An all-time high in the use of narcotic painkillers in Israel, which places Israel in the world's top 11 place in opiate consumption and the first place in terms of the rate of increase in their use, according to an official report published yesterday by the OECD.
This is due to the fact that patients who seek cannabis treatment in Israel are forced by the Ministry of Health to "exhaust" the treatment of opioid pain relievers firsthand, and only when they do not help is their application for a medical cannabis license considered.
The meaning of this "extraction" of medication is for pain patients such as the use of narcotic painkillers for at least a year - during which quite a few of them become addicted to the same dangerous substances.
The use of these painkillers, especially opiates such as morphine, oxycontin, and pentanil, has been increasing in recent years, causing tens of thousands of deaths every year.
Now, in a new report published yesterday (16.5), the OECD reveals where Israel stands relative to the rest of the Western world - and the picture is worrisome.
According to OECD figures, Israel is in the 11 place of the member countries of the organization in the amount of opioid painkillers recorded in relation to population size.
The data reveal an even more serious conclusion: Israel doubled its use of opioid analgesics by 2 between 2011 and 2016.
This figure is the The highest increase Which was recorded in these years in all countries that are members of the OECD, and in fact throughout the Western world.
In 2011, the average daily dose of opiates in the registry in Israel was less than half the average of the OECD, and now it has passed it for the first time.
When it comes to misuse of opiates, the data are less clear. Israel is in place of 24 of the countries in the organization in the amount of opiates seized by the police - this includes illegal opiates such as heroin and medical opiates seized by those who have no prescription for them.
This gap between the amount of opiates registered for patients in Israel and the amount that the police take in those who do not have a prescription shows that the expansion of medical use of opiates in Israel has not yet led to an epidemic of abuse or that the police do not act sufficiently against the phenomenon.
However, as they showed Studies In the past, the increased number of prescriptions for opioid analgesics eventually leads to increased abuse.
For example, in the United States, which multiplied by 3 the number of opiate prescriptions between 1991 and 2011, there was also an increase of 3 in the number of opioid overdose deaths that are mainly due to abuse, according to the National Institute for Drug Abuse.
The new OECD report has no data on deaths from opioids in Israel, since the State of Israel does not collect this data.
Official data and research Released In recent years, they have shown time and time again that countries that have facilitated the use of cannabis have been reduced in the use of painkillers and dangerous drugs.