Home / Drug Addiction / Nyaope Addiction
  • What is a Nyaope addiction
    • Nyaope is a street drug that has come into widespread use across South Africa, especially in the poorer communities and informal settlements. It is a cocktail of various ingredients; the primary active ingredient being low-grade heroin, which is cut with various other substances such as Methamphetamine to bulk up the weight and price of the product. Media reports trace its origin to the Soshanguve and Mamelodi townships in Pretoria, in the early 2000’s.  It is known by different street names in other parts of South Africa : ‘whoonga’ or ‘sugars’ in KwaZulu-Natal and ‘pinch’ in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga regions. Nyaope was only classified as illegal in March 2014, with the amendment of the Drugs and Trafficking Act of 2014.
    • Data  gathered by the South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (SACENDU), shows an increase in the number of patients reporting Nyaope as their primary substance of use in both 2017 and 2018 and the numbers are continuing to climb.

      There is a dearth of literature on the use of Nyaope and the impact it has on individuals and communities. What is known about the drug, has been largely reported  by the media and there has been some confusion around it. 

      Addiction to Nyaope is particularly pernicious and requires long-term treatment. Relapse rates are, at the moment, high for a variety of reasons. The mixture of Heroin and other strong chemicals leaves the addict both physically and psychologically dependent. Nyaope causes major changes to the chemistry of the brain. Recovering addicts need to learn new skills and be motivated to cope with the intense cravings that are associated with this addiction.

      Success rates for treatment improve, when the family become involved in the treatment. Successful recovery is very much dependent on the support received, the dedication to the programme and large changes in lifestyle. Standard rehabilitation programmes typically remove the addicted person from his or her social environment for a period, this alone is not sufficient for someone addicted to Nyaope, as after treatment, he or she returns to the same unfavourable social environment and triggers.
  • Methods of use
    • Nyaope is sold in powder form. It can be rolled and smoked with marijuana/tobacco, or it is diluted and injected intravenously.
  • The effects on the user
    • The high from Nyaope creates a feeling of euphoria, contentment and relaxation. The effects of smoking Nyaope are less potent, and as dependency builds, the preferred method changes to  intravenous use as this produces a more intense high. After the initial effects, a feeling of drowsiness can persist for several hours. 
  • Harmful side effects and health risks
    • May include:
      • Nausea
      • Vomiting
      • Infections of the blood, heart, skin, liver and kidneys
      • Respiratory problems
      • Extreme weight loss
      • Tremors
      • Sweating
      • Extreme muscle and bone pain
      • Drowsiness
      • Mood swings
      • Low levels of motivation
      • Mental confusion

      The drug may also trigger psychiatric episodes in people who already have a genetic vulnerability. 
  • Withdrawal symptoms
    • The extreme physical pain that results from abstaining from the drug, creates challenges in successful withdrawal. Nyaope temporarily relieves the pain associated with withdrawal, thereby creating a cyclical pattern of usage. 
    • Symptoms may include:
      • Nausea
      • Vomiting
      • Anxiety
      • Depression
      • Excessive yawning or sneezing
      • Stomach cramps
      • Severe muscle and bone pain
      • Fever
      • Sweats
      • Chills
      • Involuntary spasms
      • Diarrhoea

      It is thus recommended that withdrawal from the drug be conducted under the care of trained medical professionals together with experienced, trained, addiction counsellors. 

If drugs are controlling your life, we can help.

12 Steps

Drug Rehabilitation Treatment

The idea of overcoming drug addiction may seem overwhelming, but recovery is possible at Crossroads Recovery Centre…..

View our treatment program

Addiction Rehabilitation &
Treatment is a Phone Call Away

The road to recovery is not always an easy one but getting yourself or your loved one the best care from the team at Crossroads Recovery Centres provides you with a map to sober, healthy living. No matter how bad things seem, there is hope and it’s just a phone call away.

Johannesburg Admissions: +27 74 895 1043
Outpatients Admissions: +27 82 458 9408
Pretoria Admissions: +27 82 653 3311

Stories of Recovery

  • The encouragement, love and support from the team at Crossroads allowed me to eventually see that I was worth something - that my life could be turned around and that I could accomplish the things that had long been a forgotten dream.
    Oliver VG
    Read more
  • On the last day of my stint at Crossroads I could only express gratitude towards all who works there. A wise councillor once commented on my question when one is ready for rehab by explaining that when one is ready for rehab, rehab is ready for you.
    Johan B
    Read more
  • I was lost and my soul was broken until I ended up at Crossroads and was introduced to the Twelve Steps. With the help of their excellent staff and amazing support I have recently been clean for 18 months, I could not have done it without them!
    Carla S
    Read more
  • "Just for today I am more than three years in recovery. I have Cross Roads to thank for this wonderful gift. Cross Roads helped me to set a firm foundation in my recovery on which I can continue to build."
    Angelique J
    Read more
Left Arrow Right Arrow

Approved Medical Aids

Bestmed LogoBonitas LogoCAMAF LogoDiscovery Health LogoFedhealth LogoGovernment Employees Medical SchemeLiberty CorporateMedihelp Medical Scheme

Types of Addictions

Drug Addiction

Is drug addiction controlling your life?

More info

Alcohol Addiction

Do you have a problem with alcohol?

More info

Sex Addiction

Is sex addiction controlling your life?

More info

Gambling Addiction

Is your urge to gamble controlling your life?

More info

Food Addiction

Is food your crutch?

More info

Reach out now, we can help

No Obligation Addiction Assessment

Book a No Obligation Confidential Assessment at your nearest Treatment Centre Today.

Johannesburg Admissions: +27 74 895 1043
Pretoria Admissions: +27 82 653 3311