Health Services Research & Development

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Arterberry BJ, Davis AK, Walton MA, Bonar EE, Cunningham RM, Blow FC. Predictors of empirically derived substance use patterns among sexual minority groups presenting at an emergency department. Addictive Behaviors. 2019 Sep 1; 96:76-81.
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Abstract: AIM: Minority sexual orientation (i.e., Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual; LGB) is a risk indicator for mental health and substance use problems. Findings are inconsistent across studies investigating LGB substance use and risk factors, possibly due to heterogeneity in LGB subgroups. To inform models of substance use risk, we identified empirical patterns of substance use and related risk behaviors among LGB individuals. METHOD: LGB participants (N?=?343; M?=?35.5, SD?=?11.8; 71.4%?=?Female; 80.5%?=?White) were screened in an Emergency Department as part of a randomized controlled trial of an alcohol brief intervention. We conducted latent class analyses using the AUDIT-C (12?month; frequency, quantity, & binge) and ASSIST (12?month; illicit or misused prescription substance). Multinomial regression was performed to test predictors of class membership including depression symptoms, driving after alcohol or marijuana, and sexually transmitted infection (STI) history. RESULTS: A 3-class model fit best and included "low use alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco users," (Low use; n?=?244) "hazardous alcohol, tobacco and marijuana users," (Hazardous; n?=?74) and "high-risk polysubstance users" (HPU; n?=?25). The Low use class comprised the largest proportion of the sample across age, race/ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Compared to the Low use class, higher likelihood of depression symptoms, driving after alcohol or marijuana use, and STI was found for both Hazardous and HPU classes. CONCLUSION: Researchers and clinicians should consider substance use patterns within the LGB population to inform interventions that address a variety of complex needs such as allocating more support for LGB individuals endorsing high-risk polysubstance use.