AUG 15, 2020 8:58 PM PDT

Predicting Substance Abuse Among The Homeless

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Homelessness remains the dark backdrop of a society that needs to do better. While programs have been created to address this issues, data remains out of the picture. As such, an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm was created by researchers at the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State. The algorithm can help could help offer educated predictions about substance abuse among homeless youth. "Proactive prevention of substance use disorder among homeless youth is much more desirable than reactive mitigation strategies such as medical treatments for the disorder and other related interventions," said Amulya Yadav, assistant professor of information sciences and technology and principal investigator on the project. "Unfortunately, most previous attempts at proactive prevention have been ad-hoc in their implementation."

Learn more about homeless among the youth:

"To assist policymakers in devising effective programs and policies in a principled manner, it would be beneficial to develop AI and machine learning solutions which can automatically uncover a comprehensive set of factors associated with substance use disorder among homeless youth," added Maryam Tabar, a lead author of the study.

"By looking at what the model has learned, we can effectively find out factors which may play a correlational role with people suffering from substance abuse disorder," said Yadav. "And once we know these factors, we are much more accurately able to predict whether somebody suffers from substance use."

"We wanted to understand what the causative issues are behind people developing opiate addiction," said Yadav. "And then we wanted to assign these homeless youth to the appropriate rehabilitation program."

The algorithm collected data from more than 1,400 homeless youth in the U.S. This was used to build AI models to predict the risk of an opioid addiction among the population.

"For example, if a person developed an opioid addiction because they were isolated or didn't have a social circle, then perhaps as part of their rehabilitation program they should talk to a counselor," explained Yadav. "On the other hand, if someone developed an addiction because they were depressed because they couldn't find a job or pay their bills, then a career counselor should be a part of the rehabilitation plan."

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
  • Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
You May Also Like
AUG 06, 2021
Space & Astronomy
New Details About the Far Side of the Moon are Revealed
AUG 06, 2021
New Details About the Far Side of the Moon are Revealed
It takes 27,322 days for it to orbit Earth and 27 days for the Moon to rotate once on its axis. We can't detect that mot ...
AUG 13, 2021
Earth & The Environment
As Above, So Below: Restoring Wetlands and Mapping Watersheds
AUG 13, 2021
As Above, So Below: Restoring Wetlands and Mapping Watersheds
Water is essential for all life on earth, and much of it is stored in wetlands. Biodiversity is high in wetlands, often ...
AUG 31, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Researchers 3D Print Japanese-Style Beef Steaks
AUG 31, 2021
Researchers 3D Print Japanese-Style Beef Steaks
Agriculture, especially the production of meat, puts tremendous pressure on the environment and is thought to be a major ...
OCT 01, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Making the Most of Your NGS Data: Understanding Metrics for Target-enriched NGS
OCT 01, 2021
Making the Most of Your NGS Data: Understanding Metrics for Target-enriched NGS
Introduction Targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) is often performed using hybridization-based target enrichment, w ...
SEP 26, 2021
Cardiology
New Type of Artificial Heart Tested in Several Patients Shows Promise
SEP 26, 2021
New Type of Artificial Heart Tested in Several Patients Shows Promise
In July, a new type of artificial heart was been implanted for the first time in a US patient at Duke University Medical ...
OCT 04, 2021
Neuroscience
People Prefer Deeper Conversations Over Small Talk with Strangers
OCT 04, 2021
People Prefer Deeper Conversations Over Small Talk with Strangers
Strangers may be more interested in having deeper conversations with you than you think. The corresponding research was ...
Loading Comments...