Urgent need to address the crisis of killer kush drug supply and use 

Dr Samura M W Kamara: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 19 March 2024:

Fellow Sierra Leoneans, in the shadows of a profound tragedy that has befallen our nation, and that has already led to the irreparable loss of many precious lives of our youths, including 32, who were recently buried at the Kingtom cemetery, to the clutches of the illegal and addictive drug known as “KUSH”, we find ourselves at the crossroads of another emergency public health scare.

The mass burial at the Kington cemetery in Freetown is not just a solemn occasion for mourning but a stark reality and a wake-up call to the pervasive crisis that threatens the very fabric of our society.

Public outcry and testimonies have shed light on a grim reality: the use of KUSH and other illegal substances has burgeoned into a significant social issue, with roots entangled in the highest levels of our political, economic, law enforcement and social institutions.

The existence of manufacturing, trafficking and distribution hubs especially within Freetown, points to a crisis that is not only becoming widespread in the country but is now deeply entrenched within our very impoverished urban community arteries, just as it happened in the case of Ebola.

Fellow Sierra Leoneans, the time for action is now. The role of national leaders in protecting all citizens and, in particular, ensuring the welfare of the youth cannot be overstated.

Unemployment, social neglect and the rising cost of living, in all their dimensions, leading to deepening poverty and hunger, despair and loss of hope, especially with respect to the users, cannot be ignored as defining factors.

At the same time, our complementary roles, united endeavours and actions as citizens and community stakeholders to protect our youth against this murderous KUSH cannot be overstated.

As responsible citizens, parents, guardians, youth leaders, friends, colleagues, neighbours, we must honestly and seriously commit to recognize the gravity of this situation and to take decisive action.

In the spirit of saving Sierra Leone, it is incumbent upon us to target, condemn and castigate those greatly responsible for this drug crisis that has engulfed our youth, the pride of our future.

The onus is upon each one of us – political leadership, experts in drug rehabilitation, youth representatives, community leaders, and law enforcement agencies to investigate the depth and breadth of the drug crisis, identifying the networks and individuals involved in the production, distribution, and sale of illegal drugs like KUSH.

It is now time for us to commit to eradicate the drug menace in the country.

We cannot pretend that we are unaware or unaffected, directly, or indirectly, by the lethal effects of these killer drugs within our communities. There is no doubt that those currently addicted to these drugs require urgent dedicated attention and rehabilitation services and support.

Our parliamentarians have asked, and rightly so, for a declaration of a public emergency of some such. Frankly speaking, the issue is not so much about the users but more so about identifying and bringing to book the agents that provide these substances, knowing fully that the core active ingredients are imported, legally or illegally.

This is a call to unity, beyond political affiliations and personal interests, for the sake of our nation’s health and prosperity. The challenges we face are formidable, but not insurmountable. Together, we can turn the tide against this crisis, safeguarding our youth and ensuring a vibrant, healthy future for Sierra Leone.

Let us honour the memory of those we have lost by committing ourselves to action. Let this moment be a turning point, where we stand united in our resolve to heal our nation and pledge to build a safer, brighter future for all.

Let us rise above the fray, set aside our differences, and come together for the common good. Our nation’s future, the well-being of our children, depends on it. Let us avoid igniting another stigma upon our country, after Blood Diamonds and Ebola.

In the event that this drug menace is and/or may be spreading to our neighbouring countries, then, it is advisable that for a start, we make it an active item on the Agenda of the Mano River Union.

In service to our nation, let us say NO TO KUSH and to all other ADDICTIVE and Dangerous DRUGS.

God Bless Sierra Leone! Long Live the APC!


1 Comment

  1. The question is how did we get here? Taking a strategic view of problem solving will require an identification of the problem and understand its root causes rather than glossing over the cracks.
    Drug use and addiction is prevalent among the youth population in recent years amongst which includes Kush mainly due to a variety of challenges youths are facing having been let down by the system with government policies and lack of support mechanisms. Part of the approach may require tackling the source and supporting youths through skills building, job creation and financial support for the most vulnerable.

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