Atlantic Canadian High School Students and Alcohol-Related Harms: Are There Differences Across Sex, Sexual Orientation and Psychosocial Indicators?
Alcohol is responsible for the greatest burden of acute harms in youth aged 15-24, with one fifth reporting at least one form of harm (physical, social, legal) in the past 12 months. This study sought to determine which factors impact Atlantic Canadian high school students’ experiences with alcohol-related harms, placing an emphasis on sexual orientation, using data from the 2012 Atlantic Student Drug Use Survey. Using unadjusted logistic regression, we determined that mostly heterosexual females were 1.39 (95% CI 1.04-1.86), and bisexual females were 1.52 (95% CI 1.001-2.32) times more likely to experience any harm than heterosexual females. These associations disappeared after adjustment for a set of covariates. Other factors that significantly increased the odds of experiencing any alcohol-related harms in both males and females included cannabis use, low parental connectedness and high sensation seeking tendencies. Our study findings have the potential to inform future harm reduction policies and strategies.