Users share drugs via ‘Bluetooth’

'Bluetooth' or 'Sny en Suig' is a new method of sharing drugs that put users at risk of contracting deadly diseases.

POLOKWANE – The mixture of drugs called nyaope is taking a stronger grip on the youth in the city and it’s popularity is growing. However, this isn’t the only reason a local undercover police officer and his task team are worried.

“Nyaope in itself is a danger but the methods now used to share the drug is alarming,” the officer told Review.

He said with the new method, ‘Bluetooth’, the drug is shared with the same needle.

With ‘Bluetooth’ a person injects themselves with nyaope and then withdraws some of their blood and give it to another to inject themselves with so they can ‘share’ the high.

This method brings several new risks to the table and opens the doors to other issues such as contracting diseases such as Aids.

A private nurse, Tanya du Toit, told Review the issues with sharing the same needle are endless.

“Any method of drug injection can result in a slew of harmful health effects,” she said.

This may include:

• Inflamed and or collapsed veins.

• Puncture marks and or track lines.

• Skin infection – abscesses, cellulitis, necrotising fasciitis.

• Bacteria on the cardiac valves, endocarditis, and other cardiovascular infections.

• Swelling of the feet, ankles, and legs secondary to poor peripheral blood flow.

Those who share needles are at risk of contracting the following:

• HIV.

• Hepatitis B and C.

• Tuberculosis.

• Multitudes of other blood borne bacterial, fungal and viral infectious agents.

South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (Sanca) Social Worker, Amanda Swanepoel, said in recent cases she had been advised by children as young as 12 years old that sharing needles is not something everyone uses and a new method, ‘Sny en Suig’ is becoming a preferred choice to drug abusers.

“These people, of who many are children, will cut themselves and have people suck out some of their blood, or cut other people and suck on their blood. It is an alarming and growing trend among people using nyoape,” Swanepoel said.

Review asked one of the street children why the new method of drug sharing is becoming so popular. He said they believe it is a healthier alternative than sharing needles.

“We know needles being shared are dangerous and people can get Aids so we use ‘Sny en Suig’ to avoid the use of needles. It is safer and healthier than sharing needles,” he explained.

Anyone who are struggling or know of anyone struggling with addiction are urged to contact Sanca at (015) 295 3700.

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Riana Joubert

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