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This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Using Marijuana, Drinking Alcohol, or a Combination of Both: The Association of Marijuana, Alcohol, and Sexual Risk Behavior Among Adolescents

Erik Storholm , Brett Ewing , Stephanie Brooks Holliday , Bradley Stein , Lisa Meredith , William Shadel , Elizabeth D'Amico


Introduction: Although the association between alcohol use and sexual risk behavior has been well documented, there is little understanding of whether marijuana use alone or combining marijuana with alcohol use contributes to sexual risk behavior among adolescents. Methods: A diverse sample of sexually active adolescents (n = 616) age 12-18 (50.32% Hispanic; 31.17% Black) completed a survey on alcohol use, marijuana use, and sexual risk behavior during a visit to a primary care clinic. Results: Adolescents were more likely to report having had two or more sexual partners in the past three months if they reported using both alcohol and marijuana (OR = 3.90, p < .0001), alcohol alone (OR = 2.51, p < .0001), or marijuana alone (OR = 1.89, p < .001) compared to adolescents who reported no use during the past month. Adolescents were more likely to report having both two or more partners and condomless sex if they used both alcohol and marijuana (OR = 3.19, p <.001) or alcohol alone (OR = 3.41, p < .01) in the past month compared with adolescents who reported marijuana alone or no use. Conclusions: Providers should screen for both alcohol and marijuana use among adolescents and discuss how use of alcohol or alcohol in conjunction with marijuana may be associated with sexual risk behaviors.

SH16218  Accepted 24 October 2017

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