Alcohol and Nicotine Use Disorders in Israel


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Alcohol consumption in Israel has been shown to be very low in numerous studies conducted since the 1970's. However, evidence now suggests that Israel may now be undergoing a period of change in terms of alcohol consumption, with younger adults and recent Russian immigrants drinking more. Elevated prevalence of ADH1B*2, an allele of a gene involved in the metabolism of alcohol in the liver, is elevated among Jewish groups in general, including Jewish Israelis. (Under an earlier nomenclature, the ADH1B*2 allele was known as ADH2*2.) Thus, Israel presents a unique conjunction of environmental and genetic influences on alcohol consumption and dependence symptoms.

       Findings from this research include:

Topics of current investigation in this area include the interaction of gene and environmental effects in the occurrence of heavy drinking and alcohol dependence symptoms. A population-based study of these issues was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) in 2003.

 Selected Publications:

  Shmulewitz D, Keyes KM, Wall MM, Aharonovich E, Aivadyan C, Greenstein E, Spivak B, Weizman A, Frisch A, Grant BF, Hasin D: Nicotine dependence, abuse, and craving: dimensionality in an Israeli sample. Addiction, in press. PDF

Shmulewitz D, Keyes K, Beseler C, Aharonovich E, Aivadyan C, Spivak B, Hasin D: The dimensionality of alcohol use disorders: results from Israel. Drug Alcohol Depend 111(1-2):146-54, 2010. PDF

Listman JB, Hasin D, Kranzler HR, Malison RT, Mutirangura A, Sughondhabirom A, Aharonovich E, Spivak B, Gelernter J: Identification of population substructure among Jews using STR markers and dependence on reference populations included. BMC Genet 11:48, 2010. PDF

Spivak B, Frisch A, Maman Z, Aharonovich E, Alderson D, Carr LG, Weizman A, Hasin D: Effect of ADH1B genotype on alcohol consumption in young Israeli Jews. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 31(8):1297-301, 2007. PDF

Schiff M, Zweig HH, Benbenishty R, Hasin DS: Exposure to terrorism and Israeli youths' cigarette, alcohol, and cannabis use. Am J Public Health 97(10):1852-8, 2007. PDF

Schiff M, Benbenishty R, McKay M, DeVoe E, Liu X, Hasin D: Exposure to terrorism and Israeli youth's psychological distress and alcohol use: an exploratory study. Am J Addictions 15(3):220-6, 2006. PDF

Hasin D, Aharonovich E, Liu X, Maman Z, Matseoane K, Carr L, Li T: Alcohol and ADH2 in Israel: Ashkenazis, Sephardics and recent Russian Immigrants. American Journal of Psychiatry 159:1432-1434, 2002. PDF

Hasin D, Aharonovich E, Liu X, Maman Z, Matseoane K, Carr L, Li T: Alcohol dependence symptoms and Alcohol Dehydrogenase 2 Polymorphism: Israeli Ashkenazis, Sephardics and recent Russian immigrants. Alcoholism: Clinical Experimental Research 26:1315-1321, 2002. PDF

Neumark Y, Rahav G, Teichman M, Hasin D: Alcohol drinking patterns among Jewish and Arab men and women in Israel. Journal of Studies on Alcohol 62:443-447, 2001. PDF

Aharonovich E, Hasin D, Rahav G, Meydan J, Neumark Y: Differences in drinking patterns among Ashkenazic and Sephardic Israeli adults. Journal of Studies on Alcohol 62:301-305, 2001. PDF

Rahav G, Hasin D, Paykin A: Drinking patterns of recent Russian immigrants and other Israelis: 1995 national survey results. American Journal of Public Health 89:1212-1216, 1999. PDF

Hasin D, Rahav G, Meydan J, Neumark Y: The drinking of earlier and more recent Russian immigrants to Israel: comparison to other Israelis. Journal of Substance Abuse 10:341-353, 1998. PDF

Choose another research area:  Adolescent substance use

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                                                    Measurement issues in substance use and psychiatric disorders

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                                                    State-level influences on drug, alcohol and psychiatric conditions

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