By Winifred Bulus
South Africa has reported a new dimension in consumption of nyaope (a street drug) which now involves transfusion of blood from an already high addict to a fellow addict in situation where the addict receiving the blood cannot afford the drug.
Whoonga (also known as nyaope or wunga) is a concoction of various substances: rat poison, soap powder and the main ingredient – Anti-retrovirals (ARVs) or Aids medication. It is distributed as a fine white powder which is added to marijuana and/or tobacco. This mixture is smoked – the result is said to be one of the most lethal drugs in the world.
A South Africa media, THE CITIZEN NEWS reports that street addicts of nyaope have moved from smoking to injecting the substance after mixing it with little water, on grounds that smoking it has little effect. The have also introduced a new way of sharing the “highness” with fellow addicts by taking blood from persons that have injected to substance and injecting themselves in order to get high. This is done when the sober addict cannot afford nyaope.
Chair of South Africa Medical Association, Mzukisi Grootboom had expressed sadness due to intense drug use in the country and its effect on the users and even called on the government to take some steps in rescuing the addicts.
“South Africa is battling not only the scourge of certain uniquely South African illicit ‘street drugs’, such as nyaope, but also the increasing abuse of legal medications, such as ARVs, painkillers and cough syrup, leading to what has been called ‘silent addictions’.”
“The abuse of all forms of drugs is a huge problem that needs urgent attention, and we applaud the SA National Council for Alcoholism and Drug Dependence’s efforts to deal with it,” the paper quoted him.
In 2013 Harmony Addiction Clinic in South Africa reported that “the Central Drug Authority’s (CDA) Dr. David Bayever reckons that 15% of South Africans abuse drugs.” The Clinic also recorded that, one out of two school children have experimented the drugs.