Drug Addicts South African Townships’ Addictive Drug Cocktail

Hoodlums have used a small farming community in South Africa as a place where young men and women surround to smoke mixture of heroin.

  • Published:
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

Dishevelled young men and women surround the corner shops of a small farming community in north-eastern South Africa smoking "nyaope" - a uniquely South African cocktail of drugs.

A mixture of low grade heroin, marijuana, cleaning detergents, rat poison and chlorine, nyaope is cheap costing only about $2 (£1.36) for a hit.

"I need help; I'm desperate to stop but it's just so hard," says Nomsa Mahlangu, tears rolling down her chapped cheeks.

"This drug has turned me into a thief because I steal from my family and neighbours to pay for my addiction."

Easily accessible from dealers around the shops of the township in Delmas in Mpumalanga province, the group she is with is smoking in public view: They prepare joints and then suck up a white powder before lighting up.

It is a scene common across the country, affecting tens of thousands of young people.

Ms Mahlangu has an enormous scar on the side of her face; she tells me she was stabbed with a broken beer bottle after she was caught stealing last September.

Another young man who will not disclose his name is visibly stoned; he appears to be falling asleep while leaning on the shop window.

I asked him how he is feeling. The 22-year-old smiles and shrugs his shoulder: "I'm in heaven."

His friends, whose thumbs, index fingers and lips are partially burnt, burst out laughing.

They tell me that throwing away a butt is akin to throwing away money - so they pull on it until there is nothing left, sometimes burning their hands and mouths.

As I watch them smoke, some explain that they became addicted because they were experimenting with drugs; others tell me that the frustration of not finding jobs led them to drugs.

Unconventional rehab

"Heaven" is short-lived as the effects wear off in a few hours, but trying to stop altogether can be hell for the addicts - and is expensive because of the medication needed to treat withdrawal symptoms.

Despite the disillusionment in the township, one man has decided that there is hope for drug addicts after seeing his own son "wasting his life".

Ms Mahlangu has an enormous scar on the side of her face; she tells me she was stabbed with a broken beer bottle after she was caught stealing last September.

Another young man who will not disclose his name is visibly stoned; he appears to be falling asleep while leaning on the shop window.

I asked him how he is feeling. The 22-year-old smiles and shrugs his shoulder: "I'm in heaven."

His friends, whose thumbs, index fingers and lips are partially burnt, burst out laughing.

They tell me that throwing away a butt is akin to throwing away money - so they pull on it until there is nothing left, sometimes burning their hands and mouths.

As I watch them smoke, some explain that they became addicted because they were experimenting with drugs; others tell me that the frustration of not finding jobs led them to drugs.

Source: BBC

Download our mobile app today.

Android - Google Play Store

iPhone - Apple App Store

Recommended Articles

Recommended Videos




Top Articles

1 In Central Region Police intercept a bunch of cedi notes in over 30...bullet
2 Election 2016 Ghana's presidential candidates make final push before votebullet
3 Redevelopment Mahama opens Kejetia market today [Photos]bullet
4 Electoral Commission My husband did not design new EC logo -...bullet
5 Chaos At Bus Stations NDC, NPP hijack buses at terminals as...bullet
6 2016 elections Nana Addo has won spiritually but… - Prophetbullet
7 Election 2016 Ghana's opposition candidate 'confident' he's wonbullet
8 Election 2016 Weapons allegedly seized from an NDC sympathiserbullet
9 In Eastern Region NDC DCE robbed at gunpointbullet
10 Judgment debt Supreme Court adjourns Amidu vs Woyome...bullet

Top Videos

1 Kwame Nkrumah Interchange Water leaks from hole in wall at new Kwame...bullet
2 Video IEA Presidential Townhall 2016bullet
3 Woyome Judgement Debt Kweku Baako dances over Amidu's winbullet
4 Obinim saga We had sex only once - Obinim victims confessbullet
5 Elections 2016 Nana Addo holds conference in Kumasi ahead of Dec...bullet
6 Watch Kumchacha delivers Counselor Lutterodt from 'demons'bullet
7 Obinim What happen'd when we fact checked Obinim's Bible...bullet
8 Video Florence Obinim defends husband Bishop Obinimbullet
9 Bishop Obinim Saga Teenagers disciplined by Obinim speak outbullet
10 Obinim Pastor charged with assault; sent to CID...bullet

News