Opioid misuse study examines trends based on sexual orientation

People identifying as heterosexual are less likely to misuse opioids than those who have a different sexual orientation, according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Researchers gathered data from 42,802 people involved in the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. They examined responses about sexual orientation and opioid misuse within the past year. They also gathered information on prescription opioid use within the past month and year.

Researchers defined opioid misuse as using the drug:

• Without a prescription.
• In larger amounts than directed.
• For longer than directed.
• Against a physician's recommendation.

The study estimates 5 percent of people who identify as heterosexual said they misused opioids in the past year as compared to 9 percent for people who identify as gay or lesbian and 12 percent who identify as bisexual.

Additionally, the study shows bisexual women were twice as likely to misuse opioids as compared to individuals with other sexual orientations.

More articles on opioids:
Michigan patients only take 27% of prescribed opioids
BCBS of Alabama to drop coverage for OxyContin
Mac Miller's death attributed to opioids, cocaine

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