The Association between Intentional Overdose and Same-Sex Sexual Intercourse in a Cohort of People who Inject Drugs in Melbourne, Australia

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Abstract

Background: People who inject drugs (PWID) are at disproportionately high risk of suicidal behaviors, as are individuals who report same-sex attraction or experience. However, there is little evidence of compounded risk of suicide for individuals who report same-sex sexual intercourse (SSI) and are PWID. Objectives: To explore the associations of lifetime intentional overdose amongst a cohort of PWID, with particular attention to those reporting SSI. Methods: The sample included 529 participants, from an ongoing cohort of 757 PWID. An “ever” SSI variable was created for participants who reported sexual intercourse with a same-sex partner at any longitudinal interview. We explored the adjusted associations between SSI and lifetime intentional overdose using logistic regression. Results: Ninety-one (17%) participants reported ever experiencing an intentional overdose. Forty-one (8%) participants reported SSI at any interview. Three hundred and sixty (68%) participants reported diagnosis of a mental health condition. Diagnosis of a mental health condition (AOR = 2.02, 95% CIs: 1.14, 3.59) and SSI (AOR = 2.58, 95% CIs: 1.22, 5.48) significantly increased the odds of lifetime intentional overdose. Conclusions/Importance: We found a heightened risk of intentional overdose amongst PWID reporting SSI, after controlling for diagnosis of a mental health condition. Services need to be aware of this heightened risk and target interventions appropriately.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)755-762
Number of pages8
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Volume53
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • intentional overdose
  • lesbian/gay/bisexual
  • People who inject drugs
  • sexual orientation
  • suicide

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