Concerns raised over Xanax being sold to Durban school pupils

File picture: Guillaume/Pexels

File picture: Guillaume/Pexels

Published Nov 18, 2019


Durban - A grandfather's investigation led him to three Durban schools where Xanax was allegedly being sold to pupils by their peers.

Xanax is used to treat anxiety, panic disorders and insomnia. If taken over a prolonged period, it results in impaired concentration, slurred speech, increased salivation, memory problems, irritability, mood changes and lethargy.

The grandfather, who will not be named to protect his grandchildren’s identities, said a behavioural change in his 14-year-old granddaughter was what sparked his investigation.

She attends a Durban high school and confessed to buying Xanax when her grandfather wanted to test her blood because her eyes were watery, her vision was blurred and she had slurred speech. She had initially told her grandmother she had a headache.

“I told my wife I had a feeling this child was taking some kind of drugs or alcohol. I spoke out loud and I said to my wife we needed to take her for a blood test to determine there was no alcohol or drugs in her blood. When she heard this, she came over to us and confessed,” he said.

“She told me she had bought a drug from school called Xanax. She said one of the pupils in the school was selling it to her and other children.”

After questioning her further, she apparently revealed that the pupils hid the drugs in their underwear and sold it to pupils during lunch breaks.

He took the matter up with the principal who said they would conduct a raid in the new school year as the pupils were now writing exams and schools would be closing soon.

However, days later, he learnt that his grandson, who attends a primary school in Newlands, had the same symptoms.

He was apparently wobbling like a drunk person.

“He said a friend of his gave him two tablets to take and he thought they were sweets and he took them,” he said.

“On further investigation, I found out there were quite a few children who were affected in the Newlands area. We know the people who are selling the drugs, we know the families they come from. One of the boys who is selling it, I learnt, is not allowed on the school property before and after exams. He must write the exams and get out.”

The grandfather urged parents to be alert, especially as far as their children were concerned and when they were coming home from school.

“Somewhere along the line, there are drug dealers who are trying to get drugs into the schools, so they need to be exposed. This is how they get children hooked on more dangerous drugs. This is just the beginning,” he said.

Provincial Education Department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said pupils engaging in substance abuse were playing with their futures and they needed to avoid drugs because it affected them.

He also said the department could organise raids at schools, provided they are given information about suspected schools.

Daily News

Related Topics: