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Research and Advances in Psychiatry

The electronic commerce and diffusion of LSD on the surface web and the deep web: a snapshot study based on analyses of google trends database and the darknet

Original Article, 79 - 89
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Introduction: Lysergic acid diethylamide is a potent hallucinogenic substance. Its “psychedelic” effect can manifest within micro-dosing range. LSD is considered by many substance users and abusers to possess entheogenic properties, and they attempt self-administering it despite knowing its potential risks to physical and mental health.
This study proposes an innovative method to assess the spread (diffusion) of LSD on both divisions of the web, surface (visible) and deep (invisible).
Materials and methods: Explorative analytics will be achieved via Google Trends database in parallel with Grams search engine of the darknet.
Snapshots were taken for each to infer the digital epidemiology (online diffusion) of LSD on each division of the web, in addition to the geographic mapping to localise the spread. Statistical analysis attempted to infer the combinatory distribution of the substance while mapping data signals that are originating from developed as well as the developed regions of the world.
Results: The diffusion of the substance and the related interest of web users seem to be more clustered on the surface web. Representative data were limited to the developed countries, while the region of the Middle East was under-represented on both of the surface web and the deep web.
Conclusion: Ambitious studies should implement real-time as well as predictive analytics concerning the change in trends, epidemiology and digital epidemiology of diffusion of LSD, its e-commerce, and the pertinent geographic mapping.
Successful automation in data science and the application of concepts of machine learning and deep thinking will ensure the success of those prospective studies while reducing the workforce and the financial resources deployed for snapshots, cross-sectional analytics, and longitudinal analyses.