People who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual are more likely to misuse opioids compared to heterosexuals, a new study revealed.
The new study – which was led by researchers at the NYU School of Medicine – was published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine and it found that five per cent of straight adults in American have misused opioids.
However, the figure rose to nine per cent for the lesbian and gay community and 12 per cent within the bisexual community, News Medical reported.
Within the past month, four per cent of bisexual people have misused the drug compared to only one per cent of heterosexuals.
Previous studies have found that those who identify as gay or bisexual are more likely to experience addiction-related illnesses such as alcoholism and use of other drugs.
Senior study author Joseph Palamar said: “Our study highlights that adults of sexual minority statues – particularly women identifying as bisexual – are at increased risk of opioid misuse.
“With the opioid crisis escalating nationwide, it is important to focus on preventing misuse among groups at highest risk.”
Associate professor Dustin Duncan added: “Primary care providers, educators and even parents should consider sexual orientation when assessing those at risk of opioid misuse.
“Not only do we need to consider sexual orientation as a risk factor, but we also need to monitor these groups more closely once they’ve been identified.”