Dr. Amit Sheth, along with colleages from various other Universities, has received a research award funded by Wright State University/NIDA/NIH for his project "eDarkTrends: Monitoring Cryptomarkets to Identify Emerging Trends of Illicit Synthetic Opioids Use".
Project Main Description
Over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in the number of seizures and unintentional overdose fatalities related to illicit synthetic opioids in multiple states across the U.S. This NIH-funded project builds a system to monitor the emergence of new synthetic opioids in darknet markets or cryptomarkets. The proposed study is significant because it will provide new information about illicit synthetic opioids and will identify new illicit synthetic opioids as soon as they appear on those markets. The key innovation is the development of a semi-automated system able to a) collect and analyze advertisement data from cryptomarkets and b) identify new emerging substances advertised on these markets.
The study will collect and analyze data extracted from cryptomarkets to characterize illicit synthetic opioid marketing characteristics and trends in the U.S, and will identify new, emerging illicit synthetic opioid-related terms (e.g., substance names, product forms) as soon as they appear on these markets. It will be the first system to apply semi-automated computational techniques to monitor the supply of illicit synthetic opioids on cryptomarkets. The findings will inform public health interventions and policy responses.