We accessed Google Trends (Google Inc. Mountain View, CA, US) using the keywords "cannabis," "cocaine," and "heroin" under the specification "drug" (and thereby overcoming potential language differences), setting the geographical location to either "United States" (US) or "worldwide", within the past 5 years (i.e., from July 2017 to July 2022). During the COVID-19 pandemic, the volume of Google searches for all the three terms "cannabis," "cocaine," and "heroin" decrease substantially compared to the pre-COVID period both in the US and worldwide. Specifically, the weekly Google Trends score in the US declined from 64 (IQR, 60-66) to 62 (IQR, 58-64; -3%, p=0.003) for cannabis, from 57 (IQR, 54-60) to 46 (IQR, 45-48; -19%, p<0.001) for cocaine, and from 39 (IQR, 35-43) to 27 (IQR, 25-28; -32%, p<0.001) for heroin, respectively. An even sharper decline in the weekly Google Trends score for cannabis was noted setting the location to "worldwide", since the median weekly Google Trends score declined from 61 (IQR, 58-63) to 54 (IQR, 51-56; -11%; p<0.001), whilst the variation of the other two search terms exactly mirrored that seen in the use, i.e., from 63 (IQR, 61-66) to 51 (IQR, 49-53; -19%, p<0.001) for cocaine and from 44 (IQR, 38-48) to 30 (IQR, 27-33; -32%, p<0.001) for heroin, respectively. The results of our infodemiological analysis seemingly attest that the use of the three mostly widespread addictive drugs may have instead significantly declined both worldwide and in the US during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Potential impact of COVID-19 on drugs of abuse consumption

Mattiuzzi, Camilla;Lippi, Giuseppe
2022-01-01

Abstract

We accessed Google Trends (Google Inc. Mountain View, CA, US) using the keywords "cannabis," "cocaine," and "heroin" under the specification "drug" (and thereby overcoming potential language differences), setting the geographical location to either "United States" (US) or "worldwide", within the past 5 years (i.e., from July 2017 to July 2022). During the COVID-19 pandemic, the volume of Google searches for all the three terms "cannabis," "cocaine," and "heroin" decrease substantially compared to the pre-COVID period both in the US and worldwide. Specifically, the weekly Google Trends score in the US declined from 64 (IQR, 60-66) to 62 (IQR, 58-64; -3%, p=0.003) for cannabis, from 57 (IQR, 54-60) to 46 (IQR, 45-48; -19%, p<0.001) for cocaine, and from 39 (IQR, 35-43) to 27 (IQR, 25-28; -32%, p<0.001) for heroin, respectively. An even sharper decline in the weekly Google Trends score for cannabis was noted setting the location to "worldwide", since the median weekly Google Trends score declined from 61 (IQR, 58-63) to 54 (IQR, 51-56; -11%; p<0.001), whilst the variation of the other two search terms exactly mirrored that seen in the use, i.e., from 63 (IQR, 61-66) to 51 (IQR, 49-53; -19%, p<0.001) for cocaine and from 44 (IQR, 38-48) to 30 (IQR, 27-33; -32%, p<0.001) for heroin, respectively. The results of our infodemiological analysis seemingly attest that the use of the three mostly widespread addictive drugs may have instead significantly declined both worldwide and in the US during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, drugs of abuse, consumption
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1079488
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 0
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact