Alcoholic beverages are as old as the world itself, but Jews have been reported to be moderate drinkers and infrequent drunkards. During the last two decades it has become evident that Israel, too, faces a steadily growing problem of alcohol addiction.
Until the mid-60s, alcohol addicts were rather inconspicuous in the general population of Israel; they were middleaged men or older, and most of them had been born abroad. Occasionally, Israel-born or female alcoholics were encountered. Nearly all were employed, had a steady income, were well fed, and led a regular social life. Some of them underwent psychiatric treatment. They were admitted to general hospitals when the alcohol damage, mostly to the liver, became clinically evident or for conditions unrelated to their drinking habits. The clinical and pathological changes in these cases were similar to those found by others.1
Reports published during the last 13 years indicate a sharp