Sierra Leone declares national emergency, as use of deadly synthetic drug, kush, soars


SIERRA LEONE – Sierra Leone’s President, Julius Maada Bio, has declared a national emergency on substance abuse following calls on his government to crack down on the rising use of a cheap and sometimes deadly synthetic drug known as kush.

The highly addictive mix of marijuana, tentanyl and tramadol had reportedly caused hundreds of deaths and psychiatrically damaged scores of users since it first appeared in Sierra Leone around four years ago, according to the government.

A CNN report showed that there were no official figures on the exact number of deaths.

President Bio announced the national emergency in a late-night address on Thursday, deploring what he said were “the destructive consequences of kush on our country’s very foundation: our young people.”

Read more: Sierra Leone ex-president, Koroma, charged with treason over alleged coup

He said a national task force on substance abuse – involving all sectors of society and supervised by a presidential advisory team – would be set up to implement a five-step strategy for what he called a drug-free future.

Kush’s low price make it accessible to disillusioned, unemployed youth in Sierra Leone, where around a quarter of the population lives in poverty.

The drug is also found in the neighbouring West African nation of Liberia.

Local communities had called on the government to tackle the scourge and help them deal with drug users.

The head of Sierra Leone’s only psychiatric hospital, Abdul Jalloh, welcomed Bio’s declaration as a crucial step towards addressing drug use.

WARNING! All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express permission from ZAMBIA MONITOR.

Court jails Lusaka businessman five years for stealing motor vehicle valued at K100,000

Previous article

Just In: Police withdraw order inviting Catholic Priest, Mukosa, to appear for interrogation

Next article

You may also like


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *