Symptoms of Depression, Anxiety and Stress in Drug Users undergoing Treatment in Therapeutic Communities

Abstract Symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress may interfere negatively in the progress of treatment of substance abusers. This study aimed to evaluate the levels of depression, anxiety and stress in men and women undergoing treatment for substance use disorder in therapeutic communities, relating such levels with the type of substance used and sociodemographic data. We used a Sociodemographic and Drug Use Data Questionnaire and the DASS-21. Participants included 115 men and 53 women on treatment (M=32 years; SD=8.7). Most were users of tobacco and crack, the latter associated with women. Tobacco and other drug users who were unemployed were associated with higher levels of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms in the DASS-21. The results do not allow a causal relationship between the variables, but highlight the relevance of including in the treatments, strategies for smoking cessation and professional reintegration. Such strategies may help to reduce the symptoms evaluated by the DASS-21, improving living conditions for coping with substance use disorders.