ISRAELI REHAB IN NUMBERS
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.