The Dangers of “Sugars”

The Dangers of “Sugars”

The Dangers of “Sugars” – A Potent and Cheap Narcotic Ravaging South Africa’s Youth

Understanding “Sugars” and Its Devastating Impact

“Sugars” is a street name for a dangerous narcotic drug mixture that contains a potent combination of heroin and other substances. This drug has gained popularity in Durban, South Africa, and the surrounding areas, and has become a significant issue among teenagers due to its affordability and high addiction potential. In this article, we will explore the composition of “sugars,” its widespread availability, the signs of addiction, and the challenges of treatment and rehabilitation.

Image of Sugars straws
The Dangers of "Sugars" 2

The Deadly Composition of “Sugars”

The base ingredient in “sugars” is heroin, which is often mixed with various other substances to create a cheap and potent drug. Common additives include rat poison, bicarbonate soda, teething powders, cocaine, and cannabis. By diluting the narcotic with cheaper substances, drug dealers can sell “sugars” at a low price, making it accessible to a broader audience, particularly young people.

The Availability and Affordability of “Sugars”

“Sugars” can be purchased for as little as R10 to R30 per “loop” or “straw,” with prices varying based on the drug’s potency. Dealers often distribute the drug for free at parties and social gatherings to entice teenagers, leading to widespread addiction. The drug is available throughout South Africa under various street names, such as “Wonga,” “nyope,” and “pinch.”

The Rapid Onset of Addiction and Its Consequences

It is said that it only takes two “hits” of “sugars” to become addicted, although this may vary among individuals. The drug is typically heated on a piece of tin foil, releasing vapors that are inhaled through a straw or short pipe. Upon inhalation, the user experiences a euphoric “high” characterized by intense relaxation and pleasure.

However, these pleasurable effects are short-lived, and users quickly experience withdrawal symptoms, such as depression, agitation, and severe pain throughout the body. As tolerance develops, users require larger amounts of the drug to achieve the same effects, leading to a dangerous cycle of addiction.

Recognizing the Signs of “Sugars” Addiction

Parents and caregivers should be vigilant for signs of “sugars” addiction in their children, which may include:

  • Weight loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • A fine, red, pimple-like rash on the body
  • Slurred speech
  • Aggression and mood swings
  • Poor memory and difficulty concentrating
  • Preoccupation with obtaining money and associating with certain friends
  • Theft of money or valuables from the home

Not all signs and symptoms will be present simultaneously, but any changes in behaviour should alert caregivers to the possibility of drug addiction.

The Complex Path to Treatment and Rehabilitation

Treating “sugars” addiction requires a multi-disciplinary approach involving medical doctors, psychologists, social workers, and drug counsellors. AC Wellness has all the tools necessary to assist every patient. There are several different treatment methods available for those struggling with addiction, including:


This is the initial phase of treatment, during which the individual’s body is cleansed of the drug. AC Wellness is the only licensed detox centre on the KZN South Coast. This process can be challenging and uncomfortable due to withdrawal symptoms, and it is often best managed under the supervision of a medical professional.

In-patient rehabilitation:

Inpatient rehab programs provide a structured and supportive environment for individuals to focus on their recovery. These programs typically involve a combination of therapy, counselling, and group support to address the underlying

AC Wellness - The ONLY Licensed Rehabilitation Centre On The KZN South Coast