Target: South African President Jack Zuma
Goal: Demand investigation of dangerous South African synthetic drug
Drug usage continues to be a pervasive problem in South Africa. This is especially true in impoverished areas of the country. Overall drug usage has increased by 600% in the last decade. A relatively cheap street drug known as Whoonga or Nyaope has had devastating effects on South African society and continues to fuel this drug pandemic. It is the drug of choice for many South African youth.
The drug is supposedly a mixture of an antiretroviral (ARV) medication and other illicit drugs like marijuana, heroine, meth-amphetamines, etc. It is not well documented how prevalent the usage of ARV medication in this man made drug really is. Like all synthetic drugs the composition can vary greatly, which makes it even more hazardous. There have been reports of these drugs being laced with laundry detergent and rat poison. Scientists contend that smoking ARV medications does not get you high and perhaps it is simply a placebo effect. However, there have been reports of isolated robberies of individuals and clinics, in which thieves stole HIV medication. The silver lining to this is, the supply of ARVs has not been threatened.
There is a fear that the needless abuse of ARV’s may have grave consequences on the campaign to fight HIV/AIDS in South Africa. The medical community fears that abuse may lead to resistances to these life saving drugs. A large study shows that 3-5% of new HIV patients have already built a resistance to the medication before their first treatment.
This drug has been circulating for many years now, but the South African government has done little to nothing to stem the trade. It continues to wreck havoc on communities and families. Addicts resort to desperate measures like robbery, selling their meager possessions, murder, etc in order to get a cheap fix. Urge the South African government to investigate and crackdown on the trafficking of this dangerous street drug.
Dear President Zuma,
A thorough and immediate investigation of the street drug named Whoonga is needed. It is destroying the delicate fabric of South African society. The impoverished and uneducated are digging themselves an early grave by succumbing to the addictions of this street drug. Drug dealers put dangerous materials into these synthetic drugs in order to cut costs, with reckless disregard for their victims. Chemical tests need to be conducted on these drugs to analyze the composition. Rumors of the usage of anti-retroviral medication in these drugs need to be investigated. Resistances to HIV/AIDS medication are already on the rise so unnecessary abuse of these drugs will exacerbate the problem.
Studies have shown that South African drug use has increased by 600%. The future of South African youth is imperiled by this drug pandemic. Please investigate and take this drug off the streets.
[Your Name Here]
Image Credit: Jorge Deepsea LRPS via Flickr