High Risk Drug Users in Greece: Estimating the Size of the Older Population

By Clive Richardson and Argyro Andaraki.

Published by The International Journal of Aging and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 6, 2015 $US5.00

Estimates of the size of the population of high-risk drug users (HRDU) are needed for planning services. The focus has traditionally been on young adults in their 20s and 30s. However, treatment services in Greece are encountering a rapidly increasing number of older users, chiefly heroin users, who were young adults in the 1980s and 1990s when the drug use epidemic was growing. We apply capture-recapture techniques to data from 2004-2013 to estimate the "hidden population" of older users who did not seek treatment in a given year, in order to estimate the numbers of HRDU in the 50-59 and 60+ age groups. These may already represent 10% of the total and are expected to continue to increase substantially as the HRDU population ages, with important implications for service provision.

Keywords: High Risk Drug Use, Older Adults, Greece, Capture-Recapture Models

The International Journal of Aging and Society, Volume 5, Issue 4, December 2015, pp.71-77. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 6, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 310.451KB)).

Prof. Clive Richardson

Professor, Department of Economic and Regional Development, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens, Greece

Argyro Andaraki

Statistician, Greek Reitox Focal Point, University Mental Health Research Institute, Greece