The Regional Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research (RADAR) Center, Ben Gurion University (BGU) conducts substance use and addiction research, education and training for policy and prevention purposes.  It has received recognition and award from the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for its contributions to scientific diplomacy through outstanding efforts in international collaborative research on drug abuse and addiction.

Established in 1996, the BGU RADAR Center promotes research initiatives with US government agencies including NIDA, Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Agency for International Development (USAID) as well as the  United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Israel Ministries - Foreign Affairs, Health, Education, and Social Affairs/Services, and universities throughout United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and elsewhere.

International Development

  • University of Colorado – Anschutz Medical Campus (CU) and the RADAR Center held a symposium in January (2018) to discuss the health implications of cannabis use in Colorado and Israel. Key decision makers from Colorado state government agencies, private foundations and the University of Colorado met with Israeli government personnel, Negev-based community/program representatives, and multidisciplinary BGU faculty members. 

  • A memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed by CU and BGU officials to promote substance use research, education, training and exchange. This initiative involves faculty members and students from medicine, nursing, pharmacy, emergency medical services, social work, gerontology and community service. 

  • Multi-disciplinary BGU faculties and departments, along with international experts, are working with the RADAR Center on key issues of medical marijuana. 

  • University of Colorado-Anschutz Medical Campus, University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Southern California (USC), New York University (NYU), Rutgers University, State University of New York (SUNY), University of Vermont and universities worldwide work with the RADAR Center to generate usable knowledge for substance use policy and prevention purposes. 

Research, Publications and Presentations

Multi-disciplinary research is being conducted of "Medical Marijuana: Attitudes, Beliefs and Knowledge" of university students from medicine and allied health disciplines.  The research, in cooperation with the University of Colorado- Anschutz Medical Campus, will include universities world-wide cooperating with the RADAR Center.

University of Colorado-Anschutz Medical Campus has announced cooperation with the BGU RADAR Center for the Mower International Visiting Scholar and Academic Fellowship Programs (see http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/medicalschool/centers/BioethicsHumanities/research/Pages/Mower-Visiting-Scholar-at-Ben-Gurion-University.aspx)  ​

USAID (Washington, D.C.) has approved the RADAR Center multi-year plan to develop and disseminate an evidence-based healthcare professional training program to address tobacco use among young adults and family members.

“Health Implications of Marijuana Use: The Colorado Experience for Informed Decision-Making in Israel" has been published as a special issue of the peer reviewed International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.

Mental Health and Addiction Care in the Middle East has been recently published by Springer International Publications. This volume, along with the RADAR Center's Drug Problems: Cross Cultural Policy and Program Development; and, Drug Use, Policy and Management are the only books in             English focused on drug use in Israel and neighboring countries.

The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Initiative (UNICRI), Drug Alcohol Women Network (DAWN) has published the RADAR Center chapter “Former Soviet Union Immigrant Women: Drug Use Profiles and Special Needs" in Promoting a Gender Responsive Approach to Drug Addiction.

The directors of the BGU RADAR Center and Post-Master's Certificate Program in the Clinical Approaches to Addictions, New York University Silver School of Social Work have co-authored “Alcohol and Drug Problems: Overview" for the 21st Edition of the National Association of Social Work Encyclopedia that will be published by Oxford University Press.

The RADAR Center is working with government and non-government agencies on developing a substance use monitoring and surveillance for the Negev region of the country.

 Substance Misuse and Trauma​

The RADAR Center maintains a fundamental position of providing relevant information to promote informed decision making for human service policy and program service personnel. Through training, education and research conducted cooperatively with international experts and their respective organizations, usable information is continuously being generated to improve the quality of life among people in the Negev and throughout our country.

In partnership with the State University of New York - Institute for Disaster Mental Health, with support from the US Agency for International Development, materials have been prepared to address short-term mental health needs of children, parents and caregivers. Such information is available in English, Arabic and Hebrew and Russian language.

Negev Project Vision

For more than 20 years, Ben Gurion University RADAR Center - Negev Project Vision (NPV) has been addressing the vision needs of people with disabilities and/or chronic illness throughout the Negev. The initiative is a result of RADAR Center Director (Dr. Richard Isralowitz) efforts in Africa for the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. NPV is a community based initiative, linking students and faculty of Ben Gurion University with medical and other eye care specialists, to promote education and research through community service. In cooperation with Kupat Holim Clalit and the Department of Ophthalmology, Soroka Medical Center, more than 40,000 people have received NPV service.

Education, Training and Program Development

The RADAR Center and the BGU Recanati Dept. of Nursing - Mower Curriculum for the Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse are working together on research, education and training efforts.


For further information about the RADAR Center contact:

Richard Isralowitz, Ph.D.
Director and Professor (Emeritus)
Regional Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research (RADAR) Center
e-mail: Richard@bgu.ac.il