I recently read about Iran’s drug troubles after listening to United States President Donald Trump talk about the opioid epidemic facing the America. I was curious to see how the drug epidemic is impacting Israel, and it was a surprise that this hidden threat has been getting increasingly worse.
Iran’s drug addicts have doubled in the last six years, and Israel’s has gotten much worse since the 80s when it was a minor concern.
Israel’s Anti-Drug Authority states that the drug situation in Israel has swelled from a marginal concern to a central problem in Israel. The major contributing factor? Western influence. Israel has evolved to adopt many of the Western influences facing other societies.
Today’s youths are a growing up in an entirely new world where they’re witnesses of drug abuse from a young age.
Drugs are sold in their neighborhoods, near schools and glorified online. It’s a world filled with abuse that is now becoming the norm. No concrete statistics exist to prove the drug epidemic, but it’s suggested that 25,000 Israelis are addicted to drugs.
Estimates suggest that 300,000 Israelis use drugs, whether on occasion or are regular users.
The drug trade is big business. Israel has long been at the center of the Ecstasy drug trade, and now harder drugs are making their way into the country. Billions of shekels are exchanged annually to purchase illegal drugs.
It’s a problem so large that health recovery centers are popping up across the world to help people beat their addictions.
But what’s the potential impact of heroin in society? Will these impacts reach Israel, causing a dilemma that the United States has long been dealing with?
It’s likely that these impacts are already being felt in Israel.
Deaths are likely to rise. In the United States, some 129 people each day die from overdoses, and this figure is likely higher from the 2014 statistic given. That equals over 10,500 deaths annually.
Heroin, when it becomes the drug of choice, increases the risk of death dramatically. Heroin-related deaths rose 340% in the States between 2007 and 2014. Prescription drugs are a major influencer, with doctors prescribing highly addictive oxycodone and hydrocodone pills to patients.
When these patients no longer have access to these pills, they turn to heroin to fuel their addiction.
Heroin in the States is also a cheaper alternative to pain killers. The National Health Insurance Law does provide a glimmer of hope for Israelis because Israelis can get the healthcare they need without having to go broke in the process.
But if the number of addicts continues to rise in Israel and the number of heroin addicts also continues to rise, it’s going to do a lot to the economy.
Healthcare systems will become strained as the number of overdoses rise. The youth will be highly susceptible to becoming addicted, prolonging the abuse that is just starting to come to light. Diseases will begin to spread at higher rates.
It’s a recipe for disaster if something isn’t done soon to curb the drug addiction that many Israelis are falling into.