With the world plagued with a drug problem, gathering relevant and accurate data related to drug abuse is of utmost importance. In an unforeseen turn of events, scientists may have found a way that would help in predicting drug overdose through Google search database.
The scientists in California have created a model that uses Google searches to prevent overdoses from heroin. Published in the September issue of the Drug and Alcohol Dependence
journal, the research says that Google searches for certain drugs, including slang terms can prove useful to explain drug-related visits to hospitals.
For the purpose of the research, Google searches for opiod (prescription and non-prescription) were looked into from nine different metropolitan areas in the United States. The researchers also collected data on heroin-related visits to the emergency department, from 2004 to 2011. The research model found that higher the number of keyword searches, was associated with more overdose.
However, the model needs ample of work and will take a long way to use these initial findings into practical work. That being said, the study’s ability to predict heroin deaths can prove to be a ray of sunlight, given the unending drug abuse.