Drugs in the Global Village
Middle East Regional Report

Mode of Intake

Injection is the most predominant method of heroin abuse. The I.V. route is reported becoming more prevalent among abusers because of its quicker effect and cheaper cost. Benzodizepines are usually ingested, and taken in combination with opium and alcohol (U.N. 1990).

Heroin, amphetamines and stimulants are reported to be both injected and sniffed, and opium is ingested and injected. Tranquilizers are reported to be ingested (U.N. 1989, 1990). Multiple drug abuse is reported to occur frequently among the drug abusers in Egypt (65 per cent of the registered abusers used more than one drug) (U.N. 1989).

No information reported by 31st December 1993.

Opium, heroin and cannabis are smoked. Opium is also ingested, and heroin is injected and sniffed (U.N. 1990, 1992).

Although some opiate-type drugs are reported to be injected, intravenous drug abuse is rare in Israel. No unusual mode of intake is reported: heroin is smoked and synthetic narcotic analgesics are ingested. Amphetamines and sedatives (barbiturates, benziodazepines and others) are also ingested. Cannabis is smoked and cocaine is sniffed (U.N. 1991, 1992). Some drugs are taken in combination with others, often mixed with sedative- and amphetamine-types (U.N. 1992).

Heroin and hallucinogens are sniffed, and cannabis and opium are smoked. Traditionally, drugs were abused by smoking but recently, the popularity of sniffing drugs has increased.  The introduction of this method of drug abuse is attributed to an increased exposure to foreign cultures (via the media, visits, etc.) (U.N. 1991).

Approximately 1 to 2 per cent of the drug dependent abusers are intravenous drug abers. When treated, they are reported rapidly converted to oral maintenance (CMO 1991).

Heroin is usually smoked (U.N. 1990). Street heroin, with 29-40 per cent purity, has been reported combined with methaqualone, diazepam, barbiturates and amphetamines (U.N. 1990). Every fourth drug abuser (25 per cent) uses two drugs regularly, and about 10 per cent of abusers use the most common multiple drugs combination of heroin and cannabis (Fourth National Survey 1989). A recent trend of mixing barbiturates with heroin has increased medical problems (ESCAP 1993).

Heroin is smoked and benzodiazepines are ingested. The use of both drugs in combination is reported common (U.N. 1990).

Heroin is injected and sniffed, cannabis is smoked and amphetamines and sedatives are ingested. No combination between different types of drugs is reported (U.N. 1990).


Heroin and opiate-type codeine are both injected and sniffed. Opium and amphetamines are ingested and cocaine is sniffed (U.N. 1990, 1992).

References and notes

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