Financial hardship and drug use among men who have sex with men

Su Hyun Park, Yazan Al-Ajlouni, Joseph J. Palamar, William C. Goedel, Anthony Estreet, Brian Elbel, Scott E. Sherman, Dustin T. Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Little is known about the role of financial hardship as it relates to drug use, especially among men who have sex with men (MSM). As such, this study aimed to investigate potential associations between financial hardship status and drug use among MSM. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 580 MSM in Paris recruited using a popular geosocial-networking smartphone application (GSN apps). Descriptive analyses and multivariate analyses were performed. A modified Poisson model was used to assess associations between financial hardship status and use of drugs (any drugs, tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, inhalant nitrites, and club drugs). Results: In our sample, 45.5% reported that it was somewhat, very, or extremely difficult to meet monthly payments of bills (high financial hardship). In multivariate analyses, a high level of financial hardship was significantly associated with an increased likelihood of reporting use of any substance use (adjusted risk ratio [aRR]=1.15; 95% CI=1.05-1.27), as well as use of tobacco (aRR=1.45; 95% CI=1.19-1.78), marijuana (aRR=1.48; 95% CI =1.03-2.13), and inhalant nitrites (aRR=1.24; 95% CI=1.03-1.50). Conclusions: Financial hardship was associated with drug use among MSM, suggesting the need for interventions to reduce the burden of financial hardship in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number19
JournalSubstance Abuse: Treatment, Prevention, and Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 24 2018


  • Alcohol
  • Drug use
  • Financial hardship
  • Men who have sex with men (MSM)
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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