People found in possession of or dealing in nyaope could face a lengthy prison sentence after the highly addictive mixture was recently declared an illegal drug.
Nyaope is a mixture of cocaine and heroin, often mixed with rat poison and anti-retrovirals (ARVs).
The then Justice Minister Jeff Radebe and Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi recently signed off on the amendment to the Drugs and Trafficking Act, which makes nyaope illegal.
The amendment to the Act means that those dealing in or in possession of nyaope, or other altered drugs can be prosecuted, said Justice spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga.
For many years prosecutors struggled to take legal action in cases involving nyaope, as it was not classified as an illegal drug.
According to Mhaga, thanks to the new amendment courts can now impose a fine or jail term for use and possession nyaope of up to 15 years, and up to 25 years for dealing in it.
Mhaga explained that the amendments were not just limited to nyaope but were also designed to include all other drug mixtures, which may surface in the future.
“We hope that crimes related to these drugs like nyaope will decrease. We are dealing not just with users of the drugs but with dealers too,” he said.
Community members have been urged to join in the fight against drug abuse by reporting drug related activities to the police.