One of every five Israeli teens know where to buy hashish, one in 10 knows how to purchase ecstasy pills, and almost 40% admit they drank alcohol at least once this year, an Israel Anti-Drug Authority poll says.
The poll, published Sunday, was conducted among 7,700 students in grades 7-12, throughout 185 high schools in Israel.
Since the poll was conducted last in 2005, the number of teens admitting to having experimented with alcohol has risen by 18.5%.
More than 60,000 teens aged 12-18 reported having used an illegal drug of some sort, and 3% said they used Ritalin without a prescription.
There was also an 8.3% rise in the number of teens reporting that they have smoked hashish or marijuana. One in five teens admits to having smoked cigarettes or hookah pipes.
Conductors of the poll claim that the level of danger associated with a certain drug depends on the wideness of its use.
"About a fifth of students see nothing dangerous in the use of illegal substances. Around 8% say they will accept hashish from their friends if offered, and around 4% say they will accept ecstasy," the poll says.
Among the 4,657 adults polled there were fewer smokers and consumers of alcohol, but more admitted to using stimulants or sedatives. One in five adults between the ages of 18-40 say hashish and marijuana are not dangerous drugs.
IADA Director-General Yair Geller explained that the authority has invested many resources in anti-drug activities and enforcement within communities in an effort to minimize teen drug abuse.
"In this field there have been many successes," he explained. "However on the subject of alcohol, which has not been touched lately, we are witnessing especially difficult data seeing as alcohol is the number one cause of violence. Our main goal for the next few years is to minimize alcohol abuse."
The government is scheduled to vote Sunday on a bill delineating the state's battle against teen alcohol consumption. In addition, beginning Sunday the IDF will hold a drug and alcohol awareness week for troops.