Drug addiction has reached high levels in South Africa. The South African government’s annual Drug Awareness week took place between June 24th and 28th and released some figures suggesting that drug use is running rampant in the African nation.
Nathan Rogerson, a representative from Akeso Clinics, has said that a number of factors have contributed to the rise in drug abuse across South Africa. He told IOL News, “Easy access to high quality and relatively cheap drugs, coupled with high levels of unemployment, trauma, violence, and the deterioration of social support by family members, friends and the community, has led to the increase in the incidence of drug abuse and addiction in South Africa.”
Akeso Clinics are private inpatient clinics for patients who provide psychological care. Rogerson added they have been coming across children who are as young as six becoming addicted to drugs.
Marijuana, also known as “dagga,” in South Africa and alcohol were found to be the most commonly abused drugs in the country. Cocaine use has risen at an alarming rate, from 1.5 percent in 1996 to 17.5 percent in 2008. Heroin abuse has mirrored trends in the U.S., exhibiting greater availability and cheaper prices.
Two synthetic street drugs have made quite the impression on the country’s drug abusers. Nyaope, also known as kwape, plazana or whoonga has mushroomed throughout the country’s more destitute areas. Its primary narcotic component appears to be heroin, but a range of sources have reported that drug dealers have incorporated meth, marijuana, ammonia, baking soda, pesticides and chlorine into their strains.
The second is methcathinone, also known as “bathtub speed” or “cat.” It is a synthetic drug that produces similar effects to that of methamphetamines. It contains a mix of ephedrine, paint solvent and sulfuric acid. Like methamphetamine, it can cause psychosis originating from severe sleep deprivation. Methcathinone can produce feelings of euphoria, increased heart rate, rapid breathing and increased awareness.
These ongoing drug trends in South Africa have wreaked havoc on communities and called the attention of the national government to take action in fighting these epidemics.
Like in South Africa, millions of Americans are struggling with addiction on a daily basis, and many may never see a way out. Sovereign Health Group is among the leading addiction treatment providers in the country. We offer a wide range of inpatient and outpatient programs across the nation for patients who are struggling with addiction, mental health disorders and dual diagnosis. If you know someone who is struggling with addiction and is in need of treatment, please do not hesitate to call us at 888-530-4614. Our admissions helpline is open 24/7 and one of our treatment specialists will assist you in finding the right treatment option for you.
Written by Benjamin Creekmore, Sovereign Health Group writer