Nyaope – the “drug of choice” amongst youth in South Africa.

in SOUTH AFRICA / Health & Environment

LESEGO-TAU-145x150By: Lesego Tau

January 29, 2013
The drug Nyaope made a name for itself between 2000 and 2006 in the Tshwane townships        of Soshanguve, Attridgeville and Mamelodi. Now, Nyaope (a deadly mix of dagga and cheap heroin) is becoming  the “drug of choice” among thousands of youth across South Africa.

According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group, statistics show:

-Drug consumption in South Africa is twice the world norm.

-There seems to be a predominance of students using Marijuana and Nyaope in many schools across the country. Most of the school kids that use the drug are 3 times more involved with violent crimes.

-According to the South African Police Service figures, 60 percent of crimes nationally are related to substance abuse.

Nyaope abusers are typically between 13 and 19 years old.The drug is cheap– about R30 a straw and is easily obtainable. Nyaope is a highly addictive drub, which is sometimes mixed with bicarbonate of soda,pool cleaner even Rattex to make the “high”stronger and last longer.

Nyaope is smoked by heating it up and inhaling the fumes.The rush and “euphoria” users feel initially, or the drowsiness and feeling of being relaxed caused by heavier doses, are soon to be replaced by the harsh realities of heroin addiction. The heroin in Nyaope force addicts to use increasingly stronger mixtures of the drug to get “high,” until they are physically heroin dependent.

Nyaope may be cheap to buy, but it is not cheap to treat. Treatment for heroin addiction is expensive because of the medication needed to handle withdrawal symptoms. I believe that with the rise in heroin addiction in South Africa because of drugs like Nyaope, there may be an increase in HIV infections because users tend to share needles. While Nyaope  may make people feel good for a while, the consequences are dire.’’Addicts often become involved in crime and prostitution in order to get their next hit”, they often lead disorganised lives,they don’t think rationally and forget who they are in terms of their values and beliefs. They lie,cheat and steal just to get the drug.

Nuyaope is destroying lives and families across South Africa. I believe we need to create much more awareness about drugs like Nyaope and try to offer better options to people whose lives have been destroyed by the drug abuse. Nyaope is not a new drug, but its killing our youth and destroying our communities.


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