How COVID-19 Affects U.S Substance Use: What Reddit Data Tells Us

People with substance use disorder are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19. Their vulnerability stems from the many adverse effects that substance use has on the body, including respiratory diseases and weak immunity. In light of this information, people who hitherto use drugs may stop to reduce their vulnerability. On the other hand, COVID-19 has caused stress for many people nationally and globally, and some may seek to relieve anxiety.

We crawled more than 1 million comments and threads (from January 2020 to July 2020) on drug-related subreddits to find out how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted drug use patterns among Americans.

The rise/drop in the number of comments or threads in subreddits indicates how much consumers use the related drug. For example, if the number of comments and threads in Meth-related subreddits drop in February, it might mean that in that month, Meth consumers are less into the substance.

With that in mind, we found out:

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