- We collected cocaine-related data on Google searches, as well as posts on Twitter and drug-related subreddits from 1st July 2021 to 30th June 2022.
- The monthly Google search probability for cocaine was consistently higher in Australia compared with the worldwide searches, suggesting cocaine-related searches were more popular in Australia compared with the rest of the world. It ranged from 869 to 1,226 per 10,000,000 searches in Australia and from 518 to 615 per 10,000,000 searches globally.
- Although fluctuating over time, the general trend suggested a decline in the probability of Australian cocaine-related searches over the period.
- We have identified 1,273,209 posts (including comments) about cocaine on drug-related subreddits from July 2021 to June 2022. Reddit posts increased from July 2021 to April 2022, then plateaued and decreased in May and June 2022. Much of the increase over this 12-month period was from the increase in number of posts on the largest cocaine-related subreddit, “r/cocaine”.
- We have identified 3,374,330 tweets with reference to cocaine on Twitter from July 2021 to June 2022, of which 1,290,684 were original tweets (i.e. excluding retweets). The monthly trend in cocaine-related original tweets increased from around December 2021 to April 2022, then plateaued and decreased in May and June 2022.
- The most common topics discussed on drug-related subreddits in relation to cocaine were use with other drugs (29%), use behaviours (27%), harm reduction and help-seeking (24%), negative effects of use (21%), and drug markets (19%).
- The most common topics discussed in cocaine-related original tweets on Twitter were legal aspects (15%), politics (15%) and drug markets (14%).
- The discussions on drug-related subreddits are generally more positive than on Twitter. Law enforcement posts have the most negative sentiment score on both Reddit and Twitter.
Linghu, Q., Peacock, A., Bruno, R., Sutherland, R., Barratt, M. J., and Man, N. (2022). Trends in Google searches and social media discussions of cocaine, July 2021-June 2022: A pilot study. Drug Trends Bulletin Series. Sydney: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW Sydney. DOI: 10.26190/r4dt-aj11