Year 24
Month 06
Day 07
Drug Abuse in Israel

Israeli youth drowned in drugs
“We live in a society that is awash in drug use. Drugs are everywhere—even in Torah institutions ... Children from the finest families may use drugs,” Rabbi Dr. Abraham J.Twerski, noted psychiatrist and specialist in addictions. The phenomenon of drug abuse is well known to Israeli youth, who are exposed to drugs from as early as elementary school. In Israel, drugs are readily available, and not hard to obtain. Children and youth wanting to buy drugs can do so with ease, with little apprehension. They need not go far, as drugs are often sold near schools and in their neighborhoods.


Thanks to technology users can even buy drugs in the comfort of their homes. Sedatives and painkillers can be purchased without a prescription from “Dr. Google,” says Rabbi Eitan Eckstein, founder and CEO of Retorno Jewish International Rehabilitation Center, a drug rehabilitation facility located in Israel. Moreover, obtaining drugs today requires little skill. “The drugs can come straight to your door,” says Rabbi Dov Silver, founder and executive vice president of Madraigos, a social services organization in Woodmere, New York.
Not surprisingly, abuse of prescribed opiate painkillers often leads to heroin use. “There’s a typical progression,” says Menachem Poznanski, the clinical director of The Living Room, a post-rehab program in Brooklyn and Wesley Hills, New York, catering to Orthodox teens. Pot to painkillers to heroin. Moreover, nowadays, heroin is cheaper and more available.”


Since the 1980's drug use in Israel has evolved from a marginal concern to a central problem afflicting the entire society. Israel is a western society, and as such, often tends to copy behavior patterns common to other western countries. 
Emaciated drug addicts with a blank looks and arm extended forward are the permanent landscape of the area surrounding south Tel Aviv's Central Bus Station. About 300 thousand people in Israel use drugs. Some use it occasionally while others are regular users. Among them, 70 thousand are between the ages of 12-18, representing about 11% of all youth in this age group. There are about 25 thousand addicts living in Israel. These are people whose entire life is devoted to obtaining the next drug dose. They need between one and three doses of drugs a day, usually heroin. They don't work, can't lead a normative family life and pose a burden on the society. About one third are undergoing treatment at one of the facilities in Israel. Success rate for treatment and rehabilitation is not very high, and is estimated at about one third of the cases.
While drug use among normative youth attending schools has been steady at 11% with no increase over the past years, among the 18-30 year olds, there has been a worrisome increase in the use of popular drugs such as hashish, marijuana and ecstasy. This is particularly concerning as among this age group are students, soldiers and working youth.



According to the data, 200,000 Israeli teenagers are part of risk groups for drug abuse. Haim Messing, the Authority's chairman, stated that this finding pointed to the fact that the reinforcement and deterrence activities were not strong enough and had to be boosted. The data also revealed that 31 percent of university students use drugs.
It was also revealed that 70 percent of violent acts committed by teenagers, including burglaries, are carried out under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Where statistics indicates that 19%of boys and 8%of girls ages 11 year drink alcohol one time per week at least. 
According to the latest Drug and Alcohol Epidemiological Survey (2009) among adults aged 18–40, cannabis is the most prevalent drug in Israel. The second most prevalent drug used in 2009 was ecstasy.
Most types of drug enter Israel illegally where illegal drug market rolls huge amounts of drugs and is estimated at 6 billion NIS per year. This includes primarily about 100 tons of marijuana which enters Israel mainly through the Egyptian border .About 34 tons of heroin and about 3 tons of cocaine, a drug which once was perceived as a drug for rich, liberal professionals, is used today by people of all social classes and groups. In addition, over 20 million tablets and portions of ecstasy, LSD and other hallucinogenic substances make their way through sea and air ports. Drug trafficking stations are more or less visible for all. That is the reality of the backyard of Tel Aviv's backyard, so Israeli police arrest every 20 minutes one person because of drug use.

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