Health Canada studies Opioid Crisis using NexaIntelligence

by Amelie Gareau-Lauzon

The global health crisis around opioids is most profound in the USA and Canada, and Health Canada has recently published research on this topic using Nexalogy technology.

Health Canada wanted to explore the opioid crisis in Canada and used social media as a source of data to discover public conversations. Social media such as Twitter makes it possible to obtain real-time information, which is why Health Canada was interested in obtaining information on the use of opioids and the perceptions surrounding these substances in Canada.

To collect pertinent data, Health Canada used Nexalogy. The data was collected between June 15th and July 13th 2017, on Twitter, and uncovered discussions about the use of opioids for medical purposes as well as comments about the Government of Canada’s response efforts to the current opioid crisis.

Using the NexaIntelligence platform has allowed Health Canada to find insights. As an example, they discovered that medical use of opioids was commonly referenced, with negative sentiments slightly more common than positive ones. Morphine was mentioned in 39% of medical usage discussions. These findings could help guide future public health practices and could, at the same time, support community stakeholders in their efforts to understand and counter the crisis.

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