Trends in alcohol use among Israeli high school dropouts, 20042009

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Background and Aims: Alcohol use is a worldwide problem that has a major impact on public health. The harmful use of alcohol is responsible for more than 4% of the global burden of disease. We investigated alcohol use trends and related problem behaviour among school dropouts from Israel. Methods: We studied 470 school dropouts from 2004 to 2009 based on gender and country-of-origin status. Study participants, with a median age of 17, were referred to a residential facility for drug abuse treatment. Results: Age of first use of alcohol was similar for males and females (median age 13); Former Soviet Union (FSU) youths were significantly younger at the age of first drink; and past 30 day alcohol use reflects no gender or country-of-origin status differences. The majority of dropouts reported binge drinking (51.9%); the level of binge drinking was similar among males and females; however, for the past two study years girls reported significantly more binge drinking than males (60.0%; 40.8%; p < 0.05). Conclusions: Alcohol is the most common substance used among school dropouts; and further research is needed to understand and address the many health and safety concerns of this understudied, high-risk group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-501
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Substance Use
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2011


  • Alcohol use
  • Gender and country-of-origin status
  • School dropouts


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