Narratives of Heroin Users in the Metro South in Cape Town, South Africa: A Subcultural Perspective
Keywords:heroin use, drug subculture, qualitative, people of colour
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.
How to Cite