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Friday, October 24, 2014

Social Media Recovery Study

Social media is excellent tool for people to connect around the world, closing the gap between liked minded people. Over the last few years people in recovery and people wanting to learn about recovery have connected with professionals in the field using platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Social media is perhaps the best way to get real-time information on any subject, which couldn’t be more important when considering the dangers of untreated alcoholism and addiction.

Researchers working with Facebook and Twitter to further understanding, prevention, and treatment of substance use and addiction have been granted millions of dollars over a three year period by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Medical Daily reports. Researchers will use social media platforms to better identify current attitudes and myths about alcohol, drugs and tobacco.

“We hope to learn more about how changing technologies affect interpersonal communications and factual knowledge about tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs, including the non-medical use of prescription drugs,” said Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in a news release.

One research team, led by a computer science professor at UNC Charlotte, Dr. Yong Ge, will form advanced data mining techniques to gather tweets directly related to substance use; to uncover patterns of substance use in a timely, economical, and in-depth way, according to the article.

“Substance abuse is a serious health issue facing alarming numbers of young adults (aged from 18 to 25), who often suffer considerable consequences (e.g., blackout, rape, HIV-related sexual risk-taking, academic failure, mental issues, and violence) as a result,” wrote the researchers.

Another team, led by a professor of psychiatry and behavioral medicine at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, Dr. Warren K. Bickel, hopes to provide better treatment of addiction. The team would like to determine if social networks can support continued recovery.

“Although recognized as a chronic relapsing disorder, addiction is still largely treated as an acute disorder,” wrote Bickel’s team in their proposal.

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