Krumer-Nevo, Michal, Yamit Elfassi, Shifra Sagy, and Maya Lavie-Ajayi. “Neither Seeing Nor Seen. Exclusion and Double Exclusion in the Lives of Young People Involved in the Drug Trade in Israel.” Young 24.1 (2016): 36-52.
Social exclusion has been identified as a prominent factor informing our understanding of young people involvement in gang life, violence and crime. While the literature on social exclusion focuses on the education and employment systems, there is a limited literature regarding the role played by correctional institutions in exacerbating social exclusion. This article explores the reciprocal relationships between young people involved in the drug trade in Israel and various educational and correctional services in their community. It focuses on a term commonly articulated by the youth, ‘not seeing with the eyes’, which they use to describe themselves as consciously, purposefully and openly ignoring and flouting societal norms. However, the educational and correctional services present a similar attitude, manifesting institutional blindness in connection with the youth and hence contributing to the double exclusion of young men. The article exposes the practices and processes through which this double exclusion takes place.
Lewis, Nehama, Lourdes S. Martinez, Aysha Agbarya, and Tanya Piatok-Vaisman . “Examining Patterns and Motivations for Drug-Related Information Seeking and Scanning Behavior: A Cross-National Comparison of American and Israeli College Students.” Communication Quarterly (early view; online first).
The current study uses a grounded theory approach to explore dimensions and bi-national comparisons of active information seeking efforts (seeking) for and passive information acquisition (scanning) of drug-related information among two college student samples from the United States (N = 25) and Israel (N = 39). Specifically, the study focuses on seeking and scanning related to amphetamines and marijuana, two frequently used drugs among college populations, about which information is easily accessible. Results of semi-structured interviews suggest that information scanning and seeking about marijuana and amphetamines are common, particularly from peers and from the Internet. The analysis uncovers themes relating to young adults’ drug-related, information-seeking behaviors, including cross-source information acquisition across interpersonal and media sources, and motivations for engaging in active efforts to seek drug-related information. These findings extend research on information seeking and scanning and suggest future research should examine predictors and effects of these behaviors in the context of substance use.
Short overviews are presented on the historical uses of cannabis in the Middle East and on the more recent scientific and medical research on phytocannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system, with emphasis on research contributions from Israel. These are followed by examples of research projects and clinical trials with cannabinoids and by a short report on the regulation of medical marijuana in Israel, which at present is administered to over 22,000 patients.
Medical cannabis is a topic of increasing debate. To investigate this issue, we conducted a content analysis of Israeli news coverage of medical cannabis from 2007 to 2013. A deductive framing analysis examined three elite issue frames—medical, policy, and law enforcement. Additionally, inductive analysis revealed a a fourth, nonelite patients’ frame. Each frame was associated with a distinct pattern of textual elements, including portrayal of patients, references to cannabis, opinion about medical cannabis, and salience of scientific research. The most common and most stable frame was the policy frame. Implications for framing theory are discussed.
Isralowitz, Richard, Alexander Reznik, and Itay Pruginin. “Quality of Life among Former Soviet Union and Israeli Origin Methadone Users.” Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse (early view; online first)
A common treatment intervention for heroin addiction is methadone maintenance. In recent years a wider perspective has been adapted to understand and evaluate addiction through quality of life. This article examines quality of life conditions of 170 male former Soviet Union and Israeli origin drug users in methadone maintenance and provides an understanding of conditions linked to the World Health Organization Quality of Life project’s best available techniques reference document. Having a partner or spouse and less chronic illness are positive factors affecting quality of life regardless of country of origin. Israeli born drug users reported better quality of life based on their psychological health and environment domain responses; no difference was found for the physical health and social relationship domains of the Israeli and former Soviet Union origin males. Because heroin addiction is a chronic and relapsing illness, one of the goals of methadone maintenance is to address patients’ health status from a broad perspective. Based on clinical observations, the treatment of special populations may be enhanced if their particular needs are considered and met. Quality of life factors are relevant for assessing high risk groups, including those from different ethnic origins, in poor physical and psychological health, their treatment and personal adjustment, and their service personnel training needs.
תימור, אורי, סוזי בן ברוך, ואתי אלישע, עורכים. נוער בבלגן – קטינים עוברי חוק בישראל. דרכי מניעה, אכיפה ושיקום. ירושלים: מאגנס, 2015.
This book is the first book of its kind in Israel. It presents a comprehensive picture of youth struggling with normative functions, including juvenile delinquents in Israel, and focuses on deviant behaviors of these adolescents, their causes and those dealing them.
The articles on welfare agencies address activities aimed at prevention of school dropouts; guidance provided by the Public Defender’s Office for adolescents facing charges; punitive policy in juvenile courts; Treatment of Juvenile Probation Service youth convicted in court; the treatment of Youth Rehabilitation Services; Special treatment in closed institutions for juvenile offenders; and the treatment of adolescents in the juvenile prison “Ofek.”
The articles explaining deviant behaviors address the development of delinquency among adolescents from difficult social and family backgrounds, its stages and its causes; the growing use of alcohol and drugs among adolescents and its damages; and High School violence as perceived by the students. In addition, a number of articles were dedicated to these supplementary topics: procedures of restorative justice as alternative proceedings to criminal trials; connections between terrorist attacks and juvenile delinquents; school shootings in the United States as an extreme example of adolescent crime.
Gueta, Keren, and Gila Chen. “‘I Wanted to Rebel, But There They Hit Me Even Harder’: Discourse Analysis of Israeli Women Offenders’ Accounts of Their Pathways to Substance Abuse and Crime.” International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology (early view; online first).
This study examined women offenders’ accounts of their pathways to substance abuse and crime and the intersection between them, to reach a holistic understanding that captures the dynamics of victimization, agency, and gender. Discourse analyses of the accounts of 11 Israeli women offenders indicated differential use of two discourses. Five participants used the victimization discourse, which viewed substance abuse as an attempt to medicate the self that was injured following victimization experiences; two used the agency discourse, which viewed substance abuse as a way to experience pleasure, leisure, and control over their destiny. Four of the participants used these two contradictory discourses simultaneously. The findings indicate the absence of a cultural discourse that encompasses women’s complex experience of gender, victimization, and agency. Possible implications for intervention are discussed.
Rosca, Paula, Arie Bauer, Razek Khawaled, Ety Kahana, and Keren Goldman. “The Recent Legal Approach to New Psycho-Active Substances Regulation in Israel: Does it Work?” Civil & Legal Sciences 4.2 (2015).
Background: New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), rapidly spreading on the global drug market have become a major concern in different Countries. The drug control systems did not allow a prompt and effective response to this phenomenon, due to the slow and complicated procedures to declare a substance dangerous and illegal. Aims: To briefly describe to legal background of drug control in Israel and illustrate the characteristics of the novel legislation. Method: The Authors summarize the legal approach to NPS control in Europe and in New Zealand, the first Country to opt for a pre-market approval regime for NPS, describing the legal alternative sad opted and describe the Israeli Law for the Fight against the Phenomenon of the Use of Dangerous Substances. Findings: The new legislation succeeded to close kiosks and retailers, marketing NPS to youth and young adults in the Country. The law is unique in that it includes both an urgent temporary declaration, whose violation is penal, banning a substance as dangerous with its inclusion after 12 months into the First Schedule of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, and the empowerment of the police forces to search, seize and destroy the dangerous substance, constituting an administrative procedure. The law is enforced using a novel, integrated model of enforcement, providing the cooperation of different control agencies, and avoiding to criminalize the consumers. Conclusions: The effectiveness of this legislation, although promising short-term results have been registered, has still to be ascertained and more time is needed in order to perform a scientific evaluation of its results but meanwhile its impact is already noticed in the Court decisions, which make a difference between NPS and other drugs such as Cannabis in the severity of the penalties.
Previous studies have examined the impact of military service on the decision to engage in risky behavior. Yet most of these studies focused on voluntary recruits, did not distinguish between legal and illegal risky activities and did not compare combat and non-combat soldiers during and after service according to gender. The current study is unique because of the nature of Israeli compulsory army service. It examines the relationship between type of army service and ﬁve legal and illegal risky behaviors for three groups: non-combat, combat without ﬁghting experience, and combat with ﬁghting experience. We also examine differences in the propensity for risky behavior between men, most of whom are assigned to combat units due to the army’s needs, and women, who serve in combat units on a voluntary basis only. A questionnaire survey was randomly distributed at train stations and central bus stations in Israel among 413 soldiers and ex-soldiers between the ages of 18-30. The predictor variables include type of service or battle experience, the Evaluation of Risks scale and sociodemographic characteristics. In general, we found that high percentages of young people engage in risky behavior, especially illegal behavior. The results indicate that ﬁghting experience is signiﬁcantly and positively correlated with the consumption of illegal substances for currently serving men soldiers (but not for women) and this effect is mitigated after discharge from the army. Importantly, the use of illegal substances is not a result of the individual’s preferences for engaging in various risky behaviors. Thus, our results suggest that the effect of the increased propensity toward risky behavior following the experience of ﬁghting overrides the combat unit’s discipline for men when it comes to the consumption of illegal substances. In addition, our ﬁndings indicate that serving in a combat unit as opposed to a non-combat unit affects the tendency of women ex-combat soldiers to travel to risky destinations, though this is probably related to their original higher risk attitude, since women must volunteer for combat units.
Walsh, Sophie D., Haya Fogel-Grinvald, and Sabrina Shneider. “Discrimination and Ethnic Identity as Predictors of Substance Use and Delinquency Among Immigrant Adolescents From the FSU and Ethiopia in Israel.” Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology (early view; online first).
The current study explores perceived discrimination and ethnic identity as predictors of delinquency and substance use among adolescent immigrants in Israel. Theoretically, the study draws from strain theory, immigration-related theories of ethnic identity formation in adolescence, bi-dimensional theories of acculturation, and the rejection-identification model. The study involved 250 adolescents, 140 from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) and 110 from Ethiopia, aged 15 to 18 years (M = 16.7 years). Adolescents were assessed on substance use (cigarettes, marijuana, binge drinking, drunkenness), delinquent behavior, parental relationships (support, limit setting), perceived discrimination, host identity (Jewish Israeli), and ethnic identity (Russian/Ethiopian). Results from structural equation modeling showed that delinquency was predicted directly by greater discrimination, a weaker ethnic (Russian/Ethiopian) identity, and greater substance (alcohol and cigarette) use. Higher levels of parental limit setting and lower levels of parental support predicted higher levels of substance use, but only predicted delinquency indirectly through their impact on substance use. Findings support the hypotheses that perceived discrimination and a weaker ethnic identity predict involvement in delinquency and partially support a hypothesis that higher levels of a positive host identity are related to lower levels of substance use and delinquency among immigrant adolescents. A perceived lack of equal opportunities may lead to stress, anger, and frustration toward society leading to delinquent behavior, whereas difficulties in consolidating a positive cultural identity may lead the young adolescent to fill a void through substance use.
While previous studies on recovery from drug addiction have tended to focus on recovery initiation and treatment issues among men, the primary purpose of this study is to shed light on the experience of long-term recovery among women. For this purpose, we employed qualitative methods and interviewed nine long-term (two to seven years) recovering women. Additionally, we monitored five women for two years of the recovery process in a dual research track (a total of 24 interviews). The research findings indicate that developing recovery capital, including self-awareness, stress-coping strategies, and various social resources (Granfield & Cloud, 1999), can be part of an effective strategy for overcoming long-term recovery challenges while financial difficulties, intrusive memories, motherhood and inability to find leisure activities may hinder it. These results indicate the need to reconsider gender-sensitive therapies in order to help women to not only initiate, but also maintain recovery.
Rosca, Paula, Alexander Grinshpoon, Keren Goldman, Anatoly Margolis, and Alexander M. Ponizovsky. “The Israeli National Substance Abuse Treatment Registry (INSATR): A Review of the Registry-based Research Findings and Future Implications.” Frontiers in Clinical Medicine 2.1 (2015): 20-27.
Substance-related disorders are a major public health problem, requiring the development of primary and secondary prevention programs. The Department for the Treatment of Substance Abuse in the Israeli Ministry of Health maintains an administrative database that includes information on all patients enrolled in substitution programs for substance-related disorders. The Israel National Substance Abuse Treatment Registry (INSATR) was introduced in 1996 to ascertain demographic and clinical characteristics of patients, treatment details and legal data that can contribute to the improvement of care coordination, improved population health outcomes and more robust research data for epidemiological, clinical and service policy research. The aim of this report is to describe the INSATR and illustrate its benefits through a review of the findings of INSATR-related clinical trials and linkage studies to other national registries: the National Psychiatric Hospitalization Registry, National Cancer Registry and National AIDS Registry. The INSATR has demonstrated meaningful use in the assessment of quality of care and quality assurance, and in public health service policies research directed to the development of secondary prevention programs for individuals with substance-related problems in the community.
Waissengrin, Barliz, Damien Urban, Yasmin Leshem, Meital Garty, and Ido Wolf. “Patterns of Use of Medical Cannabis Among Israeli Cancer Patients: A Single Institution Experience.” Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 49.2 (2015): 223-30.
The use of the cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa L.) for the palliative treatment of cancer patients has been legalized in multiple jurisdictions including Israel. Yet, not much is currently known regarding the efficacy and patterns of use of cannabis in this setting.
To analyze the indications for the administration of cannabis among adult Israeli cancer patients and evaluate its efficacy.
Efficacy and patterns of use of cannabis were evaluated using physician-completed application forms, medical files, and a detailed questionnaire in adult cancer patients treated at a single institution.
Of approximately 17,000 cancer patients seen, 279 (<1.7%) received a permit for cannabis from an authorized institutional oncologist. The median age of cannabis users was 60 years (range 19–93 years), 160 (57%) were female, and 234 (84%) had metastatic disease. Of 151 (54%) patients alive at six months, 70 (46%) renewed their cannabis permit. Renewal was more common among younger patients and those with metastatic disease. Of 113 patients alive and using cannabis at one month, 69 (61%) responded to the detailed questionnaire. Improvement in pain, general well-being, appetite, and nausea were reported by 70%, 70%, 60%, and 50%, respectively. Side effects were mild and consisted mostly of fatigue and dizziness.
Cannabis use is perceived as highly effective by some patients with advanced cancer and its administration can be regulated, even by local authorities. Additional studies are required to evaluate the efficacy of cannabis as part of the palliative treatment of cancer patients.
Sznitman, Sharon R. and Nehama Lewis. “Is Cannabis an Illicit Drug or a Medicine? A Quantitative Framing Analysis of Israeli Newspaper Coverage.” International Journal of Drug Policy 26.5 (2015): 446-52.
Various countries and states, including Israel, have recently legalized cannabis for therapeutic purposes (CTP). These changes have received mass media coverage and prompted national and international dialogue about the status of cannabis and whether or not it can be defined as a (legitimate) medicine, illicit and harmful drug, or both. News media framing may influence, and be influenced by, public opinion regarding CTP and support for CTP license provisions for patients. This study examines the framing of CTP in Israeli media coverage and the association between media coverage and trends in the provision of CTP licenses in Israel over time.
All published news articles relevant to CTP and the framing of cannabis (N = 214) from the three highest circulation newspapers in Israel were content analyzed. Articles were published between January 2007 and June 2013, a period in which CTP licenses granted by the Ministry of Health increased substantially.
In the majority of CTP news articles (69%), cannabis was framed as a medicine, although in almost one third of articles (31%) cannabis was framed as an illicit drug. The relative proportion of news items in which cannabis was framed as an illicit drug fluctuated during the study period, but was unrelated to linear or curvilinear trends in CTP licensing.
The relatively large proportion of news items framing cannabis as a medicine is consistent with growing support for the expansion of the Israel’s CTP program.
We examine the framing of cannabis for therapeutic purposes (CTP) in newspapers.
We use quantitative content analysis.
News articles generally describe cannabis as a medicine and not an illicit drug.
Trends in media framing are unrelated to trends in CTP licenses.