Israel country overview

The Israel Anti-Drug Authority (IADA), a statutory governmental agency, was established at the end of 1988 by virtue of the Drug Control Authority Law 5748–1988. The law defines IADA's functions and areas of responsibility. IADA's main role is to formulate national policies, and to coordinate the activities of all government ministries, offices and NGOs related to drugs and alcohol. The Israel Monitoring Center on Drugs and Alcohol is located within the IADA's Chief Scientist's Office.


This summary was prepared by Yossi Harel-Fisch, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, Yael Zadok and Sonia Hizi from the Israel Anti-Drug Authority (IADA) in the framework of the EMCDDA technical cooperation project ‘Towards a gradual improvement of ENP partner countries’ capacity to monitor and to meet drug-related challenges’ (ENPI), funded by the European Commission. The content of this summary does not necessarily reflect the official opinions of the European Union.

Drug use among the general population and young people

The Israel Anti-Drug Authority (IADA)  has established a population survey system to enable the development, implementation and evaluation of evidence-based policy and intervention strategies. This set of surveys includes several ongoing periodic population surveys covering the various target populations:

Israel Drug and Alcohol Epidemiology Survey: A representative sample of the population aged 18–40, carried out every four years from 1989 to 2009. From 2015 the survey will be carried out every two years and will select a representative sample of the population aged 18–60. The researchers will attempt to ensure the survey is as comparable as possible with European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) guidelines.

Israel Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC): A World Health Organization cross-national school-based survey with an expansion on drugs and alcohol (partially compatible with the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD)), administered to 11- to 17-year-old pupils. The Israeli HBSC research programme was established in 1993. The most recent survey was conducted in 2014.

‘Finger on the Pulse’ — A Short-Term Monitoring Survey (STMS): A web-based survey that started in 2012, and is implemented every three to four months with approximately 1 500 respondents aged 12–17, 18–21 and 22–40 who are randomly sampled from a representative Internet panel. The questionnaire includes 30 items on recent exposure to drug and alcohol prevention campaigns and activities, changes in attitudes, exposure to new substances, and any other ad hoc issue related to drugs and alcohol prevention for which timely information is required.

Drugs and Alcohol among College Students: Carried out annually since 2013 among approximately 2 000 students in higher education (mostly undergraduate students aged 21–30) in campuses across the country.

According to the latest Drug and Alcohol Epidemiological Survey (2009) among adults aged 18–40, cannabis is the most prevalent drug in Israel. Lifetime prevalence for herbal cannabis was quite similar to cannabis resin, at about 16.5 %. In 2009 some 7.9 % of the respondents reported using cannabis resin in the past 12 months, in comparison to 7.1 % in 2005. In 2009 some 6.3 % of adults used herbal cannabis, a slight decrease from 2005 when 7.3 % reported use of herbal cannabis. In 2009 the prevalence of cannabis resin use in the last 30 days was 4.8 %, and for herbal cannabis it was 2.9 %.

The second most prevalent drug used in 2009 was ecstasy, with lifetime prevalence was 4.5 %. Lifetime prevalence of LSD was 3.7 %. Last 12 month ecstasy use was similar to that of LSD, at 1 %. This is a slight increase for both drugs from 2005, when ecstasy was 0.7 %, and LSD was 0.5 %. Last month prevalence of both remained stable in 2009 at 0.5 %. In 2009 lifetime prevalence for cocaine use was 2.3 %, last year prevalence was 0.9 % and last month prevalence was less than 0.5 %. Lifetime prevalence for crack, opium, heroin and black tar was about 1 % each, and last year prevalence was less than 0.5 % (Bar-Hamburger et al., 2009).

The latest HBSC survey was conducted in 2014. The survey included some of the ESPAD questions for drugs, and was answered by a sub-sample of about 2 500 students in the tenh grade.

For all drugs, male students reported higher prevalence rates than females. Among the respondents, 6.0 % reported cannabis use in the last 12 months, which was the most prevalent illicit substance reported, followed by ‘designer drugs’ at 4.9 % , 'khat' at 3.9% and 'ecstasy /LSD' at 3.0 %.  (Harel-Fisch, Y. et al., 2016).

In October 2012 a survey was conducted of 5 452 inmates in 27 facilities. The survey was offered to all inmates, and 52 % of the Israeli citizen inmates, detainees and post-trial prisoners responded. It was carried out using a self-administered and anonymous questionnaire. About 36 % of respondents were addicted to drugs, and 16 % had used drugs in their lifetime but were not addicted. The most commonly used drugs were: cannabis (26 % lifetime, 14 % last year and 4 % last month use); ecstasy (20 % lifetime, 9 % last year and 3 % last month use), cocaine (16 % lifetime, 10 % last year and 3 % last month use) and heroin (13 % lifetime, 8 % last year and 3 % last month use). About 10 % of the inmates used drugs while in prison (Walk et al., 2013).

(1) The survey was carried out in Hebrew, and the question refers to the use of ‘kiosk drugs’


Israel’s drug prevention policy focuses on the core goal of enhancing the well-being and health of the population.

Prevention interventions are implemented throughout the country, targeting the general and at risk populations. Under the ‘prevention for all’ approach, programmes are geared towards children, youth, parents, professionals in the workplace, university students and soldiers, seeking to promote a social climate that rejects drugs and drug use.

Prevention interventions carried out in Israel take into account individual and social components, aimed at shaping attitudes and values to reject substance abuse. Israel's prevention approach strives to reinforce protective factors throughout a person’s life and encourages a positive, healthy lifestyle.

To ensure effective evidence-based interventions, a national multi-disciplinary committee developed standards for prevention interventions and determined standards for selecting effective interventions, including: science-based programmes; the availability of evaluation data; and a clear definition of target groups.

Israel has developed a comprehensive programme for the school system that integrates prevention and life skills into the formal educational curriculum from kindergarten to high school. At each stage of their school life students are exposed to different age-relevant subjects, ranging from the correct use of medicine to substance abuse and driving. Around 500 000 students are exposed to prevention interventions in schools per year.

Prevention programmes are also implemented as part of extra-curricular activities and in community centres. For example, Yes to Sports, No to Drugs combines prevention and sports activities for young people. The key is to promote one unique message in all the various settings.

A comprehensive programme for higher education students has been implemented in several colleges and universities across Israel. These programmes emphasise peer-to-peer recruitment and involvement.

Parental and community involvement are essential components of an effective prevention approach. There are close to 100 parent patrols, with about 4 000 parents volunteering across the country.

Israel has begun building a model for interventions in the workplace, incorporating the topic of drug and alcohol abuse prevention into a broader workplace health promotion approach. Programmes are being developed to offer a ’tool basket’ to enable people to make healthier lifestyle choices; they feature a supportive environment that promotes awareness, and individuals’ knowledge is enhanced through programmes, lectures, workshops for parents, etc. The programme also seeks to establish a treatment services package in the framework of the workplace.

Due to the multi-cultural facet of Israel's population, culture-sensitive programmes are developed, tailored and adapted to suit the characteristics of each ethnic group, be they Israeli-Arabs, immigrants from the former Soviet Union, the Ethiopian community or Orthodox Jews. Programmes are offered in different languages and take into consideration various cultural norms and differences. Workshops and lectures are offered for parents on relevant issues related to adolescent behaviour.

An example of a selective programme for youth in middle and high schools targets young people who have used tobacco, drugs and alcohol. The aim of the programme, Training and Developing Coping Abilities (2009), is to provide youth at risk with coping tools and life skills that can strengthen their character and improve their quality of life. Improvements in quality of life will also be felt as a result of reducing their consumption of addictive substances. In 2013 the programme was evaluated to determine its short- and long-term effects. A questionnaire was applied among the participants before and after the intervention, and among those who had completed the programme in the past (alumni). The results indicate that the intervention increased students’ ability to cope with illicit drug use,  improved their school work and enhanced their self-esteem, especially among those who reported smoking at least 10 cigarettes per day. Moreover, the evaluation indicates a positive impact on the participants’ feelings of self-control over their use of illicit substances in future, reducing the likelihood that they would engage in a risky behaviour and increasing the likelihood that they would seek help from teachers, counsellors and the programme staff. Among the alumni, the results show that their awareness of the harmful effects of illicit substance use and drinking increased; and they also indicate a long-lasting effect (two to three years after the intervention) on decreasing (or ceasing) smoking and drinking, a positive impact on school work and studies, and increased self-esteem and the ability to cope with substance abuse and with life.

Public awareness and media campaigns on drugs and alcohol prevention are implemented across the country, to promote attitudes and a social climate that do not tolerate substance abuse. In order to enhance the effectiveness of campaigns, they run for several consecutive years, promoting the same message. Media campaigns include TV, radio, newspapers and the Internet. To ensure exposure, campaigns run in different languages, including Hebrew, Arabic, Amharic and Russian. The IADA website is  available in English, Hebrew, Arabic, Amharic and Russian and there are Facebook pages  in Hebrew and Arabic.

Problem drug use

Up to 2012 the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) defined problem drug use as injecting drug use (IDU) or long duration/regular drug use of opiates, cocaine and/or amphetamines. Ecstasy and cannabis were not included in this category. However, in 2012 a new definition of ‘high-risk drug use’ was adopted. The new definition includes ‘problem drug use’, but is broader (mainly in its inclusion of high-risk use of more substances). Details are available here.

The data from the National Insurance Institute of Israel (NIII) may provide some insights into the number of problem drug users in Israel, as addicts are entitled to receive benefits from the National Insurance. In 2013 an average of 448 addicts per month received income support from the NIII due to drug and alcohol addiction; in total, 4 762 people received support in 2013. Among them, on average, 2 314 addicts received monthly benefits for rehabilitation from drugs. However, this number may under-estimate the number of problem drug and alcohol addicts in the country: first, drug users may refrain from approaching formal institutions; and second, a person is granted support by the NIII for only one reason, thus an addict with a disability, for example, may already receive support for their disability and will not then be listed as receiving support due to drug and alcohol addiction.

Treatment demand

According to data provided by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, in 2012 there were 13 496 patients treated for drug addiction, of which 2 652 were under the age of 18; most of the patients were male (close to 80%). In 2013 there was a slight decrease, with 12 986 patients treated, of which 693 were under 18. The data does not specify the main drug of use.

According to the Ministry of Health, in 2013 about 4 000 patients were registered with outpatient treatment programmes, while in the same year about 6 000 drugs users received opioid substitution treatment (OST) with methadone and Subutex. In 2013 approximately 1 000 inmates underwent treatment for drug addiction in various projects supervised by the Israel Prison Service.

Some information about the drugs used is available at the level of the treatment centres. Data from the Malkishua Therapeutic Community (the largest therapeutic community for young male adults aged 15–25) shows that in 2013, of the 129 young males who entered treatment, 61 % were treated for use of new psychoactive substances (1) such as synthetic cannabinoids, 19 % for cannabis use and 10 % for cocaine.

(1)  The original data are in Hebrew and refers to the use of ‘kiosk drugs’

Drug-induced deaths and mortality

Drug-induced deaths are significantly under-reported in Israel. The main reasons for under-reporting are: lack of mandatory requirement to test and report traces of drugs in biological samples; life insurance considerations by the family (in cases of an overdose, most of the insurance companies will not pay a benefit); and social/cultural undesirability.

The Central Bureau of Statistics collects data for overdose death cases as part of the general mortality register. In 2010 and 2011 there were 51 cases of drug-related death per year (according to ICD-10 codes for overdoses: Y11000, Y11900, Y12000, Y12900, Y13000, Y13500, Y14000, Y14700, Y14900).

Treatment responses

Israel’s treatment and rehabilitation policy is jointly developed and implemented by IADA, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services. A comprehensive treatment system of pharmacological and psychosocial interventions provides a wide array of treatment solutions addressing the different needs of individuals based on gender, age and cultural and religious background, in order to ensure accessibility to all.

In Israel all drug treatment institutions must operate under a licence as determined by Law 5753-1993. Regulations under this law define the minimum professional and physical conditions required for obtaining a licence.

Treatment services include community-based outpatient treatment programmes, regional day-care facilities, detoxification units, therapeutic communities, while the drug treatment is offered also by mental health centres, law threshold facilities and also the Israel Prison Service.

Figure 1, Table 1 and Table 2 show the Israeli treatment system map based on the input from representatives of the different stakeholders in charge of commissioning or providing drug treatment in the country, including in custodial settings during the Reitox National Academy for Israel ‘Building the Treatment Demand Indicator: Challenge for monitoring and evaluation systems to support coherent national policies’, which took place in the IADA in Jerusalem, Israel, on 10 and 11 November 2015.

Treatment map for Israel, 2015

Figure 1. Drug treatment systems map for Israel. The size of each treatment provider reflects the number of clients receiving drug treatment in the respective settings. (Source: unpublished EMCDDA meeting report on Reitox National Academy on treatment monitoring in Israel, 2015)

Table 1. Network of outpatient treatment facilities (total number of units and clients)

Number of units/centres

Number of patients

Type of centre/unit

Specialised treatment centres

 1 (private centre)


Addictions- medicine clinic in a hospital



Unit for treatment of addictions 18 years old +



Unit for treatment of addictions youth



Alcohol and gambling treatment centres 18 years old +



Ambulatory day care (3 for women)



Ambulatory day care for youth



Evening centres for youth



Long term medication treatment – OST



Dual-diagnosis centre

General/mental health



Mental health centres



Employment centres



Private clinics for addiction



Employment centres



Needle exchange program

Low threshold agencies


Not available

Levinsky clinic



Assessment/evaluation centres



Youth outreach/detection units






*Due to the psychiatric care reform in progress, the number is not final and changes are possible.

(Source:  unpublished EMCDDA meeting report on Reitox National Academy on treatment monitoring in Israel, 2015)

Table 2. Network of inpatient treatment facilities (total number of units and clients)

Type of centre/unit Number of clients Number of units or centres
Israel Prison System
Treatment units in the prisons /'Lev' units 600 11
Opioid Substitution Treatment 600 40
Non-hospital based residential
Private therapeutic communities 100 4
Therapeutic communities (including two for dual diagnosis) 1 600 9
Hostels   7
Dual diagnosis hostels   2
Assissted/treatment living appartements   4
Dual diagnosis assited appartements 20 6
Appartement for continuing treatment in the framework of the treatment unit   1
House for life 36 1
Inpatient detox units 2 308 8
Therapeutic community for youth 80 2
Youth hostel 40 2
Hospital-based residential
Dual diagnosis unit in a psychiatric hospital   6
Emergency hospital admissions   13 mental health hospitals and 1 general hospital
Shelters   6

(Source:  unpublished EMCDDA meeting report on Reitox National Academy on treatment monitoring in Israel, 2015)

The range of treatment interventions includes: detoxification, opioid substitution therapy, individual and group treatment sessions, family intervention and rehabilitation, long-term therapeutic communities, legal counselling, assistance with housing and studies, vocational rehabilitation and follow-up counselling.

There are seven treatment facilities for women, and one therapeutic community offers treatment for mothers with children. All staff members in these programmes are women. A special therapeutic community addresses the needs of young adults, particularly those returning from backpacking excursions suffering from mental imbalance due to hallucinogenic or mind-altering drugs. Programmes are offered for immigrants from the former Soviet Union countries, the Orthodox community and the Arab population. Programmes are also offered for drug abuse victims suffering from co-morbidity.

The first opioid substitution treatment programme with methadone began in 1975. Today, other drug substitutes (such as buprenorphine) are available. In 2013 approximately 6 000 patients received methadone and Subutex treatment.

Harm reduction responses

Needle exchange programmes are available in several locations across the country: Tel-Aviv, Ashdod, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. The number of syringes distributed in 2013 is estimated at 120–500 syringes per addict. In total, 300 000 syringes were distributed in 2013 and 250 000 in 2014.

In Tel-Aviv, for example, there is a First Step programme – a low-threshold walk-in clinic where homeless addicts can receive counselling, food and needle exchange. Addicts interested in undergoing further treatment can also receive assistance regarding rapid admission into treatment programmes. In the period 2006–11 between150 to 250 addicts entered the clinic per year.

Drug markets and drug-law offences

Israel is considered to be a drug consuming country rather than a producing country. Drugs enter the country through land, sea and air borders. In 2013 there was a decrease in the seized quantities of cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and methamphetamine (Yaba) coming from abroad (Table 3). In the most recent years there has been an increase in the domestic cultivation of cannabis, mainly in hydro-labs, which might be linked to the decrease in cannabis products smuggled into the country.

Table 3. Quantities of drugs seized in Israel in 2012–13.



Type of drug

1 171 kg

785 kg

Herbal cannabis

2 552 kg

1 594 kg

Cannabis resin

52 kg

130 kg


147.5 kg

171 kg


4 178 tablets

6 919 tablets


47 316 tablets

66 560 tablets

Methamphetamine (Yaba)

10 796 tablets




Source: Israel Police.

In general, people perceive that drugs are easily accessible. In the 2011 HBSC study, about 9 % of the young people responded that they knew where to buy cannabis or designer drugs. In 2009 almost one-quarter of the respondents reported that they knew where to buy cannabis (Table 4).

Table 4. Do you know where to buy the following drugs?

18–40 (2009)

16–18 (2011)

Type of drug




















Ecstasy or LSD







Designer drugs


Source: Harel-Fisch et al., 2013 and Bar-Hamburger et al., 2009.

Over the past years, Israel has been actively combating the phenomenon of new psychoactive substances (NPS). The most common NPS is a synthetic cannabinoid with the street name Mr Nice Guy. In the past year, the most common substances detected were: 5f-amb (derivative of indazol carboxamid, which is controlled in Israel); ab-chminaca; ab-fubinaca; and pb-22 and its derivatives. These are all controlled under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (the first was included as it is a derivative of a controlled substance; the other substances were included directly). These drugs were easily accessible to young people, and were openly sold in over 3 500 convenience stores across the country, with a turnover of approximately EUR 200 000 per month. This led to the establishment of a national multi-disciplinary model of law enforcement in 2013. This model, which combines the law enforcement powers of all relevant agencies, among them the Israel Police, the Tax Authority, the Ministry of Health and Municipal Authorities, along with new legislation, led to a significant decrease in NPS sales in these stores. However, sales over the Internet are an ongoing problem for Israel.

Overall, the number of drug law files opened at arrest stage since 2011 has remained fairly stable. However, in 2013 there was a significant increase in the number of files opened for drug cultivation, mainly due to the increase in seized marijuana hydro-labs.

Table 5. Number of opened drug law files, 2011–13.

  Personal use Trafficking Cultivation Possession All
2011 25 501 4 559 581 4 677 35 318
2012 22 913 4 451 467 4 656 32 487
2013 23 680 4 944 620 4 404 33 648
Source: Israel Police.

In 2013 the prices of drugs remained quite stable. Data regarding drug prices is collected primarily through the Internet, by the Israeli National Monitoring Center for Drugs and Alcohol.

Table 6. Prices of the main illicit substances (in Euros).

Type of drug Min. Max
Cannabis, herbal (gram) 19 22
Cannabis, resin (gram) 7.4 9.5
Ecstasy (pill) 10.5 15
LSD (drop) 16.9 -
LSD (tablet) 12.5 -
Cocaine (gram) 84 105
Heroin (gram) 17 22
Source: Israeli National Monitoring Center for Drugs and Alcohol; exchange rate EUR 1 = ILS 4.7339.

National drug laws

The Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (New Version — 5732–1973) defines all drug-related offences — possession, trafficking, import, export, etc. — and determines the maximum sentences for each. For most types of offence the maximum sentence is 20 years; for possession, which is considered a misdemeanour, the maximum sentence is three years. However, where there are aggravating factors, such as soliciting minors to take drugs, the penalty may be increased up to 25 years and a prison sentence is mandatory. An amendment to the ordinance forbids the manufacturing, importing, displaying, possessing or selling of any drug-related paraphernalia. The ordinance also determines that assets acquired in the past eight years by a drug trafficker (if judged by the court) can be forfeited. The burden to prove legitimacy of assets falls upon the defendant. If a person has been convicted of a drug-related offence, in addition to any other penalty, he/she is denied a driver’s licence, usually for up to five years (or longer in cases where there is a reason to believe that there is a danger to the public).

Over the years, new substances have been added to the list of prohibited substances of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance. In 2010 a Derivatives Law was passed in Israel. The Law set forth that dangerous substances that are closely related to a drug listed in the ordinance will automatically enter the ordinance by virtue of being chemical derivatives of prohibited materials. This applies to derivatives of four groups: amphetamines, methamphetamines, cathinone and methcathinone. 2-amino-indane was included in 2011. In May 2013 new legislation was passed that expanded the previous Derivatives Law to include entire families of synthetic cannabinoids.

In August 2013 Israel issued a new ordinance, The Fight Against the Phenomenon of the Use of Dangerous Substances Law, 5773–2013, which aims to tackle the problem of new psychoactive substances. Under the new law, law enforcement authorities are granted powers to seize and destroy materials considered to be ‘dangerous substances’ according to the definition provided therein. The Ministry of Health has the authority to declare a substance as ‘controlled’ immediately, for a period of one year. This prohibition includes: manufacturing, selling, importing, exporting, trafficking and possession for any of the above intents.

Penal Law 5737–1977 provides the methodology for the calculation of fines imposed by the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance. Section 82 makes it possible for the court to substitute punishment by treatment for drug users, for a period and in accordance with a programme determined by the court. According to the Criminal Procedure (Arrests) Law, under Section 21, the court may decide to send the defendant to a treatment institution as an alternative to detention until the termination of proceedings; or in some cases the treatment can be ordered instead of the punishment.

 According to the Traffic Ordinance [New Version], 5721–1961, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is an offence. The ordinance allows for drivers to be tested at random, and based on suspicion. Should the driver refuse to be tested, he or she will be presumed to be under the influence of drugs (which includes alcohol). Section 39 also states that the conviction of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol leads to a minimum two year suspension of a driver's licence.

The Prohibition of Money Laundering Act, 5760–2000 prevents money laundering deriving from criminal activities and drug trafficking.

National drug strategy

The Israel National Strategy to fight alcohol and drugs for the period 2015–20 will be adopted 2015, based on the following four pillars: awareness; prevention and education; treatment, rehabilitation and harm reduction; and supply reduction. The aim is to lead Israel in its efforts to tackle drug supply and demand and to reduce the adverse consequences of alcohol abuse, to ensure a healthy and ethical society with high living standards for all citizens. There are seven key goals:

  • To promote a change in Israeli society’s attitudes towards drug and alcohol, particularly among adolescents and young people.
  • To lead the national policy to reduce drug use and alcohol abuse.
  • To develop strategies and action plans in the areas of awareness, education and prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, law enforcement, forfeiture and development of professional human resources.
  • To ensure policies are implemented in the community, taking into consideration unique characteristics of specific communities.
  • To develop national policies based on research, monitoring and scientific evaluation.
  • To initiate, develop and promote strategic cooperation with international, national and local partners.
  • To be identified as a national and international information centre on drugs and alcohol.

The action plan includes annual targets, tools and indicators to measure and evaluate performance, and was developed following an assessment of the national situation obtained through research-based evaluation and monitoring.

National policies promote a healthy life-skills approach towards prevention among young people, targeting the general and at risk populations through a comprehensive programme in schools. Interventions are implemented in the non-formal education system through community centres, sports activities and other approaches, for the entire community. The same drug-free message is promoted at all times, whether in schools, after school or in the community. Due to the multi-cultural facet of Israel’s population, implementation at the local level is adapted to suit the local and cultural characteristics of each group.

Treatment and rehabilitation policies focus on ensuring accessible and available treatment for all drug users and their families. A health-centred approach to treatment offers a range of interventions that include physical and psychological components, developed to address the different needs of each individual, such as gender and cultural diversity, in order to ensure accessibility for all, with full respect for the patient's human rights. Treatment is also offered in the prison system. Harm reduction measures are employed to reduce the adverse consequences of drug abuse.

Over the years Israel has developed unified standards of training for all those working in the field of drugs, to ensure that the staff involved in prevention and treatment interventions, whether professionals or volunteers, are qualified and skilled. IADA is the leading body responsible for establishing unified standards for the various types of training for all staff dealing with drug and alcohol abuse. Training is developed in all areas of activity, including prevention, treatment and law enforcement, through academic courses in higher education institutions, professional training and other training options.

Coordination mechanism in the field of drugs

The Israel Anti-Drug Authority, a statutory governmental agency, was established at the end of 1988 by virtue of the Drug Control Authority Law 5748–1988. The law defines IADA's functions and areas of responsibility. IADA's activities and its decision-making bodies’ authority are also based on this law.

IADA is the central body charged with the fight against drugs. This is achieved through a multi-disciplinary approach covering areas such as drug prevention, treatment and law enforcement. A national comprehensive, balanced demand and supply reduction approach is implemented; and data collection and monitoring ensure evidence-based programmes and policies.

Under IADA's umbrella, professionals in government and non-governmental agencies work together. This inter-ministerial and inter-institutional cooperation and coordination extends to all areas, from prevention and treatment, to law enforcement, and formulates all national supply and demand reduction policies on drugs and alcohol abuse.

IADA is responsible for:

  • Initiating and developing educational and prevention programmes nationwide.
  • Promoting public awareness materials, organising communal awareness and leading community work in order to create a social climate that rejects substance abuse.
  • Treating and rehabilitating victims of substance abuse and their families.
  • Supervising all areas related to law enforcement, and all institutions' respective roles in this area.
  • Conducting research to track trends in use and to evaluate project implementation.
  • Recruiting and training qualified professionals and volunteers.
  • Providing national informational services in many formats, through many vehicles and across the spectrum of Israeli society.
  • Developing and maintaining contact with national and international bodies active in matters of drug and alcohol abuse.

IADA's headquarters in Jerusalem is home to the following professional divisions: Prevention and Education, Treatment and Rehabilitation, Legislation and Law Enforcement, Community, Development of Human Resources, International Relations, Chief Scientist's Office (Monitoring Centre), and Public Awareness. All divisions work in collaboration with relevant ministries and organisations to develop national policies and programmes in the field of drug supply and demand reduction. The headquarters also house a national information centre and a hotline.

IADA is responsible for promoting cooperation and coordinating the activities of all government ministries, offices and non-government organisations that are involved in the fight against drugs. As a central coordinating body, IADA is made up of a Council of 43 representatives of: government ministries including the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior; professional organisations such as the Israel Medical Association, Youth Movement and Social Workers Association; and public representatives appointed by the Minister of Public Security (Minister in Charge) and approved by the cabinet, as stated in the Israel Drug Control Authority Law. The Minister in Charge appoints the Council's chairperson from among the members.

The Council's functions are to determine IADA's policy, to guide the board of directors and supervise its activities, to discuss the annual budget and any other issues related to IADA's activities. The Council is assisted by professional committees such as the Treatment and Rehabilitation Committee and the Prevention and Community Committee, the Psychoactive Substance Committee and a steering committee for the national alcohol programme.

In line with Section 149 (11) of the Amendment to the Municipality Ordinance, at local levels a municipality is required to establish a committee for combating drugs.

Key national figures and statistics

  Year Israel Source
Population 2013 8 134 500 Central Bureau of Statistics
Population by age group      
16-25 2012 15 % Central Bureau of Statistics
26-45 2012 27 %
46-65 2012 9 %
GDP per capita at current market prices (EUR) 2011 22 516 Eurostat
Unemployement rate (15-65) 2013 6.2 % Central Bureau of Statistics
Prison population (per 105 of national population) 2013 231 Israel Prison Service

Contact information for our focal point

The Israel Anti-Drug Authority
Kanfei Nesharim, 7,

Tel. + 972 25675911

Contact person:
Ms Sonia Hizi