SABC1 Contacted Home Detox South Africa for information and opinion on Professor Hugo’s comments in relation to Nyaope being legalised. The request and response is below which led to Home Detox SA director Grant Allman appearing on Sunday Live to discuss drug policy in general and how Home Detox South Africa can offer a Nyaope Home Detox service to the communities affected by nyaope addiction. The full interview is at the bottom of the page.
SUNDAY LIVE: is a Youth TV Current-Affairs show where ordinary people and experts are brought together to discuss topical issues. In addition, viewers are invited to SMS, face book and e-mail to the programme with their comments. The programme will be broadcast live on Sunday the 23rd August 2015 at 19h30 – 20h00 on SABC One.
Nyaope (also known as whoonga or wunga) is a highly addictive, dangerous and destructive street drug, unique to South Africa. Nyaope is now officially an illegal drug. But what is it and what are the effects on users? But the question that Sunday Live would like to ask, should Nyaope be decriminalized or is it a criminal activity and do the addicts of this notorious drug deserve to be helped and not just dismissed as criminals. This follows the comments made by Associate Professor at the University of Pretoria, Jannie Hugo who suggested that the drug Nyaope should be legalised. Therefore we would like to you to help us with someone who has recovered from being a Nyaope addict or who is still recovering. We would like to interview the person the live show airs.
Thanks for your email.
Just to clarify nyaope was always illegal contrary to popular belief. It contains cannabis and heroin which are illegal in South Africa.
I think legalisation is a step to far and would not help. I think decriminalisation is the best route, however this should not only apply to nyaope but all substances that are illegal. Decriminalising nyaope on its own firstly would be the most confusing and backwards decision ever seen. It would lead to cannabis users possessing heroin to get around the laws and vice versa.
Portugal is the unsung hero in drug policy reform. With some of the highest addiction rates in Europe in 2002 they decriminalised all substances and made rehab treatment free. They now have the lowest addiction rates in Europe. Criminalising people for taking drugs recreationally is almost archaic as it has a domino effect on the person convicted in that they may now struggle to find a job and even leave the country. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy with the convicted person more likely to move onto harder drug use and essentially addiction. The costs on society are obvious.
So in short I don’t think any drug users should be criminalised if South Africa wants to treat its current addiction problem.
I will contact a few people today regarding talking on your programme and let you know if I find anyone. We will also give you 3 of our home programmes to give to viewers with nyaope addiction looking for help.
Below is the Nyaope SABC1 Sunday Live Episode.