Mosupa started using nyaope in 2003 but – like many drug users – never thought he would become addicted. He blames friends in the small Gauteng town for jumpstarting the habit.
“It was all due to peer pressure that I started and I regret it now,” he told OurHealth.
While nyaope has traditionally been a mix of heroin and dagga, it has also been reported to include a range of other ingredients such as rat poison and pool cleaner. According to the Gauteng Departement of Community Safety, the drug can sell for as little as R35 a hit.
The drug’s “high” may be euphoric, but the withdrawals associated with the drug are not – something Mosupa found out first hand.
“I started to feel cramps in my intestines,” he remembered. “My body joints would lock, and I could not walk or eat unless I used that nyaope stuff.”[quote float=”right”]”He became a symbol that drug addictions can be beaten.”
Mosupa eventually had enough and slowly began to wean himself off the drug.
Today, he owns a market stall on the road near his home and sells vegetables to passing motorists and the community. He has also taken a larger role in his children’s lives.
“I decided to do something beneficial towards my little boy and family, rather than doing drugs and becoming useless,” he said. “Ever since I decided to stop using drugs, my life has changed.”
“My son and daughter are back with me because I am able to support them in many ways,” he added.
“We will support him in anyway we can so that he doesn’t go back there again,” Maake said. “We love him because he became a symbol that drug addictions can be beaten.”
Mosupa now urges others to resist peer pressure to experiment with drugs.
“Do not destroy your future for nothing,” he warned.