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Spike in methamphetamine usage among SA youth during lockdown - SANPUD

14 April 2021 1:33 PM
Tags:
Drugs
Crystal methamphetamine

Early research shows this upward trend says Youth representative at South African Network of People Who Use Drugs MJ Stokes.

The Students for Sensible Drug Policy and Youth RISE will be presenting at a side event a paper on the Impact of Covid on Young People's Substance Use at the 64th United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs is taking place on Wednesday 14 April virtually.

RELATED: 'R6k per kg Afghan-made crystal meth sells for R200k per kg in Cape Town'

MJ Stokes from the South African Network of People Who Use Drugs will represent South Africa on that forum and speaks to Lester Kiewit about the impact of Covid-19 lockdowns and drug use among the youth.

Stokes is also a family medicine researcher at the University of Pretoria.

We don't have much data on it, but some of the research that we have been doing we have definitely noted an increase in the use of methamphetamines especially among the younger population.

MJ Stokes - South African Network of People Who Use Drugs

He says they have seen evidence of this across all cities in South Africa.

Stokes says in early lockdown there appeared to be a delay in some drug dealers accessing stock and some reduction in sales.

But that was really short-lived. With the mitigation measures being eased, we saw the drug markets going back to normal.

MJ Stokes - South African Network of People Who Use Drugs

What are key inputs SANPUD plans to make at the UN event, asks Lester?

We need a person-centered approach. Ultimately, criminalisation is causing harm, so we really advocate for decriminalisation to reduce the harm and risk associated with drug use - to promote a more holistic and caring approach.

MJ Stokes - South African Network of People Who Use Drugs

Listen to the interview in the audio below:




14 April 2021 1:33 PM
Tags:
Drugs
Crystal methamphetamine

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