Polysubstance use among young adults and differences in negative alcohol-related sexual experiences

Melissa A. Lewis, Zhengyang Zhou, Kathleen A. Parks, Rebecca Evans-Polce, Dana M. Litt, Anne M. Fairlie, Femke Geusens, Cassidy LoParco, Sean Esteban McCabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aimed to compare negative alcohol-related sexual experiences among individuals who used (1) alcohol only, (2) alcohol plus marijuana, and (3) alcohol plus marijuana and stimulants. Participants in the analytic sample (N = 1,015; Mean age = 19.16 (SD = 0.79); 45.42% male) completed an online baseline survey as part of an intervention study. A hurdle negative binomial model examined the associations between polysubstance use and negative alcohol-related sexual experiences. Models examined if experiences varied by demographic factors. Compared to participants that only used alcohol, those who used alcohol plus marijuana and stimulants reported a higher likelihood and average number of negative alcohol-related sexual experiences in the past 3 months. Participants that used alcohol plus marijuana had a higher likelihood of having a negative alcohol-related sexual experience in the past 3 months compared to those who only used alcohol. These findings suggest the number and risk for negative alcohol-related sexual experiences increases with the number of substances being used.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107571
JournalAddictive Behaviors
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Alcohol consequences
  • Alcohol-related sexual experiences
  • Polysubstance use
  • Sexual risk taking
  • Substance use


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