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Israeli Monitoring Center on Drugs and Alcohol

IMCDA

The Israeli Monitoring Center for Drugs and Alcohol (IMCDA) was established in October 2010 by the Israel Anti-Drug Authority (IADA) to enhance the scientific evidence base for policy and programs related to drugs and alcohol, to support on-going interagency cooperation and to enhance cross-national sharing of information and experience. The IMCDA is modeled after the EMCDDA and is being developed and implemented with close support and advice from EMCDDA.

The IMCDA is intended to become the main national partnership network and user-friendly information system for the collection, processing and distribution of all data on drug and alcohol abuse and interventions in Israel.It will serve as an essential arm of IADA, promoting evidence-based practices, policies and legislation and facilitating the development of best practice models for Israeli fieldworkers and decision-makers. The IMCDA will aid national partners in the coordination of prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, enforcement, research, information flow, policy and legislative initiatives in the field of drugs and alcohol abuse. 

General population surveys:

a. The WHO-Health Behavior in School-Aged Children (HBSC) survey carried out every 2 years on a large representative sample of youth 11-18 years old. This survey system is being adapted to include an ESPAD component once every 4 years to enable comparative data with ESPAD countries.
b. Adult Epidemiology HH Survey of Drugs and Alcohol to be implemented every 2 years on a representative sample of 18-60 year old persons, enabling calculation of rates for major cities and specific target populations such as immigrants and other minorities.
c. Drugs and alcohol in higher education - an epidemiology survey carried out on samples of student in colleges and universities in Israel.
d. A Short-Term Monitoring Survey (STMS) named "Finger on the Pulse".
The STMS is a web-based survey implemented every 3-4 months on 1,500 respondents who are randomly sampled from a representative internet panel of over 150,000 individuals. This survey provides on-going information on:
• Changing attitudes
• Exposure to new substances
• Exposure to intervention activities
• Exposure to, and effectiveness of campaigns
• Support of legislation and enforcement
• Exposure to, and use of IADA hot lines and web-site
• Attitudes towards the debate about cannabis legalization

Treatment demand

Both ministries of welfare and health have initiated the development of new elaborate computerized systems to gather reliable and complete treatment information from all treatment centers across the country. These new systems include the ASI questionnaire and are compatible with the variables we need for the monitoring center according to the EMCDDA methods. The data currently available is not complete. The new computerized systems will mature during 2014 and we will be investigating the challenging task of pooling data together to a national observatory. This task is quite problematic and sensitive due to legal issues. It might be the case that data will be based on "budget per product" rather than by treatment until we find a better solution. The good news is that the partnership with both ministries is very close and productive so that the national data will be accurate and complete and that reliable and timely reports will be possible.

Drug related infectious diseases (HIV, HCV, HBV)

We have established an on-going collaboration with the representatives of the HIV and TB department in the ministry of health. Data on all incidents of drug related infections of HIV and TB are being reported to the IMCDA by the Ministry of Health every 6 months. There is a lag of one year between the gathering of initial information and the dissemination of data due to the process needed to make sure the infection is actually related to needle exchange.
Efforts currently are focused on improving the reporting process. The data for this indicator is included in the IMCDA 1st national report and in the annual "Key Data on Drugs and Alcohol" publication.

Drug related deaths and mortality 

We have pooled the available data from the Census Bureau and have included them in our upcoming reports. However, as in many other countries in Europe, we are faced with a major under-reporting of drug related deaths due to the absence of mandatory gathering of drug data in death events. We are currently using the data with caution and will embark on an interagency attempt to improve processes and legislation that will lead to improved coverage of this issue.

Problem drug use: Prevalence & patterns of problem drug use

IMCDA staff learned about the complicity of establishing this indicator during the visit of OFDT staff in Israel. Consequently we met with the person responsible for providing authorization for individual problem drug uses to receive funds from the national security compensation for addicts. We have inserted additional items to questionnaires used by him and by another 2 organizations that work directly with the addicted population to enhance the data coverage on this topic. Currently we have partial epidemiological data on this topic and are working to improve the source of data and coverage to enable a more complete and reliable set of information.

Drug seizure information

Data has been pooled, and is available in the monitoring system. Upcoming reports and publications will include the current information.

Price, purity & potency information

Data has been pooled, and is available in the monitoring system. Upcoming reports and publications will include the current information.

Enforcement:

Data has been pooled, and is available in the monitoring system. Upcoming reports and publications will include the current information.

Drugs in Prisons:

Data has been pooled, and is available in the monitoring system. Upcoming reports and publications will include the current information.

Drugs and alcohol in the work place:

In collaboration with the Division of Prevention and Education that is implementing an intervention strategy for the workplace, we are developing a survey instrument that will enable gathering and monitoring data on drugs and alcohol in the workplace in Israel, and serve as an evaluation tool for the intervention activities.

 

 
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