[Factors associated with high exposure to psychotropic drugs in a Montreal catchment epidemiological area]

Sante Ment Que. Spring 2013;38(1):259-78. doi: 10.7202/1019196ar.
[Article in French]


This article examine the associations between elevated exposure to psychotropic medications, presence of a diagnosis of mental illness, and sociodemographic characteristics in the adult population. A questionnaire was administered by interview to 2433 individuals aged 15 and over in the epidemiological catchment area of South-West Montreal. The determinants of psychotropic medication consumption were analyzed using bivariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression. A significant association was observed between the consumption of sleeping medications, anxiolytics, and antidepressants and being older, female, living alone, having a low level of education and income, being unemployed during the 12 months preceding the study, and presence of a mental disorder. An elevated exposure to different psychotropic medications (three or more) was reported in 3.1% of the respondants. All things being equal, this increased with age, living alone, being unemployed over the course of the last year, and presence of a mental illness. The results suggest that it is necessary to consider social isolation and prevalence of mental illness in order to contextualize the elevated exposure to psychotropic medication. Polypharmacy may indeed pose important risks if it does not follow the logic of a coherent clinical intervention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Catchment Area, Health
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychotropic Drugs / adverse effects*
  • Quebec
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Psychotropic Drugs