Ad­dicts choos­ing tik, LSD and heroin

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - LEILA SAMODIEN

MAN­DRAX is mak­ing a come­back in Mitchells Plain, while heroin is grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity and there is a new fas­ci­na­tion with LSD.

Michael Ja­cobs, chair­man of the Mitchells Plain Com­mu­nity Polic­ing Fo­rum, said tik was a ma­jor seller in the area.

In the past three years, Mitchells Plain po­lice have con­fis­cated 13 900 man­drax tablets, 680 units of co­caine, more than 700g of heroin, 60 units of LSD and more than 1 400 ec­stasy tablets, along with their usual haul of tik and dagga.

“We were sur­prised to find LSD. Maybe they’re sell­ing it; maybe the kids are tak­ing it when they go to raves. We’re not sure yet,” said Ja­cobs.

Po­lice also con­fis­cated khat worth R17 000. Khat leaves are chewed.

Shafiek Davids, di­rec­tor of the Sul­tan Bahu Cen­tre, which does drug coun­selling, said one of the biggest prob­lems now was ad­dic­tion to unga – a cheap, heroin-based drug.

Up to 60 per­cent of the peo­ple they coun­selled were heroin ad­dicts.

“We’re way past tik now,” said Davids. “We need to wake up to the fact that heroin is a much more dan­ger­ous drug and it’s the new thing.”

Mount Hope Church pas­tor Al­fonso Schilder said he too was get­ting more unga-ad­dicted pa­tients. This concerned him be­cause it was dif­fi­cult for pa­tients to detox, and be­cause unga of­ten har­boured dan­ger­ous con­tam­i­nants such as poi­sons and de­ter­gents.

Davids said the need for for ad­dicts to phys­i­cally detox was a prob­lem be­cause fa­cil­i­ties, such as those at Stik­land Hos­pi­tal, were over­crowded.

In some cases, ad­dicts lost their will to quit drugs, while oth­ers trans­ferred their ad­dic­tion to Subu­tex – the drug used to help them over­come their ad­dic­tion.

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