Immigration, Acculturation, and Drug Use

  • Alexander Reznik
  • Richard IsralowitzEmail author
Part of the Advances in Mental Health and Addiction book series (AMHA)


Israel is a nation of immigrants from many countries. From 1989 to 1998, the Israeli population of 4.5 million rose about 20 % primarily from the nearly one million Soviet immigrants, mostly from Russia and the Ukraine, who entered the country. A large proportion of the Russian-speaking immigrants had training and education in a variety of technical and professional fields, and success was an important component of their world view and culture. However, there were immigrants who arrived in Israel with drug abuse problems and others became addicted during the absorption process. Presently, Russian-speaking immigrants are 13 % of the Israel population, but about 25 % of the illicit drug users in the country. Difficulties with the process of acculturation have been linked to the development of emotional and behavioral problems including mental illness, delinquency, and alcohol and drug abuse. And, alcohol and drug use emerges as a coping mechanism to mitigate the stresses that immigrants encounter in the host society. This chapter examines the dynamic and highly complex process of acculturation that can lead to mental health and addiction related problems. A number of conceptual models of acculturation are presented applicable to many different people in many different countries.


Drug User Former Soviet Union Host Society Drug Abuse Problem Addiction Severity Index 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Senior Research AssociateRegional Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research (RADAR) Center, Ben Gurion UniversityBeer ShevaIsrael
  2. 2.Spitzer Department of Social Work, Ben Gurion UniversityBeer ShevaIsrael

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