Monitoring the Size and Protagonists of the Drug Market: Combining Supply and Demand Data Sources and Estimates

Author(s): Carla Rossi.

Journal Name: Current Drug Abuse Reviews

Volume 6 , Issue 2 , 2013


The size of the illicit drug market is an important indicator to assess the impact on society of an important part of the illegal economy and to evaluate drug policy and law enforcement interventions. The extent of illicit drug use and of the drug market can essentially only be estimated by indirect methods based on indirect measures and on data from various sources, as administrative data sets and surveys. The combined use of several methodologies and data sets allows to reduce biases and inaccuracies of estimates obtained on the basis of each of them separately.

This approach has been applied to Italian data. The estimation methods applied are capture-recapture methods with latent heterogeneity and multiplier methods. Several data sets have been used, both administrative and survey data sets.

First, the retail dealer prevalence has been estimated on the basis of administrative data, then the user prevalence by multiplier methods. Using information about behaviour of dealers and consumers from survey data, the average amount of a substance used or sold and the average unit cost have been estimated and allow estimating the size of the drug market.

The estimates have been obtained using a supply-side approach and a demand-side approach and have been compared.

These results are in turn used for estimating the interception rate for the different substances in term of the value of the substance seized with respect to the total value of the substance to be sold at retail prices.

Keywords: Demand indicators, illegal drug market, interventions evaluation, market size estimates, supply indicators.

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Article Details

Year: 2013
Page: [122 - 129]
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.2174/1874473706666131205151214
Price: $58

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