Multi-level modeling to explain methamphetamine use among gay and bisexual men

Perry N. Halkitis, Preetika Pandey Mukherjee, Joseph J. Palamar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: The popularity of methamphetamine among gay men has been documented; however, few studies have examined the complex behavioral and psychological motivations behind methamphetamine use, particularly over time. This study aimed to (i) identify the trajectories for methamphetamine use; (ii) explore factors related to methamphetamine use; and (iii) determine factors which predict changes in usage over a year. Design: This analysis utilized hierarchical linear modeling to identify the trajectories for methamphetamine use and explore factors related to patterns of methamphetamine use. Participants: A sample of 293 gay and bisexual men who indicated methamphetamine use at baseline were drawn from Project BUMPS (Boys Using Multiple Party Substances), which was a longitudinal, mixed-methodologies study of 450 club drug-using gay and bisexual men. Measurements: Participants were assessed via quantitative measures in four waves of data collection over the course of a year (baseline, 4, 8 and 12 months post-baseline). Findings: Frequency of methamphetamine use is related to reliance on the drug to avoid unpleasant emotions and physical discomfort, outcome expectancies for use and combining the drug with Viagra. Those with higher levels of drug-related sensation-seeking and those who combine use with Viagra show more consistent use over time, although a decrease in use is noted for most of the sample. Conclusions: Longitudinal analyses support the idea that methamphetamine is used by gay men to mask feelings of discomfort and to enhance sensations as well as sexual pleasure. Longitudinal non-intervention studies of drug use may have intervention-like effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-83
Number of pages8
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Club drugs
  • Gay and bisexual men
  • HLM
  • Methamphetamine
  • Trajectories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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