Arab Youth Using Drugs

Ad Feedback - RAMALLAH - Results of a study released Wednesday reveal that drug use among Arab teens exceeds that of their Jewish counterparts.

According to a study by the Israeli Anti-Drug Abuse Foundation (IADAF), 12 percent of Arab youths are using drugs, including heroin and cocaine.

"The gap ranges between 4 and 12 percent," Walid Hadad, the foundation's inspector for the Arab sector, told participants of a conference sponsored by IADAF.

"Jewish youths are afraid of having a criminal record, but for an Arab youth, this does not pose a threat," he said.

The study's data, collected from Jewish and Arab youth ranging in age from 12 to 18, showed that while the same percentage of youth from both sectors tried cannabis, only 2 percent of Jewish teens used with it with any regularity.

"In the Jewish sector, there is such a thing as casual drug use, but in the Arab sector this does not exist," he said. "Whoever tries it - a drug - just once is hooked," Hadad said.

With hard drugs, the gap widened. While 1 percent of Jewish youth reported trying heroin or cocaine, 5 percent of Arab teens are users.

"The data is concerning and should alarm all of us," Hadad said.

"Unfortunately, there are no extensive anti-drug programs offered at Arab schools for young ages so this is what we have," criminologist Dr. Yuval Shimshon, who attended the conference, said.

Source: YNet news

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