Thursday January 17, 2019
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Novel AI tool may help tackle substance abuse in youth

The team tackled this problem from an AI perspective, creating an algorithm that takes into account both how the individuals in a subgroup are connected and their prior history of substance abuse

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self harm
Societal pressure and lack of support often forces young adults to indulge in impulsive self-harm mechanisms like drug overdose and self cutting. Pixabay
  • New AI tool may help tackle substance abuse in youth
  • The AI uses a new type of algorithm
  • Group therapy is one way of curing the abuse

Researchers have developed a novel algorithm-based on artificial intelligence (AI) that leverages social networks to optimise substance abuse intervention groups for the homeless youth.

The algorithm categorises participants, who voluntarily work on recovery, into smaller groups, or subgroups, in a way that maintains helpful social connections and breaks social connections that could be detrimental to recovery and inadvertently expose them to negative behaviours.

Drugs, Rehabilitation centre
This new Ai can help teens suffering from substance abuse. Pixabay

“We know that substance abuse is highly affected by social influence; in other words, who you are friends with,” said Aida Rahmattalabi, a post-doctoral student at the University of Southern California in the US.

“In order to improve the effectiveness of interventions, you need to know how people will influence each other in a group,” Rahmattalabi added. While group therapy can offer support to homeless youth, if not structured properly, they can also lead to friendships based on anti-social behaviour.

Also Read: Women-Centric Drug Rehabilitation Centers in Hyderabad is Saving Young Girls from Recreational Drugs like LSD

The team tackled this problem from an AI perspective, creating an algorithm that takes into account both how the individuals in a subgroup are connected — their social ties — and their prior history of substance abuse.

Drug overdose
Group theray can save many lives. Pixabay

Survey data gathered voluntarily from homeless youth, as well as behavioural theories and observations of previous interventions, were used to build a computational model of the interventions.

“Based on this we have an influence model that explains how likely it is for an individual to adopt negative behaviours or change negative behaviours based on their participation in the group,” Rahmattalabi noted. “This helps us predict what happens when we group people into smaller groups,” she said. IANS

Next Story

Social Media Overuse- A Serious Threat

Scientists have found a connection between excessive social media use and behavior associated with substance abuse.

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Social Media, digital, Encryption, drink, whatsapp, depression
Study Links Social Media Addicts, Substance Abusers (VOA)

Addicted to social media? That’s not just an expression anymore. Scientists have found a connection between excessive social media use and behavior associated with substance abuse.

Researchers at Michigan State University and Monash University in Australia found that heavy social media users tended to make riskier decisions usually seen in drug addicts.

“Around one-third of humans on the planet are using social media, and some of these people are displaying maladaptive, excessive use of these sites,” said Dar Meshi, the study’s lead author and assistant professor at Michigan State University in the U.S.

“Our findings will hopefully motivate the field to take social media overuse seriously,” Meshi said.

Digital, social-media
social media takes over your mental health

Meshi and his team had 71 participants take the Iowa Gambling Task, which is used to measure decision-making abilities in substance abusers and non-abusers.

“Decision-making is oftentimes compromised in individuals with substance use disorders. They sometimes fail to learn from their mistakes and continue down a path of negative outcomes,” Meshi said.

At the end of the exercise, Meshi and his team found that heavy social media users took greater risks even while knowing that they came with negative consequences, the same way drug addicts do.

Also Read: YouTube Bans Dangerous, Harmful Pranks From its Platform

The participants also said that they constantly think about the platforms when not using them and that they lose sleep because of their online activities.

“I believe that social media has tremendous benefits for individuals, but there’s also a dark side when people can’t pull themselves away,” Meshi said. “We need to better understand this drive, so we can determine if excessive social media use should be considered an addiction.” (VOA)