UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Perceived difficulty of getting help to reduce or abstain from substances among sexual and gender minority men who have sex with men (SGMSM) and use methamphetamine during the early period of the COVID-19 pandemic Card, Kiffer; McGuire, Madison; Bond-Gorr, Jordan; Nguyen, Tribesty; Wells, Gordon A.; Fulcher, Karyn; Berlin, Graham; Pal, Nicole; Hull, Mark W.; Lachowsky, Nathan J.


Abstract Background This study examined the perceived difficulty of getting help with substance use among sexual and gender minorities who have sex with men (SGMSM) who use methamphetamine during the early COVID-19 period. Methods SGMSM, aged 18+, who reported sex with a man and methamphetamine use in the past 6 months were recruited to complete an online survey using online advertisements. Ordinal regression models examined predictors of greater perceived difficulty of getting help. Explanatory variables included participant characteristics (i.e., age, HIV status, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, region, income) and variables assessing patterns of methamphetamine use (i.e., frequency, % time methamphetamine is used alone and during sex; perceived need for help) and patterns of healthcare access (i.e., regular provider, past substance use service utilization). Results Of 376 participants, most were gay-identified (76.6%), white (72.3%), cisgender (93.6%), and had annual incomes of less than $60,000 CAD (68.9%). Greater perceived difficulty of getting help was associated with having lower income, sometimes using methamphetamine prior to or during sex, and greater perceived need for help. Conclusion Based on these results, we urge greater investments in one-stop, low-barrier, culturally-appropriate care for SGMSM who use methamphetamine. This is especially important given that participants who perceive themselves as needing help to reduce or abstain from substance use perceive the greatest difficulty of getting such help.

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Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)