The use of illicit drugs has seen an upswing during the last years in the West Bank. Tracking synthesis and possession of high-risk drugs and new psychoactive substances in a society is important for policy makers in order to investigate the circumstances and impact of these substances.
The overall objective of this study was to provide insight into the extent of illicit substance use and possession among Palestinians in the West Bank in the years 2010-2014 in order to assess the risk of these drugs, and explore new forms in order to raise awareness of these drugs.
Materials and Methods:
Data analysed in this study were derived from all files (3674) of persons convicted of illegal drug possession in all anti-narcotic departments in the West Bank from the year 2010 to 2014. The study was carried out in accordance with the ethical standards, Declarations of Helsinki.
Results and Conclusion:
Most drug users and possessors (99%) were young males, 55.9% in the age group 18-<30, 48.8% singles, and 57.5% with a primary level of education or illiterate. The majority (81.8%) has used drugs for more than 1 year. The most common seized and used substances were cannabis, hashish (74.3%) and marijuana (15.2%), followed by synthetic cannabinoids, hydro (26.6%). Ecstasy was used (3.6%) more than heroin and cocaine combined (3.3%). Less common seized and used substances were prescribed drugs such as tramadol, methadone, clonex, and assival. A new homemade manufactured liquid drug used as alternative to Viagra, with a street name GG, was identified to be liquid methamphetamine. In general, there was a clear trend of using synthetic cannabinoids and liquid amphetamine starting from the year 2013 in prefer to other used or seized substances. In conclusion: There is a trend in emerging new psychoactive substances such as synthetic cannabinoids, manufacturing a new drug such as liquid methamphetamine, and cultivating illegal drugs such as marijuana. These results are important for prevention, treatment and control and for law enforcement in the West Bank. Policies, strategies and action plans in the controlling new substances should be developed taking into account local and regional socioeconomic issues.