether sexual orientation-specific differences in substance use behaviors exist among adults entering substance abuse treatment.

METHOD

Admissions records (July 2007-December 2009) were examined for treatment programs in San Francisco, California receiving government funding. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) persons (n = 1,441) were compared to heterosexual persons (n = 11,770) separately by sex, examining primary problem substance of abuse, route of administration, age of first use, and frequency of use prior to treatment.

RESULTS

Regarding bisexual males, the only significant finding of note was greater prevalence of methamphetamine as the primary substance of abuse. When compared to heterosexual men, gay and bisexual men evidenced greater rates of primary problem methamphetamine use (44.5% and 21.8%, respectively, vs. 7.7%, adjusted odds ratios [ORs] 6.43 and 2.94), and there was lower primary heroin use among gay men (9.3% vs. 25.8%, OR 0.35). Among LGB individuals, race and ethnicity did not predict primary problem substance, except that among LGB men and women, a non-White race predicted cocaine use (OR 4.83 and 6.40, respectively), and among lesbian and bisexual women, Hispanic ethnicity predicted lower odds of primary cocaine use (OR 0.24). When compared to heterosexual men, gay men were more likely to smoke their primary problem substance (OR 1.61), first used this substance at an older age (M = 23.16 vs. M = 18.55, p < .001), and used this substance fewer days prior to treatment (M = 8.75 vs. M = 11.41, p < .001). There were no differences between heterosexual and lesbian or bisexual women.

CONCLUSIONS

There were unique patterns of substance use for gay and bisexual men entering substance abuse treatment, but women did not evidence differences. Gay men evidenced unique factors that may reflect less severity of use when entering treatment including fewer days of use and a later age of initiation of their primary problem substances. The results underscore the importance of being sensitive to differences between gay, bisexual, and heterosexual males when considering substance use disorders. (PsycINFO Database Record

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Community Health Systems, School of Nursing, University of California.Department of Psychology, Marquette University.Department of Psychiatry, University of California.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

Language

eng

PubMed ID

25622196

Citation

Flentje, Annesa, et al. "Substance Use Among Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients Entering Substance Abuse Treatment: Comparisons to Heterosexual Clients." Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, vol. 83, no. 2, 2015, pp. 325-34.
Flentje A, Heck NC, Sorensen JL. Substance use among lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients entering substance abuse treatment: Comparisons to heterosexual clients. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2015;83(2):325-34.
Flentje, A., Heck, N. C., & Sorensen, J. L. (2015). Substance use among lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients entering substance abuse treatment: Comparisons to heterosexual clients. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83(2), 325-34. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0038724
Flentje A, Heck NC, Sorensen JL. Substance Use Among Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients Entering Substance Abuse Treatment: Comparisons to Heterosexual Clients. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2015;83(2):325-34. PubMed PMID: 25622196.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Substance use among lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients entering substance abuse treatment: Comparisons to heterosexual clients. AU - Flentje,Annesa, AU - Heck,Nicholas C, AU - Sorensen,James L, Y1 - 2015/01/26/ PY - 2015/1/27/entrez PY - 2015/1/27/pubmed PY - 2016/5/6/medline SP - 325 EP - 34 JF - Journal of consulting and clinical psychology JO - J Consult Clin Psychol VL - 83 IS - 2 N2 - OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated whether sexual orientation-specific differences in substance use behaviors exist among adults entering substance abuse treatment. METHOD: Admissions records (July 2007-December 2009) were examined for treatment programs in San Francisco, California receiving government funding. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) persons (n = 1,441) were compared to heterosexual persons (n = 11,770) separately by sex, examining primary problem substance of abuse, route of administration, age of first use, and frequency of use prior to treatment. RESULTS: Regarding bisexual males, the only significant finding of note was greater prevalence of methamphetamine as the primary substance of abuse. When compared to heterosexual men, gay and bisexual men evidenced greater rates of primary problem methamphetamine use (44.5% and 21.8%, respectively, vs. 7.7%, adjusted odds ratios [ORs] 6.43 and 2.94), and there was lower primary heroin use among gay men (9.3% vs. 25.8%, OR 0.35). Among LGB individuals, race and ethnicity did not predict primary problem substance, except that among LGB men and women, a non-White race predicted cocaine use (OR 4.83 and 6.40, respectively), and among lesbian and bisexual women, Hispanic ethnicity predicted lower odds of primary cocaine use (OR 0.24). When compared to heterosexual men, gay men were more likely to smoke their primary problem substance (OR 1.61), first used this substance at an older age (M = 23.16 vs. M = 18.55, p < .001), and used this substance fewer days prior to treatment (M = 8.75 vs. M = 11.41, p < .001). There were no differences between heterosexual and lesbian or bisexual women. CONCLUSIONS: There were unique patterns of substance use for gay and bisexual men entering substance abuse treatment, but women did not evidence differences. Gay men evidenced unique factors that may reflect less severity of use when entering treatment including fewer days of use and a later age of initiation of their primary problem substances. The results underscore the importance of being sensitive to differences between gay, bisexual, and heterosexual males when considering substance use disorders. (PsycINFO Database Record SN - 1939-2117 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/25622196/Substance_use_among_lesbian_gay_and_bisexual_clients_entering_substance_abuse_treatment:_Comparisons_to_heterosexual_clients_ L2 - http://content.apa.org/journals/ccp/83/2/325 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -