06 January 2014

More young people using heroin

A worrying trend is the use of heroin by younger people – in combination with other drugs, such as cocaine and dagga.

Heroin usage is on the rise as drug users become younger across South Africa, the Sunday Independent reports.

"The trend by young people to use heroin in combination with other drugs, such as cocaine and dagga, remains a serious concern," Dr David Fourie, convenor of the SA National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence's (Sanca) research portfolio committee told the newspaper.

Sanca released a report on addiction based on figures obtained from 10 000 people seeking drug rehabilitation from April 2012 to March 2013.

Read: Younger South Africans are starting to use heroin 

40% of those seeking help were teenagers from Grades 8 to 10.

A 9% increase in the number of people using heroin was noted in the most recent research period, compared to the same time in 2010/11.

Read: Giving heroin to addicts may help them stop

Mpumalanga was identified as the province with the highest proportion users of heroin, and nyaope, which contains heroin, antiretroviral drugs, and rat poison.

Fourie also highlighted that over the last seven years dagga use climbed from 18% to 31% among drug users.

Read More:
Heroin has become the drug of choice for many young South Africans
Heroin: Two readers share their stories



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