Whoonga/Nyaope Addiction: South Africa’s Insidious Epidemic

whoonga/nyaope addiction

If you or someone close to you has a Whoonga/Nyaope addiction, you will notice that it is an insidious and destructive drug. People who get hooked on the drug enjoy the initial feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and escape Whoonga/Nyaope seems to offer, but soon enough this “fake happiness” will let them down. Soon the individual’s life will be filled with sickness, poverty, prison time, and broken relationships. There are only two destinations as a Whoonga/Nyaope addict – Jails, institutions, and death.

How is Whoonga/Nyaope Used?

Whoonga/Nyaope is usually smoked in a joint with dagga or injected. Another shocking method of use is “Bluetooth”, this is when an individual draws blood and injects it into another. Sharing needles is also cause for HIV or hepatitis.

Why are Most Whoonga/Nyaope Users Criminals?

The cost of the drug is around R30 for a straw and whoonga addicts will need to use the drug several times a day. The effect of whoonga usually wears off after 4 hours and the majority of users do not have employment. The craving and withdrawals are so intense that these individuals will resort to illegal activities to attain the drug. Whoonga addicts will rob clinics and HIV positive people of antiretroviral medication. There have been cases where they will get someone with HIV to apply for antiretrovirals for them.

 Why is it so difficult to stop using Nyaope?

Addiction is a disease that is complex and has many layers. One person may get hooked and not be able to stop, while another person is easily able to stop. When an individual suffers from the disease of addiction, they are unable to stop using even if with negative consequences. The withdrawals that you get from the drug when you try to stop are extremely severe and the only way to alleviate this symptom is through continuous use of the drug.

What are the symptoms of Whoonga/Nyaope?

There are three types of changes: Behavioral, physical and social

Behavioral Changes

  • Poor work or school performance
  • The trouble with the law
  • Driving under the influence
  • Secretive and suspicious activities
  • Insomnia
  • Change in appetite
  • Obvious personality changes and attitude
  • Mood swings
  • Angry outbursts
  • Unusual hyperactivity
  • Lack of motivation
  • Paranoid
  • Fearful without reason

Physical Changes

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Enlarged or pinprick pupils
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Constant health problems
  • The unusual smell on breath, body, and clothing
  • Slurred speech
  • Tremors
  • Impaired coordination

Social Changes

  • New drug-using friends
  • Legal problems
  • Financial problems
  • Relationship problems

What are the withdrawal symptoms of Whoonga/Nyaope Addiction?

The withdrawals are extremely severe and usually start 6 hours after the last drug use.

  • Stomach cramps
  • Backache
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Internal bleeding
  • Death

What is in Nyaope?

Nyaope is made using many toxic ingredients such as rat poison, pool cleaner, and sometimes antiretroviral drugs. Other drugs such as lower-grade heroin and methamphetamines are also smoked with dagga.

Getting Help for Whoonga/Nyaope Addiction

You cannot stop this drug on your own with success. If you or a loved one are caught in the grip of Whoonga/Nyaope addiction, you are not alone. There is help and there is a new way of living without the use of substances.

The first step is a medical detox where the toxins are safely removed from the body and drug rehabilitation can commence. For more information about where to start, get into contact with ARCA Jhb or Durban rehabs for a free consultation today.


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