Study finds 5% rise in street youth

"Elem" report: 37% of troubled teens under the age of 16; 70% addicted to hard drugs or alcohol.

jerusalem youth 224.88 (photo credit: Sarah Levin)
jerusalem youth 224.88
(photo credit: Sarah Levin)
In the past year, the number of Israeli street youth rose by 5 percent, while the average age of those youth dropped, a report published on Tuesday stated. Authored by, "Elem," an organization which works with troubled teens, the report also found that the condition of these youth has continued to deteriorate, a fact evidenced by their increased use of alcohol and drugs. The report based its findings on statistics gathered by the Education Ministry regarding students who dropped out of school. However, the report speculates that the actual number of destitute teens was much higher than the official dropout estimates. The current figure puts 37% of troubled teens under the age of 16, including 10 percent between the ages 10 and 14. In addition, the group found that 40% of these teens were recent immigrants. Further, the report stated that the number of homeless girls was on the rise, jumping 25% in 2007, as opposed to 15% in 2004. The report painted a disturbing picture of drug and alcohol use among trouble teens. According to "Elem," 70% of street youth are addicted to either hard drugs or alcohol, as opposed to 30% in the general Israeli teen population.