UN Report: 1.9% of Israel's teens have used heroin at least once

According to the 2009 "World Drug Report" released by the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Israel is among the world's leading countries for heroin use among youth. The report claims that 1.9% of Israeli youth between the ages of 12-18 - some 10,545 youngsters - have used heroin at least once in the past year. Shamai Golan, spokesman for the Israel Anti-Drug Authority, said that the number in the UNODC report is from 2005, and that despite it being higher than numbers for many other countries, doesn't necessarily reflect reality. He told the The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that an estimated 4 tons of heroin enter the country each year, and that the drug is not mainly used by youth, but by seasoned addicts throughout the country, who number about 15,000. The "World Drug Report" also showed Israel to be notable for the amount of ecstasy that was seized in 2007, which amounts to 2% of the amount seized worldwide - more than in England, Italy or Spain. However, Golan doesn't think that heroin and ecstasy are the main drug issues in Israel. "The problem in Israel is party drugs," he said. "Marijuana, hashish, and more recently, cocaine."