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The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.

NIH System to Scan Social Media for Drug Trends

August 11th, 2014 / in Research News / by Helen Wright


The University of Maryland’s Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR) has received five years of funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which is part of the National Institutes of Health, to develop the National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS)NDEWS system will scan social media and web platforms and collect data to identify new emerging illicit drug trends. These trends will be monitored by health experts so they can respond quickly to potential outbreaks. 

From the NIH news release:

“NDEWS will generate critically needed information about new drug trends in specific locations around the country so rapid, informed, and effective public health responses can be developed precisely where needed,” said NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow. 

Information about new synthetic drugs have been spreading to millions of people through the Internet and social media. The goal of NDEWS is to establish a virtual community of addiction experts across the country who use the NDEWS system to:

  • Detect emerging drug trends using national and local data sources (existing surveys, various drug-related listservs and networks, and social media and web scans).
  • Dispatch a rapid response team at hot spots – local areas with reported rapid increases in emerging drugs.
  • Quickly disseminate information to the public using traditional and social media, websites, publications and newsletters.

“NDEWS promises to provide the country with critically needed real-time information about changing drug use patterns in communities across the country,” said lead investigator Dr. Eric Wish of CESAR. “It will utilize social media and other innovative technologies to identify emerging drugs and trends and to quickly disseminate important findings to experts and interested citizens. “

The five-year project begins in August 2014. For more information visit the NDEWS website

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