Sentiments and emotions in social media associated with subs
Nonmedical use of prescription drugs (NMPDU) is a global health concern. Involving the use of prescription drugs without a prescription or for reasons other than what the prescriber indicated, NMPDU is responsible for increased emergency department visits and overdoes deaths, among other adverse health outcomes, registered over recent years.

Pooling more than 130 million tweets from 87,718 unique users, the study reveals observable differences in the language contents between people who self-report NMPDU and those who do not. “People in the former group express more negative emotions and less positive emotions, more concerns about family, the past, and body, and less concerns related to work, leisure, home, money, religion, health, and achievement compared to the latter group.

Social media provides a unique opportunity to study NMPDU at a macro level, at a lower cost, unobtrusively, in close to real-time, and with the ability to represent seldom heard populations. The triangulation of social media and traditional survey data to study NMPDU can help minimize the potential biases in the representative samples.