Calls to Drugsline double

By James Martin, February 18, 2010

The drugs helpline set up by a Chabad rabbi is reporting a 100 per cent rise in Jewish callers.

Drugsline, providing confidential information and support for people with drug and alcohol problems, says that 168 callers in 2009 identified themselves as Jewish. In 2008, the number was 85.

Of the 168, 130 rang over drug issues and 14 about alcohol problems. Twelve people called over both drug and alcohol problems and a further 12 rang about other addictions. Calls were from both users, friends and family.

"There is a growing drug and alcohol problem across all communities and it is therefore natural for this to be reflected within the Jewish community as well," said Drugsline volunteer co-ordinator Chavi Sufrin.

The increased calls might also reflect that "we as a community are making progress with tackling the stigma attached to drug and alcohol use. We hope more people feel that they are able to talk about addiction related issues without being judged."

Established by Rabbi Aryeh Sufrin, Drugsline operates from Redbridge and plans to expand into north London.

Last updated: 6:00pm, February 18 2010