Posted by: Ann | 2009-06-25


Dear Expert, I am hearing more and more about kids being hooked on this mixture - how does one deal with this, is there hope of recovery?

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Our expert says:
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Nyoepe is actually the African word for 'heroin' - but in SA it is normally mixed with cannabis an smoked by African youth - it appears to have taken over the old Mandrax culture - which is terribly concerning as heroin is far more dependence producing. Ann what I want to add here (which I failed to do initially) - is that there is definately hope for someone in recovery from a heroin dependence - in fact many 'mature out' of their dependence (you can actually look up my study on this on the internet (google search) - 'Deafing the Dragon: Heroin Dependence Recovery' 'Healing the Dragon: Heroin Use Disorder Intervention' in fact the last one is now available on :

The first one will also be available on in a few weeks time.

Normally the best action to take is as follows :<br><br>If the person admits to their problem heroin use it is much easier to intervene - either through a private treatment centre (such as the SANCA's or a private psychiatric hospital), or through a subsidised bed or voluntariy court order (a social worker needs to be consulted with them). What sometimes works with an addict in denail is for their significant other to focus on another observation that is concerning... for example depression etc - and then see if the individual with the heroin problem is willing to go see a mental health professional for an evaluation - such as a psychiatrist, clinical psychologist or clinical social worker (the SANCA network can also help with this). Failing all else - the individual can be confronted with options (preferably from a mental health professional or significant other - perhaps with the help of ToughLove) - na, that either they decide what credible help they will seak - or that the family/sig. other is forced to commence statutory procedures (Act 20 or 1992 - Prevention and Treatment of Drug Dependency Act) - which is basically a court order (implemented by a social worker) - for state drug rehabilitation. I would say, first try the other routes, and if all else fails - consider the statutory route. Also concact a local/nearest SANCA branch to guide you - perhaps join a ToughLove group for your own support.

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