One-year changes in methamphetamine use, dependence and remission in a community-recruited cohort

Brendan Quinn, Mark Stoové, Paul Dietze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: Investigate changes to a prospective cohort of methamphetamine users over 12 months, predictors of remission from methamphetamine dependence and past-month abstinence from methamphetamine use. Method: Structured interviews were administered to 255 regular methamphetamine users at baseline (2010) and 12 months (2011). A multivariate generalised estimating equation (GEE) model identified adjusted associations with past-month abstinence at follow-up. A multivariate logistic regression analysis identified factors independently associated with remission from methamphetamine dependence. Results: Most (60%) participants were methamphetamine-dependent at baseline. Remission from dependence (n = 38) was independently associated with age (OR: 0.93; 95% CI: 0.88–1.00), maintaining/gaining employment since baseline (OR: 3.14; 95% CI: 1.21–8.14) and a greater increase in self-perceived social support (OR: 1.08; 95% CI: 1.01–1.16). Past-month abstinence at follow-up was independently associated with being female (OR: 1.94; 95% CI: 1.10–3.44), recent criminal behaviours (OR: 0.46; 95% CI: 0.26–0.82), recent ecstasy (OR: 0.30; 95% CI: 0.12–0.72) and benzodiazepine use (OR: 0.53; 95% CI: 0.29–0.96), and being less methamphetamine-dependent (OR: 0.79; 95% CI: 0.72–0.88). Drug treatment was not independently associated with either outcome at follow-up. Conclusions: Our findings highlight the potential for natural remission from methamphetamine dependence; however, targeted interventions should be developed for individuals who are likely to maintain dependent/harmful use patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-286
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Substance Use
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Drug dependence
  • methamphetamine
  • polysubstance use
  • prospective cohort study

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