The Jewish Chronicle - - Features -

OF the “50,000 al­co­holics and 30,000 drug ad­dicts” in Is­rael, says Iris Floren­tine of the Min­istry for So­cial Af­fairs, 14,000 are cur­rently in re­hab. About 400-500 of them, ac­cord­ing to the Anti-Drug Author­ity, are stay­ing in longterm ther­a­peu­tic com­mu­ni­ties.

The Is­raeli pol­icy, states Haim Mell, head of treat­ment and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion de­part­ment of Is­rael’s Anti-Drug Author­ity, is to en­able each Is­raeli cit­i­zen who suf­fers a drug or al­co­hol ad­dic­tion a fully sub­sided re­hab process. Nor­mally, an ad­dict would be firstly at­tached to a case man­ager — a so­cial worker who ac­com­pa­nies him through­out the process.

The process starts with a three-week detox in one of Is­rael’s Min­istry of Health’s five drug-cleans­ing units (where the pa­tient is charged with the max­i­mum sum of 600 NIS, around £90).

The next step is a tai­lor-made pro­gramme de­signed to meet the needs of in­di­vid­ual ad­dicts. It could in­clude treat­ment at a day-care fa­cil­ity, in a half-way house — a hos­tel that en­ables the pa­tients in­te­gra­tion back in so­ci­ety — or a stay in a se­cluded ther­a­peu­tic com­mu­nity such as Re­torno, or a com­bi­na­tion of all or some of th­ese. Treat­ment lasts at least a year-and-ahalf and is en­tirely vol­un­tary.

Ac­cord­ing to So­cial Af­fairs Min­istry fig­ures, of the pa­tients who com­pleted the treat­ment, 84 per cent stayed clean for at least a year and 54 per cent man­aged to stay clean for five years.

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