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Sierra Leoneans Unite To Fight Life-Ravaging Drug ‘Kush’

SIERRA LEONE: Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio, has declared a National Emergency on drugs and substance abuse in response to the devastating impacts of Kush. This declaration comes amidst calls to cut the supply chain and help the many victims suffering due to the widespread abuse of this dangerous substance.

Tamba Bockarie had dreams of becoming a Chief Executive some day.

But his dream became a nightmare when he first started smoking kush in 2021.

Now, he says He’s turning his life around for good after quitting in February this year.

“I had to reflect my mind back from all the challenges I’ve been through in the past and I realized I was responsible for some of the challenges that have happened in my life. I also reflected on the positive side and realized there’s a better room for improvement for me to make it up in life. So that’s why I decided that it’s never too late in my life,” the Kush survivor says.

Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Health estimates an increase in reported cases from 47 in 2020 to over 1800 hospital cases in 2023, although solid data is yet to be provided.

In addiction to the dependence drug use provokes, DR Jusu Mattia, the acting medical superintendent, Sierra Leone Psychiatric Teaching Hospital mentions physical injuries: “Number of physical injuries that are sustained as a result of the use of Kush;” he says. 

“Psychologically, there is this is dependence- where the patient becomes dependent on the substance such that they cannot do anything without using the Kush. First thing in the morning they have to make sure they refill with the Kush and then later on as the day goes by, they continue the use.”

People in Sierra Leone are hopeful that with collective efforts there’s hope for a brighter and drug-free future.

Activists and volunteers continue to raise awareness and support those affected by drug abuse.

“Now that government has now put state of emergency on Kush, we should use the other apparatus or the setup stage that was done for COVID and Ebola for us to use those structures- community structures, health structures, and psychosocial structures. And the community empowerment structures,” Habib Taigore Kamara, the executive director of Social Linkages for Youth Development and Child Link says.

Africanews 

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