Perspectives on Sexual & Reproductive Health Vol. 43; No. 3
Few studies have examined the associations of illicit drug use
with risky sexual behaviors among people of reproductive ages,
using a control group of non-users.
Data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth were used
to assess associations between outcomes related to sexual
behaviors and reproductive health, and marijuana and cocaine
use. A total of 4,928 men and 7,643 women ages 15-44 were
interviewed. "Chi-square tests, t tests and multivariable
logistic regression analyses were used; in supplementary
analyses, men and women were stratified by age group (25 or
younger, and older than 25), to capture the understudied older
adults who use drugs," the team wrote.
Use of marijuana or cocaine in the previous year was reported
by 27 percent of men and 16 percent of women. "Drug users were
younger than non-users at first vaginal sex (mean, 15.2-16.1
vs. 17.3-17.5) and were more likely to have engaged in risky
sexual behaviors during the last year, including having had
sex with a non-monogamous partner (odds ratios, 3.3-5.2 for
men and 2.9-6.5 for women), while high on alcohol or drugs
(10.1-18.0 and 8.1-24.2), or in exchange for money or drugs
(2.7-2.8 and 2.3-9.2)," the authors reported. Drug users also
were more likely to have undergone STD testing or treatment.
Drug use was associated with risky sexual behaviors in both
"Programs aimed at reducing sexual risks among drug users
should address the behaviors of men and women of all
reproductive ages," the study concluded.