Hey, remember your first Israel trip? Now picture yourself standing with your three best friends from the program you went on…well, according to an article in the JTA, one of the four of you experimented with drugs while you were there. (Actually, if you include “alcohol” as a drug, you can pretty much up the percentage to 75 percent. And that’s a generous estimate. In some groups, it’s 100 percent.)

The JTA article was posted after a group of three American students from Maryland were arrested with 3.3 pounds of marijuana, and a 17-year-old Israeli kid was arrested on suspicion of selling it to them. The kids were expelled from their program, and remanded into the custody of their parents.

So say ‘nope’ to dope, and ‘not!’ to pot, and ‘are you insane’ to cocaine, and think before you drink, and don’t dial drunk or IM and imbibe, and don’t play the lotto whilst blotto, and don’t pet a skunk when you’re drunk, and a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

And stay in school. No, really. This real-world bill-paying gig sucks.

But seriously, if you have a problem with substance abuse and are looking for a safe space to share your concerns anonymously, check out TheLockers.net.

About the author

Esther Kustanowitz

For more posts by Esther, see EstherK.com, MyUrbanKvetch.com and JDatersAnonymous.com.


  • Really I agree with the last few lines in the article….

    I went to a bar for the first time in my Shana B’Aretz. I was legal there. And I only got slightly drunk (on whiskey and a girly drink thing no less..)…and that was only thre second time in my life (the first was an accident…at a family smicha
    Since then, I have a totla of one drink in college (still a shot of scotch), but most people I know from high school already drink in college, and have a high somfort level with it becuase they were drinking at kiddushes in high school.

    Same with pot…most people I knew of were either trying pot in high school or hung around a lot of people who were trying this stuff in high school, and when they were alone for the first time….well then.

    I mean, considering that one of the most memorable moments in my year there was being told off about the dating thing by a guy who was really attracked to me (and admitted as such), only after he took a shot to steel his nerves.

    It is not unusual anymore. Guess what, we are the most overexposed and cosmopolitan generation in a while becuase of the media. We have no idea what to do with our cosmo[politaness (true for everyone), but it is there.

    Probably why now the jewish community keeps having discussions about what to do, rather than causes behind….

  • 3.3 pounds? Of actual honest-to-Jah ganja? 3.3 pounds of the sticky icky sinsemilla? Not just more coma-inducing Lebanese hashish? And they impounded it? Did they leave a number where they could be reached?!

    Er, uh, I mean, good post, Esther. You know, say “not for me-a” to “sinsemilla” or whatever. Yeah. I’m straight edge, mothafucka!

  • what’s with the after school special vibe? people should try a little bit of everything, if they are so inclined. moderation is the key. i mean i draw the line at cocaine and heroine, but that’s just me.
    also, Lee, did you go to Brigham Young? Otherwise I can’t possibly imagine why it should suprise you that people in college are “already” drinking. Here at good state (party) university, I would wager that most people imbibe more alcohol in these three or four or however many undergraduate years than they will in the entire remainder of their post-grad lives.
    anyway the 3.3 pounds sounds really implausible to me. talk about shopping in bulk. it’s an appropriate amount to buy if you’re ridiculously loaded and dying to get arrested, though.

  • careful w./ the lockers.net, they have parents posting as kids there.

    3.3 pounds means they were intending to deal. They would have gotten jail time in the US.

    Personally, I have never seen the big deal w/ these drugs. They’re ok, but if you throw them away, life is still the same.
    But keep in mind that we live in an alchohol culture, alchohol is worse than weed. by many miles.

  • Actually I’m an ex-yeshiva student in a big, private, secular university.

    It’s only suprising in the sense tha what was once thought of as among the most protected of communities have now turned into the New bad Catholic boys and girls…

    If you get the reference.

    The thing is, why do people get so shocked…why the stories…get real.

    I’m not going to lie, there is a delay from my secular (or whatever they are) peers most likely for all this shtus, but still, get off your high horses Orthodox Land and come to see that we are pretty nomral, and all the craziness of the nomral world also affects us.

    Sorry for blowing off some steam

  • thanks for this post esther. substance abuse is a huge problem for teens, college students, adults, even senior citizens. for many it can be a life-long illness. in addition to being physically dangerous to the addict, additcion to drugs and alcohol can affect the lives of friends and family members who blame themselves, take the addicts destructive behavior personally, and feel helpless when it comes to taking any action. this is called codependency. Al-Anon is a great resource for those who are affected by a family member, partner, or friend who is dealing with addiction. they even have support groups! while the addict is the only one who can decide to take control of his or her life, al-anon has resources for family and friends to get through life while knowing someone you care about is dealing (or not dealing) with a serious diseast.
    there is a also JACS an organization for Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons and Significant Others. especially as passover approaches, it can be a hard time – addiction isn’t something most people talk about in religious communities. luckily, it is something that can be dealt with if the addict decides to put his/her life back on track.

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