Trends in Google searches and social media discussions of cocaine, July 2021-June 2022: A pilot study
Dec 16, 2022
A recent study by researchers from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) collected data on cocaine-related Google searches, Twitter posts and Reddit discussion threads from 1st July 2021 to 30th June 2022. The results showed that cocaine-related searches and posts were more popular in Australia compared to the rest of the world.
The study identified 1,273,209 posts (including comments) about cocaine on Reddit from July 2021 to June 2022. The most common topics discussed on Reddit in relation to cocaine were use with other drugs (29%), use behaviors (27%), harm reduction and help-seeking (24%), negative effects of use (21%), and drug markets (19%).
The study identified 3,374,330 tweets with reference to cocaine on Twitter from July 2021 to June 2022, of which 1,290,684 were original tweets (i.e. excluding retweets). The most common topics discussed in cocaine-related original tweets on Twitter were legal aspects (15%), politics (15%) and drug markets (14%). This study shows some of the potential for drug use trend monitoring via monitoring of social media and internet search engines.