Research on recovery from drug dependence is largely focused on abstinence without consideration of other aspects of mental health. The present study seeks to identify among Canadians with a lifetime history of illicit drug dependence, the prevalence of, and factors associated with (1) remission, (2) absence of psychiatric disorders (APD), and (3) complete mental health (CMH). A sample of 20,305 respondents from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey-Mental Health was selected, including 460 with a history of drug dependence. Chi-square tests and logistic regression analyses were conducted. Among those with a history of drug dependence, 80.6% were in remission. Although 47.9% achieved APD and 37.9% were in CMH, these percentages were significantly lower than those without a history of drug dependence (90.3% and 74.1%, respectively). APD and CMH were more common among older respondents, those with higher levels of social support, and those without a history of depression or anxiety. The present study draws attention to the individuals who may be vulnerable to continued drug dependence, while also illuminating potential modifiable factors to support positive mental health outcomes among those with a history of illicit drug dependence.
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This work was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Grant # 435-2016-0660 (PI: Esme Fuller-Thomson).
These analyses were based on de-identified public use data gathered by Statistics Canada (the Canadian equivalent of the US Census Bureau) and therefore an ethics review was not required.
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MacNeil, A., Fuller-Thomson, E. Factors Associated with Recovery and Flourishing Mental Health in a National Sample of Canadians with a History of Illicit Drug Dependence. Int J Ment Health Addiction (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-021-00579-y
- Complete mental health
- Drug dependence
- Substance use disorder