Drug Mentions on Twitter

In the United States alone, drug abuse causes more than 600 billion dollars worth of costs every year. Over 50% of our population in the US has used illicit substances within the past year and, according to the CDC, 11.2% have used illicit substances within the last 30 days.  While the US government may be waging a war against drugs, the rate of overdoses has been steadily rising since the 90s.

 Recreational drug use is one of the most common gateways to drug addiction.  It seems that it isn’t hard to find drugs, and most people find themselves (at least once in their lives) in situations where their peers may encourage or pressure drug use. So, it makes sense that Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 are the most likely age group to use addictive drugs. According to demographics gathered by drugabusestatistics.com, higher-income users are more likely to abuse recreational “club drugs” and lower-income users are more likely to abuse inhalant drugs.

 Are you curious to know what states have the highest rate of conversation surrounding drug use? So are we. According to a study that we conducted on Twitter, measuring over 200,000 tweets this year, Illinois leads the number of drug mentions followed closely by California, Colorado, Utah, and Georgia.


Methodology

In order to determine the states speaking about drugs the most on Twitter,  MethadoneCenters.com collected 204,156 tweets mentioning drug types for the past 30 days ( 5/25/20-6/25/20)

We a random sampling of tweets in the United States that contained the words: Cocaine, DMT, Heroin, Ketamine, LSD, Marijuana, MDMA, Meth, Methamphetamine, PCP and Opium

We collected the data by using textual analysis. The data we collected included, date, time, location, city, state, country, tweet text, images, photos, user IDs, number of likes, number of retweets, and comments.

Sources: Twitter’s API

We then determined each state’s weighted average based on the population.

Sources

  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/prescription-drug-abuse/symptoms-causes/syc-20376813
  • https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/addiction-statistics
  • https://drugabusestatistics.org/
  • https://www.statista.com/statistics/611152/illicit-drug-users-number-past-year-in-the-us-by-drug/
  • https://www.bjs.gov/
  • https://www.drugwarfacts.org/

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