Examining Inhalant Use Among Sexual Minority Adults in a National Sample

Drug-Specific Risks or Generalized Risk?

Published in: LGBT Health (2022). doi: 10.1089/lgbt.2022.0042

Posted on RAND.org on October 27, 2022

by Megan S. Schuler, Rajeev Ramchand

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Purpose

The study objective was to compare use of 12 specific inhalants among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adults relative to heterosexual adults among a national sample.

Methods

Data on 210,392 adults, including 15,007 LGB adults, were from the 2015 to 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. For each inhalant type, logistic regression was used to characterize differences by sexual identity and gender. Unadjusted and demographic adjusted odds ratios are reported.

Results

All LGB groups exhibited elevated use of multiple inhalant types (ranging from 5 for gay males to 12 for bisexual females). The largest disparities were for poppers among gay and bisexual males. Gay and bisexual males initiated use at older ages.

Conclusion

Observed disparities among LGB adults included inhalants used in a sexual or club context (e.g., poppers) as well as types with particularly elevated fatality risk (e.g., butane, propane, aerosol sprays, and nitrous oxide).

Research conducted by

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