Brady T. West

Longitudinal Changes in Recovery from Drug Use Disorders: A National Study

Research Project Description
Sean Esteban McCabe, Carol J. Boyd, Brady T. West, James A. Cranford

In response to PA-11-230: Epidemiology of Drug Abuse, this project ?Longitudinal Changes in Recovery from Drug Use Disorders: A National Study? proposes to use two waves of existing nationally representative longitudinal data to examine the course of drug use disorders (DUDs) along with longitudinal changes in recovery from DUDs, including rates and correlates of relapse (i.e., recurrence of any DUD criteria) and full remission (i.e., no recurrence of any DUD criteria). To date, there is limited knowledge on the stability of full remission from DUDs based on nationally representative studies in the U.S. because the majority of research has focused solely on alcohol use disorders (AUDs) and non-representative clinical samples. There has been a significant shift in primary drugs of abuse observed in those entering drug abuse treatment programs in the U.S. over the past two decades with the percentage of drug abuse treatment admissions reporting alcohol as the primary drug of abuse decreasing from 57% in 1993 to 41% in 2010, while the percentage of drug abuse treatment admissions for marijuana, opiates, and stimulants increased from approximately 22% in 1993 to 47% in 2010. While the course of AUDs and recovery from AUDs has been well-investigated in the general population, no nationally representative studies have examined the longitudinal patterns of DUDs and recovery from DUDs over time and potential differences between individual drug classes (e.g., sedative, tranquilizer, opioid, stimulant, hallucinogen, cannabis, cocaine, heroin, inhalant, and other drug use disorders), polysubstance use disorders, or DUDs involving multiple drug classes. In order to address the gaps, we propose a secondary analysis of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), a two-wave longitudinal and epidemiological survey of a nationally representative sample of 34,653 non-institutionalized adults, 18 years of age or older residing in the U.S. The NESARC represents the only large-scale nationally representative study that has a sufficient sample size to assess potential differences in drug classes, age, gender, and race/ethnicity, to meet our study purpose which aims to: (1) assess the prevalence of recovery from DUDs at Wave 1 (baseline) and Wave 2 (3 years later); (2) determine whether DUD recovery status at Wave 1 (baseline) is associated with the likelihood of reinterview at Wave 2 (3 years later), and examine the sensitivity of inferences regarding DUD recovery status at Wave 2 to potential differential attrition; (3) examine the predictors from multiple developmental domains (i.e., childhood, early adolescence, late adolescence, adulthood, and the past year) associated with relapse and full remission; and (4) investigate the effects of drug abuse treatment utilization and disability (e.g., mental health functioning, social functioning, physical health functioning) on recovery from DUDs at Waves 1 and 2. The proposed project takes advantage of the unique opportunities afforded by the NESARC. These include: the availability of a large and diverse nationally representative sample; the large numbers of individuals with DUD; the inclusion of developmentally relevant predictors associated with relapse; the inclusion of reliable measures of treatment utilization, mental health functioning, and physical health functioning; and the inclusion of reliable measures of DUDs and other psychiatric disorders. The findings from this project will greatly enhance understanding of the epidemiology of DUDs and provide valuable information to improve the detection, assessment, prevention and treatment of these disorders.

National Institute On Drug Abuse
(1 R01 DA 036541 01 A1)

Funding Period: 3/1/2015 to 1/31/2019

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Shaefer comments on the Cares Act impact in negating hardship during COVID-19 pandemic

Heller comments on lasting safety benefit of youth employment programs

More News


Dean Yang's Combatting COVID-19 in Mozambique study releases Round 1 summary report

Help Establish Standard Data Collection Protocols for COVID-19 Research

More Highlights

Connect with PSC follow PSC on Twitter Like PSC on Facebook