Drug Abuse

Sexual violence is a universal phenomenon without restriction to sex, age, ethnicity or social class that causes devastating effects in the physical and mental health spheres, in the short-term and long-term, such as pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STI) and greater susceptibility to psychiatric symptoms, especially depression. Some cases of sexual assault and rape are based on the use of so-called drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA), which cause victims’ loss of consciousness and inability to defend, making them vulnerable to violence.
Objectives: Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) populations exhibit elevated rates of psychiatric disorders compared to heterosexuals, and these disparities emerge early in the life course. We examined the role of exposure to early-life victimization and adversity-including physical and sexual abuse, homelessness, and intimate partner violence-in explaining sexual orientation disparities in mental health among adolescents and young adults. Methods: Data were drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, Wave 3 (2001-2002), a nationally representative survey of adolescents.
Adolescents with a minority sexual orientation (e.g., lesbian, gay, and bisexual) are more likely to use substances than their heterosexual peers. This study aimed to increase understanding of the development of drug use in this vulnerable population by: 1) comparing longitudinal patterns of past-year illicit drug use (e.g., marijuana, cocaine, and ecstasy) and misuse of prescription drugs among minority sexual orientation youth relative to heterosexual youth and, 2) examining how sexual orientation sub-group, gender, and age relate to variation in the risk of drug use.