The purpose of this study was to compare five gender groups (cisgender women, cisgender men, transgender women, transgender men, people with non-binary/other identities) on measures of use of and dependence on seven substances.
A two-stage approach to assessing gender allowed 126,648 participants from the 2018 Global Drug Survey to be classified to one of these five gender groups. Participants were asked to disclose use of each substance in the preceding 12 months. The Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test and the Severity of Dependence Scale were used to assess dependence. Multivariable logistic regression generated odds ratios to measure the association between gender and each substance use/dependence outcome, with cisgender women as the reference group.
The sample comprised 43,331 cisgender women, 81,607 cisgender men, 215 transgender women, 254 transgender men, and 1,241 people with non-binary/other identities. Relative to cisgender women, non-binary/other participants reported greater odds of last 12-month use of all substances (adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=1.66-2.93), except alcohol (lower odds; AOR=0.42), and greater odds of dependence on cannabis (AOR=2.39), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; AOR=1.64) and alcohol (AOR=3.28), adjusting only for age (all p<0.05).
Transgender 2018 Global Drug Survey respondents, particularly those with non-binary/other identities, had greater odds of reporting most substance use outcomes than cisgender women. These findings suggest a nuanced approach to gender reporting in surveys and treatment centres is required to understand the needs of transgender people who use substances.
Connolly, Dean J.Davies, Emma L.
Lynskey, MichaelMaier, Larissa J.Ferris, Jason A.Barratt, Monica J.Winstock, Adam R.Gilchrist, Gail
Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development
Year of publication: 2022Date of RADAR deposit: 2022-06-06