Nyaope Addiction Among South African Adolescents and Young People: A Theoretical Perspective

Author(s): Vukile Msizi Ngema*


Background: The use of nyaope among South African adolescents and young people is alarming. Users continue to use this drug despite its long-term adverse effects on their mental health and social life.

Purpose: This paper aimed to provide background and context for why South African adolescents and young people are addicted to nyaope from the perspective of psychological theories of addiction.

Methodology: The paper adopted a thematic literature review and sampled 10 journal articles published in English in peer-reviewed journals that followed a standard of article writing and reporting. These articles were inductively analysed.

Results: The articles sampled in this paper focused on the implication of nyaope on users’ mental health and social life. The themes that emerged from the reviewed articles suggest that factors that contribute to nyaope addiction among South African adolescents and young people are experimentation, withdrawal symptoms, negative social circumstances, and mental disorders.

Conclusion: Nyaope addiction is a behaviour that is learned through natural stimulations, physiological reward systems, negative environments, and negative cultural norms. These factors put individuals who have not used nyaope in the position to believe it is necessary to start using this drug, which appears pleasant and less dangerous for first-time users.

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