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Novel Drug Use in the LGBT Community: A Mixed Methods Approach Using the Social Structure-Social Learning Model
American Society of Criminology (2013)
  • John M. Stogner, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Joe Ruckus
  • Laura E. Agnich, Georgia Southern University
  • Bryan Lee Miller, Georgia Southern University
While studies have consistently shown higher rates of alcohol and illegal drug use among LGBT populations, no research has explored whether this trend also holds for a new breed of quasi-legal novel drugs such as Savlia divinorum and bath salts. Using a sample of 2,346 emerging adults, we examine LGBT novel drug usage in the context of learning, control, and strain theories. We find LGBT individuals have significantly higher usage levels for novel drugs and that this difference far exceeds that seen for alcohol and marijuana. When looking at criminological theory, we find that social learning constructs partially mediate the relationship between sexual orientation and novel drug use. No evidence supported hypotheses that strain or self-control mediated or acted as a moderator in this relationship. We hypothesize this phenomena may be related to do with LGBT culture having unique cultural definitions of drug use and LGBT individuals being less likely to stigmatize substance use. These findings are paired with information from qualitative interviews with LGBT participants and placed into a social structure-social learning framework. Additionally, these findings may have important implications for substance use messaging targeted at the LGBT population.
  • Alcohol use,
  • Illegal drug use,
  • LGBT populations,
  • Novel drugs,
  • Emerging adults
Publication Date
November 22, 2013
Citation Information
John M. Stogner, Joe Ruckus, Laura E. Agnich, and Bryan Lee Miller. "Novel Drug Use in the LGBT Community: A Mixed Methods Approach Using the Social Structure-Social Learning Model" American Society of Criminology. Atlanta, GA. Nov. 2013.