The Israeli police poured out 64,000 bottles of alcohol this year

The Committee on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, under the auspices of MK Mohamed Barakeh, heard a review of the history of the global strategy to reduce the malicious use of alcohol.

To open the conversation, the CEO of the Authority for the War against Drugs and Alcohol, Mr. Yair Geller, said that ”The excessive imbibing of alcohol represents a strategic threat against Israeli society and the Israeli state.” He remarked that while Israel is in 37th place in the world when it comes to alcohol consumption, this is not a time for complacency. He pointed out that every year 9000 criminal cases against violent youths are opened that are related to alcohol use. Ms. Iris Yogev, from the Authority as well, presented the review and said that the malicious use of alcohol is a cause for many diseases. She added that among the central principles of the global strategy to reduce the damage of alcohol consumption is early detection and counseling for people who show early signs of problematic drinking behavior. She also said that the legal infrastructure to prevent the sale of alcohol has proven to be effective. She went on to tell that in Israel, the average alcohol consumption per person per year is 2.5 liters of alcohol while in Europe it is 12.5 liters. She emphasized that the vision behind the global strategy is the improvement of the quality of life of the individual, the family and society by reducing disease and deaths that come as a result of alcohol. The strategy has 5 goals: a. Increasing awareness of the size danger b. expanding the knowledge of the type of damage that can be caused c. Increasing assistance to member states d. Strengthening cooperation and the investment of resources e. The improvement of monitoring.

A number of points came up during the discussion. One is that the treasury is not marking income for taxes on alcohol for the war against alcohol. Another is that there is still no legislation that prohibits the sale of alcohol in school areas. MK Barakeh said that the there is room for making legislation on both of those matters. Dr. Ilan Shemesh, from the Ministry of Education, said that issues with youths consuming alcohol occurs during their free time. She called for the increase in the number of programs that empower youths.