Photo Credit: UN Photo / Manuel Elias
United Nations Special Event on International Day Against Drug Abuse 2019

Data published by Israel’s Labor and Social Services Ministry show that 3,989 youth were treated for alcohol and substance abuse in 2018.

According to the statistics gathered by the ministry, the most common addictions in the Jewish State in 2018 were alcohol, cannabis, opiate drugs such as heroin and morphine, and cocaine.

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The information was released on Wednesday to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, along with the United Nations and governments, NGOs and others around the world.

According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the theme for 2019 ‘World Drug Day’ is “Health for Justice, Justice for Health” – highlighting that “justice and health are two sides of the same coin when it comes to addressing drug problems.”

According to the UN World Drug Report 2019 released Wednesday, 35 million people around the world suffer from drug use disorders, while only one in seven of those receive treatment.

The data show the number of people who use drugs is now 30 per cent higher than it was in 2009. There is also a higher prevalence of opioid use in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, and a higher prevalence of use of cannabis in North America, South America and Asia, compared with 2009.

North America’s synthetic opioid overdose crisis also reached new heights in 2017, with more than 47,000 opioid overdose deaths recorded in the United States, an increase of 13 per cent from the previous year, and 4,000 opioid-related deaths in Canada, a 33 per cent increase from 2016.

However, the most widely used drug globally continues to be cannabis, with an estimated 188 million people having used the drug in 2017.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.