Crystal Meth Use in South Africa

in Substance Abuse, Transnational Crime

The Cape Flats region of South Africa reportedly has one of the highest concentration of crystal meth users in the world, with 10 times the addicts as Johannesburg.

Back in 2004, an estimated 12,000 school children were using crystal meth, or “tik” as it is called in South Africa. By 2009, the number of children using meth increased to 69,00, with public health programs stating the the number is much higher in 2013. In total, an estimated 250,000 people are addicted to crystal meth in the region, out of a total population of 3 million.

(More facts about meth addiction.)

The meth is sold in drinking straws for $3. Users who are addicted are reportedly committing rapes and muggings while high. In one court case, a mother was given a suspended sentence and community service after she killed her son who was addicted to crystal meth. The mother stated that after being beaten, finding stolen goods in her house, and having her curtains set on fire that she simply could no longer deal with her son.

Teenagers armed with pit bulls also attack people in order to pay for their drug habits.

Two thirds of the residents in the region are unemployed, and one-quarter are HIV positive.

(Meth Prices by Country.)

Source:  Fred Bridgland, “South Africa Breaks Bad,” Herald Scotland, November 17, 2013.

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