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BRIEF RESEARCH COMMUNICATION
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 63  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 391-394

Celebrity drug use reporting in Indian media and its impact on drug-related online search behavior: An infodemiology study


1 Department of Psychiatry, National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, Patan Academy of Health Sciences, Patan, Nepal
4 Department of Psychiatry, Drug De-addiction and Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Arpit Parmar
Department of Psychiatry, Drug De-addiction and Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/indianjpsychiatry.indianjpsychiatry_1329_2

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Aim: We aimed to examine and interpret the changes in internet search volumes for keywords representing different drug use-related themes before and after the drug use started being discussed in the Indian news media during recent celebrity drug trials. Materials and Methods: Data were extracted using Google Trends framework in health-related research. Search keywords were prepared under four broad themes: General interest in cannabis use, drug use being a criminal/unlawful act, help seeking for cannabis use, and help-seeking for drug-related problems. The mean relative search volume was analyzed and compared pre- and post-media discussion about celebrity drug use using SPSS V23.0. Results: A significant increase was noted in online search interest for keywords related to themes of general interest in cannabis use and drug use being a criminal/unlawful act once the media discussion on the celebrity drug use started. However, no corresponding increase was noted in online search interest for themes of help seeking for drug-related problems in general and cannabis use in particular. Conclusion: Media discussions on celebrity drug use may impact the online search behavior of the general public adversely. There is an need to develop and adhere to drug use reporting guidelines by media professionals.



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