National Emergency Declared Over Kush Spreading Epidemic

Kush is a psychoactive blend of addictive substances that has become sadly popular in Sierra Leone in recent years. The drug’s impact is visible on the streets where groups of mostly young men sit with limbs swollen from kush abuse, overwhelming already limited healthcare services and leaving communities to fend for themselves.

In a desperate attempt to help addicts, some communities have set up their own makeshift treatment centers run by volunteers.

Admissions to the Sierra Leone Psychiatric Hospital linked to kush surged by nearly 4,000% between 2020 and 2023, reaching 1,865. Doctors report hundreds of young men have died from organ failure caused by the drug in recent months in the capital city of Freetown alone.

As part of the emergency declaration, President Bio has directed the establishment of a National Task Force on Drugs and Substance Abuse to combat the kush crisis. The task force will focus on prevention, treatment, law enforcement and community engagement.

Treatment centers will be set up in every district, staffed by trained professionals to provide care and support for those battling addiction.

The tragic state of affairs for a nation familiar with trauma and war has brought on a fight against a silent killer plaguing the youth of Sierra Leone.

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