Narratives of Heroin Users in the Metro South in Cape Town, South Africa: A Subcultural Perspective

Authors

  • Dominique Caswell Department of Social Development, Western Cape
  • Neil Henderson University of the Western Cape https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6566-5551
  • Maria Florence University of the Western Cape
  • Shakierah Booley Department of Social Development, Western Cape

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.25159/2708-9355/8127

Keywords:

heroin use, drug subculture, qualitative, people of colour

Abstract

Heroin use in the Western Cape, South Africa, has grown exponentially over the last 10 years, more specifically in the Metro South of the Cape Metropole. The objective of this study was to qualitatively explore and explain the existence of a heroin subculture among people of colour in this particular district. The theoretical framework that underlies this study is subcultural theory. The study used snowball sampling with 15 participants (n = 15). In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with the participants and transcribed verbatim. The data were analysed via a thematic analysis. Ethics considerations were adhered to. The findings indicated that the participants constructed a subculture in the Metro South, which allowed them to sustain their heroin usage. Dealers, vendors, and police officials contributed to maintaining this subculture. Recommendations suggest that alternative interventions be properly implemented so that the subculture could be dismantled, and that heroin users receive treatment and be reintegrated into society. Furthermore, social workers need to assume more responsibility in preventing heroin usage in the Metro South and other areas.

Published

2021-07-30

How to Cite

Caswell, Dominique, Neil Henderson, Maria Florence, and Shakierah Booley. 2021. “Narratives of Heroin Users in the Metro South in Cape Town, South Africa: A Subcultural Perspective”. Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development 33 (2):18 pages. https://doi.org/10.25159/2708-9355/8127.

Issue

Section

Articles
Received 2020-07-24
Accepted 2021-06-16
Published 2021-07-30