Medicina (Kaunas) 2011; 47 (6): 340-346
The Prevalence of Problem Drug Use in Lithuania
Audronė Astrauskienė, Valerij Dobrovolskij, Rimantas Stukas
Public Health Institute, Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius University, Lithuania
Key words: problem drug use; prevalence; capture-recapture method; opioid users.
Summary. The aim of this study was to estimate and assess the prevalence of problem drug use in Lithuania.
Materials and Methods. The capture-recapture method was used to estimate the prevalence of problem drug use. For the study, the data concerning problem drug users were collected from the databases of health care and law enforcement institutions. The target group consisted of permanent users (aged 1564 years) of heroin and other opioids and/or a combination of drugs.
Results. In Lithuania, 431 monitored problem drug users were identifi ed in 2005, 482 in 2006, and 447 in 2007. The male-to-female ratio among the monitored problem drug users was 6:1 in 2006 and 4:1 in 2005 and 2007. The mean age of the monitored problem drug users was 26.8 years in 2005, 27.6 years in 2006, and 28.0 years in 2007. In total, 5699 problem drug users were identified (95% CI, 5552 to 5849) in 2005, 5800 (95% CI, 5652 to 5951) in 2006, and 5458 (95% CI, 5314 to 5605) in 2007. According to the gathered data, the prevalence of problem drug use was 2.3 cases per 1000 Lithuanian population aged 1564 years in 2005, 2.5 in 2006, and 2.4 in 2007.
Conclusions. The study showed one of the lowest prevalence of problem drug use in Lithuania as in Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, and Cyprus. In 20052007, problem drug users were mainly young men of employable age in Lithuania.
Correspondence to R. Stukas, Public Health Institute, Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius University, M. K. Čiurlionio 21, 03101 Vilnius, Lithuania. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received 16 May 2011, accepted 22 June 2011