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Understanding how substance use is communicated through social media

Using publicly available social media data, my group has highlighted how codeine is portrayed on Instagram, how alcohol images are associated with drinking behavior, how social media can be harnessed to address cancer prevention in young people, and how cannabis is discussed on the online social media platform Reddit. Using data from our trials testing smoking cessation intervention on Facebook, we have examined how users interact with social media content and how they talk about smoking cessation online.


Curtis BL, Lookatch SJ, Ramo DE, McKay JR, Feinn RS, Kranzler HR. Meta-Analysis of the Association of Alcohol-Related Social Media Use with Alcohol Consumption and Alcohol-Related Problems in Adolescents and Young Adults. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2018 May 22.

Meacham MC, Paul MJ, Ramo DE. Understanding emerging forms of cannabis use through an online cannabis community: An analysis of relative post volume and subjective highness ratings. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2018 07 01; 188:364-369.

Sarkar U, Le GM, Lyles CR, Ramo D, Linos E, Bibbins-Domingo K. Using Social Media to Target Cancer Prevention in Young Adults: Viewpoint. J Med Internet Res. 2018 Jun 05; 20(6):e203.

Cherian R, Westbrook M, Ramo D, Sarkar U. Representations of Codeine Misuse on Instagram: Content Analysis. JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2018 Mar 20; 4(1):e22.

Thrul J, Belohlavek A, Hambrick D, Kaur M, Ramo DE. Conducting online focus groups on Facebook to inform health behavior change interventions: Two case studies and lessons learned. Internet Interv. 2017 Sep; 9:106-111.

Thrul J, Klein AB, Ramo DE. Smoking Cessation Intervention on Facebook: Which Content Generates the Best Engagement? J Med Internet Res. 2015 Nov 11; 17(11):e244.

McKelvey, K, Ramo, DE Conversation within a Facebook smoking cessation intervention trial for young adults: Qualitative analysis JMIR Formative Research (JFR).