Israel’s Anti-Drug Authority makes it clear that there’s a growing drug epidemic hitting the country. Western influence is to blame for a lot of the problems, and as Israel adopts many of these influences, the problem will only get worse. It’s now a central problem in Israel, with heroin being at the root concern of the issue.
Drug abuse is being witnessed by youths at a very young age.
There’s also a glorification of drug use that is experienced in our neighborhoods, in music videos and online.
Ecstasy has been tied to Israel, and billions are spent on illegal drugs annually. But there was an interesting study conducted by Europe that I think Israel can learn a lot from in the battle against drugs.
The study involves a major sewer inspection that takes a look at waste water.
What this sewer water revealed is insight into each city’s drug use. What the study did was analyze the levels of illicit drugs in the sewer water. An inventive approach, the analysis was conducted in 56 cities in 19 countries across Europe.
The study is one that can also be done in Israel and across the world.
Levels of ecstasy, cocaine, amphetamine and methamphetamine were all analyzed to determine the patterns of drug abuse in certain cities. Researchers claim that the levels of drugs in wastewater provides researchers with clues on the population’s drug habits.
It’s a brilliant approach that governments can use and tweak to provide substance abuse awareness and treatments that are tailored to the city’s preferred drug.
The study also found that abusers tend to abuse drugs more on the weekend, and a dip in the levels of drugs in the water was found on Monday. This analysis is proof that drug abuse is worse on the weekend and tapers off when people go back to work on Monday.
What’s interesting, and a point that Israel could use, is that the study found methamphetamine use is low across the board, with use primarily in Slovakia and Czech Republic. The study also found that the drug is gaining popularity in Norway, Finland, Cyprus and East of Germany.
These results could be tailored to Israel to help provide a pattern of abuse as well as a timeline of abuse trends.
Yes, the tests notably have their problems, too. Users are able to remain anonymous, so this limits the risk of error in results. But there’s also a lack of other vital information: drug purity, frequency of use and classes of users.
There’s also a risk that some of the drugs are not used illicitly but a by-product of manufacturing. Researchers are also working on a method to detect other drugs that cannot be detected in wastewater, such as marijuana, which is the most widely used drug in the world.
Israel and the world can learn a lot from these waste water tests, adopt them and provide a full analysis of drug use in major cities in their respective countries. The potential to provide awareness and treatment for the drugs people use the most in each city can help save lives and lower abuse.