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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.?