'Bluetooth' drug craze sweeps townships

Nyaope “bluetooth” addicts in Soshanguve exchange blood through a syringe to share the high because it’s cost-effective. Picture: Facebook

Nyaope “bluetooth” addicts in Soshanguve exchange blood through a syringe to share the high because it’s cost-effective. Picture: Facebook

Published Feb 1, 2017


Pretoria – The young nyaope addict from Mabopane in Pretoria took a tiny syringe out of his pocket. He then identified a person he entrusted with his life enough to share “bluetooth” with him.

The young man unwrapped a small package of the powdered drug and mixed it with a drop of water from the lid of a cold-drink bottle and infused the mixed product in his syringe.

He then stiffly tied his wrist with a piece of string, and without hesitation picked a vein in his arm and pumped the mixture into it.

“Get ready Small, tie your arm up and come closer,” he said to his friend as the mixture went into his hand.

Within a few seconds of injecting himself he started withdrawing the fluids, which rushed back into the syringe with blood.

“I have to retract it while it’s still hot because it’s still strong and fresh,” he said. That way it would have the same impact on his bluetooth partner as it had on him.

He passed the syringe on to the other man, who had tied a string around his upper arm too in preparation for his friend’s blood.

The other man shot the blood into his veins while his friend went into a daze from the nyaope.

“We only use bluetooth on tough days, when one of us has no money to buy nyaope,” he said.

The two said they had heard of the method of sharing a high and thought it was a better way to feed each other’s cravings.

They are among a growing number of nyaope abusers sharing blood to keep each other high.

The method, called bluetooth, is spreading fast across the city’s townships and has been identified among young nyaope users in Mabopane, Ga-Rankuwa and Soshanguve.

The two asked not to be identified, and said they took great care to protect each other from blood diseases and infections by testing regularly.

“We have been living on the streets for too long, hustling and sharing a lot. We also take regular rapid HIV tests together just so that when we share bluetooth we know that we are safe,” one of the men said. He said bluetooth had turned them into cowards as they shared their drugs.

“We hide when we do it because other people could see us as parasites.”

A group of nyaope addicts in Soshanguve Block XX also told the Cape Times's sister paper the Pretoria News of the blood-sharing method, saying they were aware of the trend, but were sceptical of it.

The drug costs R30 a packet on the streets, and injecting it is apparently more potent than smoking it.

Pretoria News

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