The Novel Psychoactive Substance ?Nyaope? Contributes to Mental Disorders for Family Members: A Qualitative Study in Gauteng Province, South Africa

Author(s): Kebogile Mokwena* and Nozipho Makuwerere


Background: Nyaope is a Novel Psychoactive Substance (NPS) commonly abused in South Africa. Because of its very addictive nature, which takes over the lives of the users, it also affects the families and communities, with resultant negative social and financial impact.
Purpose: The purpose of the study was to explore and describe experiences of families living with nyaope users.
Methodology: The study used an exploratory qualitative design, and col- lected data using in-depth interviews from biologically related family members. nvivo was used to analyze the data.
Results: Of the ten major themes that emerged from the analysis of the qualitative data, eight depicted experiences that impact negatively on the mental health of the family members. Of note is the hopelessness and de- pressive symptoms, which include suicide ideation and death wish for the users.
Conclusion: While substance abuse in general has been reported to affect the mental health of family members, this impact seems to be profound for nyaope users, because of the high prevalence in certain communities, the level of addiction and related behaviours. Despite this, there is lack of ac- knowledgement of the situation by neither social services in South Africa, nor any psycho-social interventions for these communities where nyaope is rife. With the high prevalence of nyaope use in these communities, the already high burden of mental illness in South Africa is further increased.

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