Nyaope: The Street Drug that Kills

Nyaope, a street drug that is prevalent in South Africa, is a mixture of low-grade heroin, cannabis products, antiretroviral medications, and other substances used as cutting agents. It is a highly physically addictive stimulant that users smoke and even inject.

Nyaope: The drug that is killing the youth of South Africa

Faith Mangope is in conversation with the Operations Director at ARCA Natrishka Naidoo, clinical and awareness counsellor at Second Chance Recovery Centre Solomon Legodi as well as a former nyaope addict identified as Fanela.

Nyaope is anti-discriminatory, as demonstrated in a podcast with renowned podcaster Faith Mangope. Mangope had lost a cousin to a nyaope overdose.

“Have we given up on our young people that are addicted to this substance?” Faith Mangope

Nyaope is Killing our Youth

Nyaope is a highly addictive drug that is currently causing harm to South Africa; its implications have wreaked havoc on the country’s youth. Doctors in Johannesburg report an increase in the number of patients who have suffered heart damage as a result of injecting nyaope. Children as young as 11 years old are using drugs in school, according to awareness counsellor Solomon Legodi. This is because children witness their older siblings or parents involved in substance abuse.

According to former Nyaope addict Fanela, one way for parents to determine if their children are using nyaope is to observe their behaviour.

Behavioral Signs Of Nyaope Addiction, include:

  • Having a hard time at work or school, or not being able to do your job well.
  • Getting into trouble all the time (fights, accidents, illegal activities).
  • Using drugs or alcohol in dangerous situations, like when they are driving or operating a machine.
  • Engaging in behaviour that is secretive or suspicious.
  • Changes in eating and sleeping
  • In other words, changes in your personality or attitude.
  • Some people get moody and they get irritable or angry.
  • Periods of hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness that aren’t normal.
  • Lack of enthusiasm.
  • Being afraid, anxious, or paranoid without having a good reason to be.

Nyaope Affects Communities and Families

Families suffer numerous negative consequences as a result of having an addicted member; for example, the addition of family members to nyaope creates disharmony and conflict between the addicted people’s families. Additionally, relatives experience grief, guilt, and helplessness; yet, families are afraid or ashamed of the addicted loved one’s bad behaviour and thus struggle to cope within the family and community.

“In my location there is alot of dealers, maybe 6 or 7 around where I’m staying” Fanela (former addict)

Withdrawal Symptoms from Nyaope

Because of the addiction, the withdrawal symptoms can be very bad, and one reason why people smoke so often is to stop their cravings.

When an individual stops using nyaope either by choice or not, they will go through extremely painful withdrawals such as:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Yawning or sneezing in excess
  • Constipation
  • Cramps in the muscles and bones
  • Sweats
  • Chills
  • Spasms
  • Diarrhea
  • itching

Why is it so difficult to stop using nyaope?

According to Natrishka Naidoo, director of the ARCA rehabilitation centre in Johannesburg, users continue to seek the high as their tolerance for the substance increases. Addicts attempt to abstain from the substance, but withdrawal symptoms are so severe that they are compelled to continue using.

“I’ve heard a lot of patients come into treatment saying, I’m so tired of this now, and that they not even finding enjoyment from the drug use anymore as the withdrawals are so severe.” Natrishka Naidoo @ ARCA Rehab Johannesburg

The first stage is detox

Due to the discomfort associated with withdrawal and the intensity of the cravings, the initial step should be detoxification at a rehabilitation clinic. To learn more about diagnosis and treatment choices, contact a drug rehabilitation specialist today.