AI-based analysis of social media language predicts addiction treatment dropout at 90 days

Neuropsychopharmacology. 2023 Oct;48(11):1579-1585. doi: 10.1038/s41386-023-01585-5. Epub 2023 Apr 24.


The reoccurrence of use (relapse) and treatment dropout is frequently observed in substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. In the current paper, we evaluated the predictive capability of an AI-based digital phenotype using the social media language of patients receiving treatment for substance use disorders (N = 269). We found that language phenotypes outperformed a standard intake psychometric assessment scale when predicting patients' 90-day treatment outcomes. We also use a modern deep learning-based AI model, Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) to generate risk scores using pre-treatment digital phenotype and intake clinic data to predict dropout probabilities. Nearly all individuals labeled as low-risk remained in treatment while those identified as high-risk dropped out (risk score for dropout AUC = 0.81; p < 0.001). The current study suggests the possibility of utilizing social media digital phenotypes as a new tool for intake risk assessment to identify individuals most at risk of treatment dropout and relapse.

MeSH terms

  • Behavior, Addictive* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Patient Dropouts
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Media*
  • Substance-Related Disorders* / therapy