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Archive of posts filed under the Methamphetamine Markets in NYC category.

New Publication on Methamphetamine Using Populations in New York City

Estimating the Size of the Methamphetamine-Using Population in New York City Using Network Sampling Techniques

Kirk Dombrowski, Bilal Khan, Travis Wendel, Katherine McLean, Evan Misshula, and Ric Curtis

As part of a recent study of the dynamics of the retail market for methamphetamine use in New York City, we used network sampling methods to estimate the size of the total networked population. This process involved sampling from respondents’ list of co-use contacts, which in turn became the basis for cap-ture-recapture estimation. Recapture sampling was based on links to other respondents derived from demographic and “telefunken” matching procedures–the latter being an anonymized version of telephone number matching. This paper describes the matching process used to discover the links between the solic-ited contacts and project respondents, the capture-recapture calculation, the estimation of “false matches”, and the development of confidence intervals for the final population estimates. A final population of 12,229 was estimated, with a range of 8,235 – 23,750. The techniques described here have the special vir-tue of deriving an estimate for a hidden population while retaining respondent anonymity and the ano-nymity of network alters, but likely require larger sample size than the 132 persons interviewed to attain acceptable confidence levels for the estimate.

Keywords: Population Estimation; Network Methods; Methamphetamine; Anonymous Sampling

Dombrowski, K. , Khan, B. , Wendel, T. , McLean, K. , Misshula, E. & Curtis, R. (2012). Estimating the Size of the Methamphetamine-Using Population in New York City Using Network Sampling Techniques. Advances in Applied Sociology, 2, 245-252. doi: 10.4236/aasoci.2012.24032.

Recent paper submission to Advances in Applied Sociology

Estimating the Size of the Methamphetamine-Using Population in New York City Using Network Sampling Techniques
Kirk Dombrowski
Bilal Khan
Travis Wendel
Katherine McLean
Evan Misshula
Ric Curtis

Abstract: As part of recent study of the dynamics of the retail market for methamphetamine use in New York City, researchers used network sampling methods to estimate the size of the total networked population. This process involved anonymous sampling from respondents’ list of use-contacts, which in turn became the basis for capture-recapture estimation. Recapture sampling was based on links to other respondents derived from demographic and “telefunken” matching procedures—the latter being an anonymized version of telephone number encoding. This paper describes the matching process used to discover the links between the solicited contacts and other project respondents, the capture-recapture calculation, the process through which “false-matches” were estimated, and the development of confidence intervals for the estimated population/matching/false-matching process.?

Final Report Submitted to NIJ on Meth Markets in NYC

ABSTRACT
Using Respondent Driven Sampling, this study piloted an innovative research design mixing qualitative and quantitative data collection methods, and social network analysis, that addresses a gap in information on retail methamphetamine markets and the role of illicit drug markets in consumption. Based on a sample of 132 methamphetamine users, buyers and sellers in New York City (NYC), findings describe a bifurcated market defined by differences in sexual identity, drug use behaviors, social network characteristics, and drug market behaviors. The larger sub-market is a closed market related to a sexual network of men who have sex with men (MSM) where methamphetamine (referred to as “tina”) is used as a sex drug. The smaller submarket is a less-closed market not denominated by sexual identity where methamphetamine (referred to as “crank,” “speed,” or “crystal meth”) overlaps with powder and crack cocaine markets. Participants in the MSM submarket viewed “tina” as very different from cocaine, due to what they characterized as the drug’s intense sexual effects, whereas participants in the smaller non-sexual-identity-denominated submarket saw “crystal meth” as a cost-effective alternative to cocaine. While majorities of participants in all subpopulations studied reported that their use of methamphetamine primarily centered on sex, almost all (91%) MSM reported this. Many MSM reported that their sexuality had become indistinguishable from their drug use. MSM had denser patterns of social network ties and many more sex partners than other subpopulations. MSM market participants reported higher prices for the drug, which may be an indication that they are accessing purer forms of methamphetamine. Participants were more willing to discuss accessing or purchasing methamphetamine than they were to discuss providing or selling the drug, although all indications are that most market participants do both. Compared with the sometimes highly organized markets that have existed for other illegal drugs (e.g., heroin, cocaine, marijuana), retail methamphetamine markets have remained, by contrast, relatively primitive in their social and technical organization, and distinct patterns of drug use emerged as an outcome of interactions between drug providers and members of their social networks. In this case, those with less structurally advantageous positions within the network must depend on better-positioned network contacts to supply them with methamphetamine. Findings from the study indicate that the most striking characteristic of the methamphetamine market in New York City is the extent of the secondary market. Study data suggests this large secondary market has developed because of “bottlenecks” in the chain of distribution, which may be the outcome of the inconsistent supply of methamphetamine available in New York City.

Participants reported essentially no violence in connection with methamphetamine markets in NYC. Participants have a lifetime total of 13 methamphetamine possession arrests for the sample of 132; none has ever been arrested for methamphetamine distribution. Study findings may be useful to practitioners, policy-makers and researchers in fields including law enforcement, criminal justice, and public health and substance abuse treatment.

Travis Wendel
Bilal Khan
Kirk Dombrowski
Ric Curtis
Katherine McLean
Evan Misshula
Robert Riggs
David M. Marshall IV

Meth in NYC

DYNAMICS OF RETAIL METHAMPHETAMINE MARKETS IN NEW YORK CITY
Travis Wendel, Ric Curtis, Kirk Dombrowski and Bilal Khan
Using Internet recruitment and respondent-driven sampling, researchers interviewed 132 methamphetamine users, buyers and sellers in New York City for a social network analysis. They found that the retail methamphetamine market is bifurcated between two submarkets: a smaller market that overlaps with powder cocaine/crack markets where the drug is seen as a cheaper or more cost effective form of cocaine, and a larger, closed, sexual-network-based market among men who have sex with men around use of methamphetamine as a sex drug. Participants reported almost no experience of violence connected with methamphetamine, and had few encounters with law enforcement.

Who We Are:

     

Kirk Dombrowski,  Bilal Khan,  Ric Curtis,  Travis Wendel, Ernie Drucker, and Anthony Marcus

We are interested in research on social networks–from ethnography and network theory, to simulation and public policy.  Our work has been funded by the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation, the US Centers for Disease Control, the National Institute of Justice, and others.  We specialize in research on “hard-to-reach” populations, in both the social and geographical senses of the term. Each of our current projects has its own index button in the left margin, with recent posts from all projects located the right hand margin (listed chronologically). The “Papers” page features our recent publications. If you have questions or comments, you can contact us at the email links below.

Kirk Bilal Ric Travis Ernie Anthony