As Newcastillians ease into the second week of January, the local South African Police Services find themselves pursuing the ends of justice following two serious incidents over the past few days.
On Friday afternoon, January 10, a motorist sustained minor injuries after the vehicle he was travelling in crashed through a palisade fence at the Mont Pelaan Complex.
The driver of the vehicle, a local doctor, was very fortunate to have sustained only minor injuries. Shortly after the crash, the car started burning. Fortunately, due to the swift action of bystanders and the Newcastle Protection Services, the fire was prevented from spreading.
The cause of the crash is unclear. Further investigations by the SAPS are currently underway.
In another incident, it seems heroin is currently circulating in Newcastle and the surrounding areas.
This follows an intelligence-driven operation by the Osizweni Policing Area and Osizweni Crime Prevention Unit.
Following up on information regarding drugs at Section B, Osizweni, the two units investigated a house where the drugs were allegedly being sold. Upon investigating, the officers recovered 16 small parcels of heroin.
While the suspect is in police custody, how bad is heroin in Newcastle?
According to Lillian Gajoo from South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (SANCA), the drug reared its head during the final weeks of 2019.
“We noticed a slightly higher shift in heroin during the end of 2019, especially in the age of users. Users are usually in their late 20s and 30s, however, we are seeing users in high school now,” Gajoo says.
Gajoo explains there are two forms of heroin, both of which are equally dangerous and addictive.
“You get pure heroin and the generic, which is what certain dealers make in their homes. The pure heroin will cost a minimum of R1 500 and the high will last about 30 minutes. The thing with heroin is users will use chase a high, consuming more and more heroin in the hopes of getting the ultimate high.”
As there is a slight increase in heroin usage, Gajoo is urging parents to keep a close eye on their children and to seek help as soon as they establish there is a problem. “As long as there are drug dealers, there will be drug addicts.”
If you or a loved one has a drug addiction and would like assistance, be sure to contact SANCA on 034 312 364.