What type of drug is nyaope?

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What type of drug is nyaope?

10 June, 2022Articles, News

Nyaope (also called Whoonga) is one of the cheapest, most widespread and dangerous addictive substances in South Africa. The drug emerged between 2000 and 2006 in the Tshwane townships of Mamelodi, Attridgeville and Soshanguve.

Nyaope has become the common street slang for the concoctions of substances (like rat poison, household detergents, ammonia, chlorine, ARVs, brown heroin, tik and dagga) used in its manufacture. The new drug names were created to open up new niche markets for familiar drugs that had been in circulation for decades.

In 2010 the drug Nyaope, first became widely popular and available across impoverished areas of South Africa. Ever since, these communities have seen dramatic increases in drug abuse and crime rates. Nyaope’s highly addictive nature has devastated these communities and has effectively prolonged their escapes from poverty.

Illicit drug use has become a matter of worldwide concern. In South Africa, statistics have revealed that a third of the population admitted to using drugs during the year 2017, and about 20% of incarcerated prisoners admitted to having used an illicit drug. Drug addiction has a direct and major impact on the escalation of drug-related criminal activities in the three major metropolitan cities of South Africa, namely Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg. Statistical data reflect a high correlation between drugs and criminal activities related to property and violent crimes.

The effects of Nyaope include:

  • Severe body aches, shivering, anxiety, insomnia, glazed eyes, hot and cold flushes
  • The low-grade heroin used means one can get toxic side effects such as skin diseases, frequent infections and lowered immunity.
  • Because Nyaope is smoked with dagga, the user becomes addicted to dagga as well.
  • Dagga can have side effects such as hallucinations, paranoia, flashbacks, changes in eating habits, weight loss, and restlessness
  • Nyaope users usually begin to neglect their school work, or their jobs, and may eventually quit work or school altogether.
  • Users need for extra money to pay for the drugs also increases, and this often leads to criminal behaviour when they no longer have legal access to money.
  • Because Nyaope is so addictive, addicts may become violent when they are unable to access the drug, and may commit violent crimes even against family members or friends in order to get money.


Twelve-Step programs remain a commonly recommended and used treatment modality for various types of addiction. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) in its National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services from 2013, 12-Step models are used, at least occasionally, by approximately 74 percent of treatment centers.

A variety of effective treatments are available for heroin use disorder, including both behavioral and pharmacological (medications). Both approaches help to restore a degree of normalcy to brain function and behavior, resulting in increased employment rates and lower risk of HIV and other diseases and criminal behavior. Although behavioral and pharmacologic treatments can be extremely useful when utilized alone, research shows that for many people, integrating both types of treatments is the most effective approach.

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