November 17, 2017 – Seemingly everything we do in a given day makes its way on to social media in today’s world. Whether someone is stuck in traffic, watching a sporting event or hanging with family or friends, chances are you can find it on your social media pages. However, researchers are reviewing what people share to better understand behavioral patterns associated with the drug epidemic.
A joint study by Dartmouth College, Stanford University and IBM Research found that social media can reveal important information on drug use, such as user-reported side effects, drug cravings, emotional states, and risky behaviors.
Lead author, Sunny Jung Kim, PhD, an e-health communication scholar in the departments of biomedical data science and psychiatry at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine, hopes we can use these platforms to raise awareness for the disease of addiction:
“Harnessing social media platforms and data can provide insight into important novel discoveries of collective public health risk behavior, a better understanding of peoples’ struggles with addiction, and their process of recovery,” Kim says. “I started this project because there were few studies about why people use social networking sites to share unsolicited, highly personal information about their drug use, nor about the psychological effects or consequences of this type of user-generated communication.”
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Read the full story on Dartmouth College’s website.