Pubdate: Wed, 20 Aug 2003
Source: Natal Witness, The (South Africa)
Copyright: 2003 The Natal Witness.
Bookmark: (Heroin)


PRETORIA - There has been a dramatic increase in the use of heroin in 
southern Africa, and particularly South Africa since 2000, Rob Boone, head 
of the UN's regional office on drugs and crime, said on Tuesday.

He was speaking at the release of a report entitled "Strategic Framework on 
Crime and Drugs for Southern Africa 2003" by his office in Pretoria.

About SA, it says: "Just under 10% of patients in treatment state heroin as 
their primary or secondary drug of abuse."

Gary Lewis, programme manager for drugs in the office, said heroin was 
previously only used by more affluent people.

Now there are more heroin users among the impoverished black communities in 
SA's urban areas, the report says.

In dollar terms, the price of heroin and cocaine fell by more than 75% 
between 1992 and 2001, making it affordable for far more consumers, the 
report notes.

Between a third and a half of heroin users inject the drug, which increases 
the risk of HIV/Aids.

Lewis added that treatment facilities in Cape Town and Gauteng do not have 
sufficient capacity to deal with the number of addicts.
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