Results from the largest study of legal and illicit drug use among gay and bisexual men in Australia suggest recreational drug use is common but dependency is low.
The report published by the Kirby Institute at UNSW Australia, which was co-authored by NDARC Professor Louisa Degenhardt, has found over three quarters of gay and bisexual men have used illicit drugs at some stage, with half reporting drug use in the last six months.
The most commonly and frequently used drugs are marijuana and amyl nitrite (‘poppers’), but over a quarter of men surveyed had used some sort of ‘party drugs’ in the previous six months, including cocaine and amphetamine-type stimulants such as ecstasy, speed and crystal meth.
The most common reason given for illicit drug-use among respondents was for pleasurable experiences, and particularly to enhance their sexual enjoyment.
The Flux Study (following lives undergoing change) explores the reasons gay and bisexual men commence, change, and stop their drug use behaviour, and whether they experience any direct health consequences.
The Kirby Institute research team surveyed 2251 men for the baseline questionnaire, with follow-up questionaries of over 1700 men over the next two years. A final report will be released in 2017.
For more details about the study, visit www.flux.org.au
A copy of the report is available here.