With South Africa finally making progress and rolling out free anti-retrovirals (ARVs), the use of Efavirenz (a common ARV) in a drug joint smoked called WHOONGA (what kind of name is that?) is a terrible blow to us all.


Whoonga is currently found in the townships of Durban. According to Donna Bryson, Associated Press, “Police in Gauteng say they have not come across the drug there”. (Nov 2010)

Research shows that Efavirenz as an ARV can have a range of side effects. The possible side effects on the mind include “bizarre behaviour, change in personality, delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, severe depression, suicidal thoughts and abnormal dreams”. (Drugs.com). An anonymous reader calls it a “deleriant” (word derives from delirium = disordered state of mind). These side effects usually begin on the 1st or 2nd day of therapy and often subside after 2-4 weeks.

So, this ARV, with all these possible side effects, crushed, mixed and smoked (often with detergents, rat poison, marijuana and heroin) can only be a cocktail for a quick, albeit psychotic and hallucinogenic, path to Death.

Please can someone enlighten me as to why anyone would smoke WHOONGA?