Differential Risk for Drug Use by Sexual Minority Status among Electronic Dance Music Party Attendees in New York City

Marybec Griffin, Denton Callander, Dustin T. Duncan, Joseph J. Palamar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Drug use among electronic dance music (EDM) party attendees is common; however, studies are needed to examine associations between drug use and sexual orientation as this can inform prevention and harm reduction efforts in the lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) community. Methods: Data were examined from a repeated cross-sectional study of 3066 young adult EDM party attendees surveyed entering nightclubs and dance festivals in New York City between 2016 and 2018. Of these participants, 277 identified as gay/lesbian, 293 identified as bisexual, and 83 identified as other sexuality. We examined how sexual orientation relates to past-year use of various ‘traditional’ drugs (e.g., ecstasy/MDMA/Molly) and new psychoactive substances (NPS; e.g., “bath salts”) in a bivariable and multivariable manner, stratified by sex. Results: Compared to heterosexual males, gay males were at higher odds for use of ecstasy, GHB, and methamphetamine; bisexual males were at higher odds for use of LSD and unknown powders, and males identifying as “other” sexuality were at higher odds for use of mushrooms and 2C drugs. Compared to heterosexual females, lesbians were at higher odds for use of mushrooms and GHB; bisexual females were at higher odds for use of cocaine, LSD, mushrooms, and tryptamines, and females identifying as “other” sexuality were at higher odds for use of cocaine and tryptamines. Conclusions: We determined differential risk of use of different drugs among those who attend EDM parties according to sexual orientation. Findings can be used to tailor prevention messaging to specific groups within the LGB community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-240
Number of pages11
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020



  • Sexual orientation
  • drug use
  • electronic dance music
  • new psychoactive substances

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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