An Explorative Study to Investigate the Abdominal Pain Experienced by Nyaope Users

K. E. Mokwena*, T. T. Kgopane, Z. Koto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Nyaope, a South African Novel Psychoactive Substance (NPS), is commonly used in Black townships. It is highly addictive with high relapse rates. A common complaint among users is abdominal pain, which occurs when the users have not used the drug for some time. Because the pain is relieved by using nyaope, users continue to use the drug even when they want to quit. Despite this, there have been no studies to explain the occurrence of this pain. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the pathological rea-sons for the abdominal pain experienced by nyaope users. Methodology: The study design was clinical, descriptive and exploratory, and data collection occurred at the premises of Dr George Mukhari aca-demic hospital. The sample of convenience consisted of 17 male and 4 female participants, who had used nyaope for a period of at least 2 years, and have a history of abdominal pain that is associated with nyaope use. A questionnaire was used to collect socio-demographic data, as well as experience of pain. Endoscopy was used to investigate the condition of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Histology samples were taken for examination of the tissue structure. Results: The ages of the sample ranged from 25 years to 47 years, with a mean of 32 years. The period of nyaope use ranged from 36 months to 252 months, with a mean of 128.5 months. The majority reported sharp pain in the umbilical, para-umbilical and the whole abdomen. All the participants reported that not smoking nyaope for some time triggers the pain, and smoking nyaope relieves the pain. Clinical tests identified oesophageal candida, chronic gastritis and Helicobacter pylori infections. Conclusion: The abdominal pain experienced by nyaope users can be ex-plained by the pathological destruction of the gastro-intestinal tract and the esophageal candidiasis. The clinical implications are that the treatment of Nyaope users should include non-invasive h pylori testing, and positive individuals are treated using current available regimens.

Original languageEnglish
Article number236213
JournalJournal of Drug and Alcohol Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Abdominal pain
  • Chronic gastritis
  • Gastro-Intestinal tract
  • H pylori
  • Nyaope


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