South Africa’s War on Drugs

Around 20% of South Africans, one in every five adults, abuse mind-altering substances such as alcohol, marijuana and painkillers. This is topped by a rise in the number of people using illicit drugs which suggests that South Africa is losing in a ‘war’ against drugs.

The general trend within South Africa is that heroin and cocaine are drugs that are moving upwards most in terms of drug usage. According to a recent report by ENACT, heroin has been wreaking havoc in South Africa’s cities and rural areas since the early 2000s. This is mainly due to the trade lines within the African continent. Heroin is produced in Afghanistan and then moved across the Indian Ocean to East Africa and then down to South Africa.

Methamphetamine use is also common throughout South Africa, especially among the youth of the country. Within Cape Town alone it is estimated that there are as many as 200,000 methamphetamine users where most of those users are under 20 years of age.


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