Research Alert! Alcohol and marijuana use may increase risk of condomless sex in young adults

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Young persons who use alcohol and/or marijuana experience heightened likelihood of condomless sex, according to a new study published in The American Journal on Addictions. This increased likelihood was greater for women than for men on days with alcohol or marijuana use, each alone but especially when combined.

The study included 290 young adults (18-25 years of age) who reported either alcohol or marijuana use. For females, compared with days with no substance use, the estimated risk of condomless sex increased by a factor of 2.12 on alcohol use days, 1.89 on marijuana use days, and 3.39 on dual use days. Among males, the odds of condomless sex increased only slightly on alcohol use or marijuana use days, but increased by a factor of 1.71 on dual use days.

“Our goal is to identify patterns of substance use associated with heightened risk. We are excited about these findings and their public health implications,” said lead author Dr. Jumi Hayaki, of the College of the Holy Cross.

Retrieved from https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/w-aam061818.php

                                                                                                                                                                  

Dual use of alcohol and marijuana and condomless sex in young adult men and women: A within‐subject day‐level analysis

First published: 20 June 2018

Abstract

Background and Objectives

Unprotected sex has been linked independently to alcohol and marijuana use, but few studies have examined associations with dual use or gender differences in these associations.

Methods

This study examined day‐level associations between unprotected sex, defined as condomless vaginal sex with an opposite‐sex partner, and use of alcohol, marijuana, neither, or both substances among 290 young adults (18–25 years, 52.3% female) who reported either alcohol or marijuana use. Participants reported demographics, alcohol use, marijuana use, and at least one episode of condomless sex as defined above in the past 90 days (Timeline Follow‐Back). The likelihood of condomless sex was examined for days when alcohol, marijuana, neither, or both were used. Gender differences were also explored.

Results

For females, compared to days with no substance use, the estimated risk of condomless sex increased by a factor of 2.12 on alcohol use days, 1.89 on marijuana use days, and 3.39 on dual use days. Among males, the odds of condomless sex increased only slightly on alcohol use (odds ratio [OR] = 1.03) or marijuana use (OR = 1.08) days, but increased by a factor of 1.71 on dual use days.

Discussion and Conclusions

Young persons who use alcohol and/or marijuana experience heightened likelihood of condomless sex. This increased likelihood is greater for women than for men on days with alcohol or marijuana use, each alone but especially when combined.

Scientific Significance

Young women may be especially susceptible to the influence of alcohol and/or marijuana use on sexual behavior. (Am J Addict 2018;XX:1–6)

Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ajad.12738

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