South Africa faces growing heroin epidemic


New research finds that South Africa is currently facing a growing drug epidemic, with heroin quietly taking over small towns, big cities and even rural areas.

This is according to a new policy brief by the Enact Project, based on research and on-the-ground interviews with drug users and drug dealers across the country.

“The heroin route that crosses South Africa has created a regional heroin economy, with severe social and political repercussions,” the group said.

“To a significant degree, heroin is a key commodity underpinning the criminal economy in South Africa and has facilitated the expansion of the criminal economy by pulling in new players as traffickers, dealers and users.”

Low-income communities have been hardest hit due to a well-orchestrated marketing strategy to make heroin cheaper and penetrate a mass market.

It’s estimated that the annual turnover of the market may be worth about more than R3.6-billion.

Enact said that South Africa needs a comprehensive policy response to the heroin economy. More understanding and research is needed to address the underlying causes of growing heroin use.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here