Nyaope -What is it ?
Nyaope is a drug completely unique to South Africa. In 2009 when abuse of the substance became widespread the rumour mill began to churn. Tabloid headlines have suggested that people purposefully infect themselves with HIV in their desperation to obtain antiretrovirals (ARV’s) for the side-effects of these drugs. Later, reports came out that users were starting a practice called “bluetoothing” in order to share the high. Nyaope has gained infamy in the South African consciousness, but truth and myth need to be separated at some point.
What is nyaope?
Rat poison, pool cleaner, ARV’s, marijuana, heroin, these are but some of the rumoured components that make up this dangerous cocktail. The main component is low grade heroin and the rest of the contents exist solely to bulk up the weight. It takes the form of a grainy brown powder, hence the street name “sugars”. It is also known as Whoonga, the street name used depends on the region. This powder is either combined with marijuana and smoked or it can be injected intravenously.
What are the dangers of Nyaope?
Since nyaope is composed mostly of heroin, an opiate, the effects are euphoria, relaxation and drowsiness. There is a high risk of overdose, especially when injected intravenously. This is also a consequence of the fact that nyaope is generally sold and used in poorer communities. In an attempt to keep the cost as low as possible, the producers of this drug add a large variety of other drugs and substances; this means that one dose may be vastly more potent than the next.
In addition to the above, the “bulking” ingredients pose their own risks, and because these components are generally not advertised by the sellers, a person who uses this drug can never be 100% sure what they are actually putting into their body.
With all intravenous drug use, the likelihood of bloodborne diseases like HIV and Hepatitis increases dramatically. Nyaope use also increases the risk of mental disorder and psychosis, these effects may remain long after the use of the drug has stopped.
Opiates are also physically addictive; this means that when use of the drugs stops suddenly, the user will experience withdrawal symptoms. This forms part of the reason why nyaope addicts are so desperate to pursue their next fix, it is an attempt to stay out of the discomfort and pain caused by withdrawal. Symptoms of withdrawal include, but are not limited to, extreme physical pain, vomiting, fever, chills, stomach troubles, anxiety and depression.
How is Nyaope addiction treated?
The initial days of treatment for a nyaope addict are generally spent on detoxification medication. The dosage and duration of this medication is generally determined by how much and how long the person has been using the drug. It is very important that a doctor assesses and administers the medication and that the client is medically supervised for the duration of the detox.
After the detox process is finished, nyoape addiction is handled therapeutically much the same as other addictions are handled. One-on-one counselling, group therapy and peer support groups are used to facilitate long-term recovery in the client.
If you or a loved one needs assistance with addiction to nyaope – know that help is readily available. The road to recovery is not always an easy one but getting yourself or your loved one the best possible care from the team at Crossroads Recovery Centre, provides you with a map to sober, healthy living. No matter how bad things seem, there is hope and it’s only a phone call away. If you or anyone close to you needs help with an addiction to sex, gambling, substances, alcohol or food, please contact us for a free assessment.
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 VGRead 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 BRead 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 SRead 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 JRead more