McMaster University

Peter Boris Centre
for Addictions Research

Scope of Search

COVID-19 Hub

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive disruptions and major adverse health outcomes around the world, and there are significant concerns about its effects on substance use and mental health. Peter Boris Centre faculty have been actively seeking to understand these impacts, as well as related questions. Here we provide a knowledge portal to these findings and other key findings from beyond the Peter Boris Centre.

COVID Symposium

A symposium on the impact of Covid-19 on individuals with substance use disorder – a collaborative initiative between Recovery Research Institute (Harvard University/Massachusetts General Hospital) and Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research (McMaster University/St. Joseph Healthcare Hamilton).

Free registration. Visit the website below for more information.

Published Articles

These manuscripts have undergone peer-review and are published in their final forms.

Joshi, D., Gonzalez, A., Griffith, L., Duncan, L., MacMillan, H., Kimber, M., Vrkljan, B., MacKillop, J., Beauchamp, M., Kates, N., & Raina, P. (2021). The trajectories of depressive symptoms among working adults during the COVID-19 pandemic: a longitudinal analysis of the InHamilton COVID-19 study. BMC Public Health. 2021 Oct 19;21(1):1895. doi: 10.1186/s12889-021-11900-8.

Levitt, E.E., Gohari, M.K., Syan, S.K., Belisario, K., Gillard, J., DeJesus, J., Levitt, A., & MacKillop, J. Public health guideline compliance and perceived government effectiveness during the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada: Findings from a longitudinal cohort study. The Lancet Regional Health Americas. Feb 13, 2022.

MacKillop, J., Cooper, A., & Costello, J. (in press). National retail sales estimates of alcohol and cannabis during the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada. JAMA Network Open.

Minhas, M., Belisario, K., González‐Roz, A., Halladay, J., Morris, V., Keough, M., Murphy, J. G., & MacKillop, J. Is talk cheap? Correspondence between self-attributions about changes in drinking and longitudinal changes in drinking during the COVID-19 pandemic. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Minhas, M., Belisario K, González-Roz A, Halladay J, Murphy JG, MacKillop J. COVID-19 impacts on drinking and mental health in emerging adults: Longitudinal changes and moderation by economic disruption and sex. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2021 Jul;45(7):1448-1457. doi: 10.1111/acer.14624. Epub 2021 Jun 3. PMID: 34081349

Price, A.; Tabri, N.; Stark, S.; Balodis I. M.; Wohl, M. Mental Health Over Time and Financial Concerns Predict Change in Online Gambling During COVID-19. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction 2021 Dec 27.

Syan, S., Gohari, M., Levitt, E., Belisario, K., Gillard, J., DeJesus J. & MacKillop, J. COVID-19 Vaccine Perceptions and Differences by Sex, Age, and Education in 1,367 Community Adults in Ontario. Frontiers in Public Health

Turna J, Zhang J, Lamberti N, Patterson B, Simpson W, Francisco AP, Bergmann CG, Ameringen MV. Anxiety, depression and stress during the COVID-19 pandemic: Results from a cross-sectional survey. J Psychiatr Res. 2021 May;137:96-103. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2021.02.059. Epub 2021 Feb 28.PMID: 33667763

Vedelago L, Wardell JD, Kempe T, Patel H, Amlung M, MacKillop J, Keough MT. Getting high to cope with COVID-19: Modelling the associations between cannabis demand, coping motives, and cannabis use and problems. Addict Behav. 2021 Aug 21;124:107092. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2021.107092. PMID: 34469783


These manuscripts are currently undergoing peer-review and are not yet formally published.

Mehra K, Markoulakis R, Kodeeswaran S, Redelmeier DA, Sinyor M, MacKillop J, Cheung A, Levitt EE, Addison T, Levitt A (under review). The impact of mental health and substance use issues on COVID-19 vaccine readiness: a cross sectional community-based survey in Ontario, Canada. doi:

Scarfe, M.L., Haik, A.K., Rahman, L., Todi, A.A., Kane, C., Walji, A., Dickerman, S.R., Kelly, J.F. & MacKillop, J. I contain multitudes: A qualitative investigation of impacts of COVID-19 on alcohol use disorder recovery.

Data Briefs

These reports represent interim findings on timely topics that have not been submitted for publication yet.

Important Related Findings

Opioid mortality in Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Is substance use changing because of the COVID-19 pandemic? Conceptual and methodological considerations to delineating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on substance use and disorder: