AI To Fight Addiction

Written by laurenwilliams

   AI To Fight Addiction

Addiction has become an epidemic in the USA. It has been found that more Americans die of a drug problem than gun violence or car crash. Drug overdoses killed almost 72000 Americans in 2017, and with an increasing number of illicit drug users every year the situation has become alarming.

Drug abuse has resulted in the loss of $740 billion annually at the workplace affecting the productivity and increasing the healthcare expenses.

The grim scenario impelled researchers and organizations to find technological solutions combined with healthcare services so that such patients can kick out their deadly habit.

Some of the Healthcare Applications based on AI with machine learning algorithms can help the youth to battle substance abuse. The health care field which has evolved over the years with AI use these algorithms and software to understand human cognitive power along with the analysis of the complex medical data. The research uses insights from many fields such as cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, logic, optimization, etc. to analyze the relationships of the prevention, treatment and the outcome after the treatment.

Addicts getting into rehabilitation center need proper attention along with treatment so that they can have a faster recovery process and artificial intelligence can beat the addiction problem in different ways such as:

  • Preventing relapse:

Companies have developed apps which combine artificial intelligence with clinical research for predicting when the patient is likely to relapse. This assists doctors in taking precautionary measures so that they can minimize such cases.  As most of the patients will be recovering from the addiction of highly lethal substance abuse, a small amount of these drugs can prove fatal for them.

Based on a few surveys made using MedicoReach’s addiction medicine specialists Email list, it is found that if the patients are provided proper medication processes by experienced specialists, then they experience a less stressful detox process.

  • Group therapy:

It’s a fact one needs the peer group support to recover from this difficult situation. Researchers have developed the social network apps which can help the patient in recovering from substance abuse through group therapy.  USC Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society have developed AI that categorizes membership for the peer group therapy session.

  • Treatment tracking procedure:

AI can help in tracking treatment procedures. The app can track how long the patient has been sober and connect them with the recovery coaches for communicating on a daily basis.

These coaches are highly experienced to understand the daily grind which the addict has to go through and provide them with the moral support to fight against their addiction problem.

  • Finding addiction areas:

AI tools are being developed that can predict through behavioral data on social media whether the person is likely to fall in this trap or is already there. Most of the data is gathered from Twitter, and these communities are being developed to help people in the treatment procedures.

  • Genetics:

The combination of genetics and machine learning can help in predicting whether a person is likely to develop an addiction problem in his lifetime. As per findings if a parent is suffering from drug addiction, then there are 8 times higher chances of the child also developing the addiction problem.

This is because repeated abuse of drugs permanently rewires the brain and leads to the gene mutation.  A second report stated that people with regular abuse of drugs were more likely to have two copies of the genes which are mutated.

AI and machine learning can predict from the patient’s medical history whether he is carrying that gene mutation leading to drug or alcohol addiction. As prevention is better than cure, it works best in this scenario.


According to a Forbes report, drug overdose is the number one reason for the death cause in the American population under the age of 50.

AI which has been a boon for humanity should be vigorously used in the healthcare sector to predict the behavioral pattern of the people and segregate the high-risk population likely to be turned out as drug users for the required intervention. Technology is to make human lives better, and if it cannot help the youth population to fight against this deadly problem, then it will become a lost generation.

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