Ben Gurion University
Regional Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Center
Spitzer Department of Social Work
“Activities Overview”

The Regional Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research (RADAR) Center, Spitzer Department of Social Work, Ben Gurion University promotes education, training and research contributing to informed policy and prevention/treatment program decision-making.  The Center targets the needs of youth and young adults, women, immigrants, the elderly and others throughout the region including people in rural and remote areas.

Since 1995, the RADAR Center has promoted cooperation with the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), US Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, US Agency for International Development, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Israel Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health and Social Services, and major universities in the United States and Europe.

The following activities reflect the nature and scope of the RADAR Center’s efforts during the past year:

  • the RADAR Center received recognition at the US National Institute on Drug Abuse International Forum (June, 2011) for its Middle East regional efforts with UCLA to promote communication, cooperation and coordination of substance use prevention/treatment training and research;

  • with support from the United States Agency for International Development and cooperation of the Israel Ministry of Education and University of Southern California, a model smoking prevention program is being demonstrated throughout the Negev and Middle East region for high risk youth;  

  • RADAR Center personnel have cooperation with local and regional service providers to research patterns of alcohol, prescription drugs and other harmful substances among youth with learning disabilities and behavioral problems, school drop outs, underserved indigenous populations including Bedouin and immigrants, adults receiving drug treatment services and older adults residing in independent living facilities;

  • RADAR Center personnel are contributing to academic courses and workshops providing knowledge and awareness of current alcohol and drug use/abuse issues.  Specific issues include of substance abuse prevention and treatment as well as gambling and other compulsive problem behaviors, drug prevention/treatment services evaluation, drug policy, and drug problems among immigrant populations;

  • invited presentations titled “Nonmedical Prescription Drug Use Among Israeli School Dropouts” and “Understanding and Responding to Trauma-Related Substance Abuse” were given at the NIDA International Forum and the 8th Annual Institute for Disaster Mental Health Conference sponsored by the New York State Office of Emergency Management;

  • three books were published addressing issues of alcohol, illicit drugs and substance use among immigrants from the Former Soviet Union.  The books on alcohol and illicit drugs have been published in e-book and hard copy formats. Additionally, 5 scientific articles have been published titled  “Ethnicity and Inhalant Use among High-Risk Youth”; “Patterns of Alcohol Use among Israeli High Risk Youth, 2004-2009”; “Prescription Drug Use Trends among Israeli School Dropouts: An Analysis of Gender and Country of Origin”; “Binge Drinking among Israeli Hospitality Workers”; and, “Work Alienation, Patterns of Substance Use and Country of Origin among Male Hospitality Workers in Israel”;  

  • the RADAR Center hosted a Fulbright scholar from Rutgers University to address the needs of vulnerable populations including those with substance abuse problems;

  • two international workshops were conducted to promote Middle East regional cooperation sponsored by the US Agency for International Development. The workshops addressed substance abuse and other mental health issues in emergency conditions; and,

  • a comprehensive evaluation of drug treatment among high risk youth, the first in Israel, has been completed.   

Further information including details about opportunities for cross cultural research and faculty exchange should be sent to:
Richard Isralowitz, Ph.D.
Professor and Director
Regional Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Center
Spitzer Department of Social Work
Ben Gurion University
To visit the RADAR Center web site click here