When he started experimenting with nyaope during his final year of high school in 2009, Tebogo Nelson Manoto (29) from Mametlhake near Pretoria never dreamed he would still be battling to stop seven years later.
Mild mannered youth turned knife-wielding “zombies” – it might seem like a scene out of a horror film but it is real for some residents living outside the small Free State town of Bethlehem as the picturesque dorpie is the latest to fall under the spell of South Africa’s cheap street drug nyaope.
Despite growing nyaope addiction, only one public health treatment centre in the country offers Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST), which gives a medical helping hand to opiod drug addicts who are trying to kick their habit. Instead, addicts are expected to go ‘cold turkey’ and many relapse from sheer pain
To commemorate Youth Month in June, Health-e News is broadcasting a five-part adolescent health series on Morning Live (SABC 2). This insert – the fourth in the series – follows Lebohang Tieho Neko, a youth who has recently managed to overcome his Nyaope addiction.
Sheila Gumbi watched her son change before her eyes as her once sweet baby boy became increasingly aggressive. She now knows why but being able to name her son’s addiction has not given her the power to stop it.
Gauteng’s lack of halfway houses and after rehabilitation care could be setting some former drug addicts up to fail, according to social worker Goddard Ngobeni who works in Winterveld outside of Pretoria.