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  • Sexual Violence and Substance Use Diagnosed in Emergency Department Discharges in Hawaii, 2005-2014 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH Guo, M., Do, B., Wong, K., Lee, T. H., Talagi, D., Lum, B., Rahberg, N., Ha, E., Fan, V. Y. 2022; 19 (23)


    Substance use (SU) and sexual violence (SV) present unique challenges when contextualizing their relationship due to underreporting of SU and SV. Both are significant public health concerns with a large magnitude and expense to the overall U.S. and to the state of Hawaii, which is identified as a high-intensity drug-trafficking area. Since substance users have a higher risk for sexual violence than the general public, this study aims to analyze the proportion and demographics of emergency department (ED) visit individuals reporting sexual violence with or without substance use disorder and examine how the number of ED visits of individuals diagnosed with SV and SU disorder compare to all individuals.Data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project was used to examine the relationship between SV and SU. The database contained 3.5 million observations for 24 Hawaii hospitals from 2005-2014. The data was summarized in descriptive statistics and Chi-square tests were run to assess statistical significance for variables of interest.A greater proportion of individuals reporting sexual violence also reported substance use disorders compared to the general population of individuals. While 8% of all ED visits were related to SU, 17% of ED visits involving SV were also related to SU, demonstrating a statistically significant association between SV and SU.There is a greater need to further understand the complexity of the relationship between substance use and sexual violence. Sexual violence and substance use disorders share a complex relationship; survivors of sexual abuse may develop a substance use disorder, and those who use drugs and alcohol may be at an increased risk for sexual violence. Results from this study demonstrate visits for individuals reporting sexual violence have a greater proportion of substance use disorder than visits for the general population.

    View details for DOI 10.3390/ijerph192316220

    View details for Web of Science ID 000896114600001

    View details for PubMedID 36498293

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC9740929