Widely available drug 'Wiz' has Durban abuzz after pupil collapses

27 February 2020 - 17:17 By lwandile bhengu
A drug called 'Wiz' is said to be rocking a Durban community after a pupil collapsed after allegedly using it. File photo.
A drug called 'Wiz' is said to be rocking a Durban community after a pupil collapsed after allegedly using it. File photo.

A Durban community is concerned after a drug allegedly resulted in the collapse of a high school pupil.

Community activist Sam Pillay, who runs the Anti-Drug Forum, an organisation which  fights the drug scourge in Durban suburbs, was notified that “Wiz” had been doing the rounds in the city's southern suburbs.

He said a local pupil had collapsed after allegedly consuming the product.

Pillay said the drug, which was available at shops, was sold for R30 a packet and he feared people were mixing it with other illegal substances.

“We are now aware that it has taken this community by storm. It's really terrible. I purchased this substance today from a tuck shop. I was told by community members that it is available everywhere,” he said.

“It is of concern because knowing this drug situation we know that people who are consuming it are not just going to be smoking it on its own. They will be mixing it with other illegal substances and that is a trend with people who are addicted to substances,” he said.

The drug is packaged in a small black sachet, with a warning that it is not for human consumption.

“This product contains a unique blend of natural, organic extracts and concentrates. It emits a pleasant, very relaxing smoke when burnt,” reads the packet.

An e-mail address on the packaging bounced back after TimesLIVE sent queries.

“We discovered that a tobacconist in the Bluff is selling this substance. We are not aware of the composition of this drug. We did send it for toxicology tests and we await results,” said Pillay.

He said they suspected it was not a new drug.

“What we found in our experience is that you don't get new drugs, you get old drugs that are being reimagined. That is what we think happened here, because when looking at the drug itself and its effect on different people, we had incidents like this a few years ago, but it was called a different name,” said Pillay.

The IFP called for drug education in schools after the pupil fell ill.

“The IFP proposes that anti-drug education should form an integral part of the regular school curriculum. Supplying youth with information early in life may determine the trend of drug abuse in the future. It has been said that it is much easier to influence attitudes than to influence behaviour,” the party said in a statement.

The drug was said to have the marijuana-like affect.

The police didn't immediately respond to queries.