Drugs are the solution not the problem : exploring drug use rationales and the need for harm reduction practices South Africa

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dc.contributor.author Marks, Monique
dc.contributor.author Gumede, Sibinelo
dc.contributor.author Shelly, Shaun
dc.date.accessioned 2018-06-28T12:48:29Z
dc.date.available 2018-06-28T12:48:29Z
dc.date.issued 2017
dc.description.abstract In the past ten years, the use of low-grade heroin (known as whoonga or nyaope) by people from marginalised communities in Durban, South Africa has become increasingly prevalent. Focus groups held with young homeless people who use whoonga have shown definitive rationality in their choice to use drugs, as well as high levels of a sensibility in terms of what is required to make daily living less risky. The more time we spent on the streets speaking to whoonga users, the more we became aware of the absolute need for opioid substitution therapy (OST) to be publicly available as a maintenance medication and therapy, which is currently used in South Africa in any significant way. The Urban Futures Centre at the Durban University of Technology, together with the TB/HIV Care Association, is embarking on the first non-profit OST Demonstration Project in the country as a means of advocating for the wider roll out of OST in public facilities. This agonist-based OST Demonstration Project is low threshold and is not necessarily aimed at abstinence, but rather toward the improvement of the quality of life for and the reduction of harm to users, particularly as it pertains to health and safety. This article speaks to the pathways, as described by people who use drugs themselves, into heroin use and present the initial findings regarding changes in quality of life from service users who are a part of the OST Demonstration Project. In so doing we make the case for the centrality of connections and rights-based interventions as the most effective approach to working alongside people who use drugs so as to reduce harms and to promote self-defined resolution of what they define as problematic drug use. en_ZA
dc.description.department Family Medicine en_ZA
dc.description.librarian am2018 en_ZA
dc.description.uri http://www.crimsa.ac.za/acta.html en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Marks, M., Gumede, S. & Shelly, S. 2017, 'Drugs are the solution not the problem : exploring drug use rationales and the need for harm reduction practices South Africa', Acta Criminologica, vol. 30, no. 5, pp. 1-14. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 1012-8093
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/65256
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher CRIMSA en_ZA
dc.rights CRIMSA en_ZA
dc.subject Homeless people drug use en_ZA
dc.subject Marginalised communities en_ZA
dc.subject Durban en_ZA
dc.subject Low-grade heroin en_ZA
dc.subject Whoonga en_ZA
dc.subject Nyaope en_ZA
dc.subject Opioid substitution therapy (OST) en_ZA
dc.title Drugs are the solution not the problem : exploring drug use rationales and the need for harm reduction practices South Africa en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA


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