Effects of COVID-19 on individuals in Opioid Addiction Recovery

Khaled Mohammed Saifuddin, Esra Akbas, Max Khanov, Jason Beaman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) is one of the most severe health care problems in the USA. People addicted to opioids need various treatments, including Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), proper counseling, and behavioral therapies. However, during the peak time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the supply of emergency medications was disrupted seriously. Patients faced severe medical care scarcity since many pharmaceutical companies, drugstores, and local pharmacies were closed. Import-export was also canceled to consent to the government emergency law, i.e., lockdown, quarantine, and isolation. These circumstances and their negative effects on OUD patient's psychology could have led them to a drop out of MAT medications and persuaded to resume illicit opioid use. This project involves collecting and analyzing a large volume of Twitter data related to MAT medications for OUD patients. We discover the Active MAT Medicine Users (AMMUs) on twitter. For this, we build a seed dictionary of words related to OUD and MAT and apply association rules to expand it. Further, AMMUs' tweet posts are studied 'before the pandemic' (BP) and 'during the pandemic' (DP) to understand how the drug behaviors and habits have changed due to COVID-19. We also perform sentiment analysis on Tweets to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the psychology of AMMUs. Our analysis shows that the use of MAT medications has decreased around 30.54%, where the use of illicit drugs and other prescription opioids increased 18.06% and 12.12%, respectively, based on AMMUs' tweets posted during the lockdown compared with before the lockdown statistics. The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown may result in the resumption of illegal and prescription opioid abuse by OUD patients. Necessary steps and precautions should be taken by health care providers to ensure the emergency supply of medicines and also psychological support and thus prevent patients from illicit opioid use.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 20th IEEE International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications, ICMLA 2021
EditorsM. Arif Wani, Ishwar K. Sethi, Weisong Shi, Guangzhi Qu, Daniela Stan Raicu, Ruoming Jin
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages1333-1340
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781665443371
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Event20th IEEE International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications, ICMLA 2021 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: 13 Dec 202116 Dec 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings - 20th IEEE International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications, ICMLA 2021

Conference

Conference20th IEEE International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications, ICMLA 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online
Period13/12/2116/12/21

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Drug Abuse
  • Lockdown
  • MAT
  • OUD

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of COVID-19 on individuals in Opioid Addiction Recovery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this