Programme de recherche clinique sur la toxicomanie et les troubles de santé mentale associés


Didier Jutras-Aswad

Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal [CHUM]


Domaine : neurosciences, santé mentale et toxicomanies

Programme Chercheurs-boursiers cliniciens - Junior 2

Concours 2018-2019

Drug addiction is associated with high social cost and a range of consequences, especially when combined with mental health problems. There is an urgent need to better understand these two conditions and to develop adapted and more efficient interventions. My research program includes three projects related to the study of addiction and comorbid mental health disorders. The first project aims to better understand the link between substance use, mental health and risk behaviours of HIV and hepatitis C transmission among injection drug users.

My research group is conducting an epidemiological study to evaluate psychiatric diagnoses, psychological symptoms, risk behaviours such as the sharing of injection equipment, and patterns of substance use in this population. The ultimate objective of this study is to generate the knowledge necessary to implement better prevention and treatment for injection drug users. My second line of research is to study the therapeutic properties of cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, in the treatment of cocaine dependence. Over the long term, this clinical study could lead to the implementation of the first pharmacological treatment for cocaine us disorder. Finally, the third component of this program proposes to compare two models of care to treat prescription opioid dependence among those currently available in Canada: methadone, which requires a close supervision of administration, and Buprenorphine/Naloxone, which may allow more flexible take-home dosing.

This study will be conducted in several sites across the country and will contribute to informing best practices in the treatment of prescription opioid dependence. Overall, my research program offers to provide scientific data that can lead to innovative clinical interventions better suited for people who suffer from addiction and mental health problems.