‘No high in human ashes’

2017-07-18 06:01


DRUG rehabilitation organisations have quashed rumours of drug abusers apparently using human ashes as an ingredient for whoonga.

Rumours of this behaviour emerged after a memorial wall was desecrated at Scottburgh cemetery, and ashes were reportedly stolen.

On the back of this, the IFP in KwaZulu-Natal this week called on the office of the Premier to come down harder on drug abuse.

But a selection of fieldworkers and addiction specialists told The Witness they had not heard of a single case of people using human ashes for drugs.

The KwaZulu-Natal representative for the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Walter Peterson, said: “My only worry is that gullible people will hear about this, then try it. But there is nothing to suggest this would even work.

“People used to mix Whoonga with ARVs and we found that the ARVs had no effect. The entire effect was from the base drug.”

Peterson said he hoped not to see a repeat of the “Bluetooth story” where addicts would inject the blood of a person who had just used whoonga in the hope of getting high.

Addiction specialist at Changes Rehab Centre, Sheryl Rahme, said no one at the centre had heard of it.

“It would be very difficult to get ashes anyway and there would need to be a black market trade which we would have heard about. We can’t see how it would give you a euphoric feeling.”

Director of Minds Alive Rehabilitation Centre Dr Anwar Jeewa said the reports were likely a hoax.

“These stories come out, nobody verifies them. I have seen no concrete evidence of this.

“For years we were asked about children using strawberry quick [milk powder] as drugs — we never saw it once.” - The Witness

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