• November 14, 2023


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In a concerning development, Caritas Freetown has called upon the Sierra Leonean government to declare the growing issue of kush addiction as a health emergency.

Sierra Leone, along with neighbouring countries Guinea and Liberia, has witnessed a surge in the number of young individuals falling victim to the harmful effects of this dangerous substance. The abuse of kush, also known as K2, has already claimed numerous lives in the region, prompting urgent action.

Kush, a potent synthetic drug, has emerged as a serious threat to Sierra Leonean communities. Users, despite experiencing detrimental aftereffects such as impaired coordination, body injuries, and a loss of self-esteem, continue to seek opportunities to obtain more of the substance. The effects of kush are so severe that individuals under its influence often exhibit bizarre behaviour, including falling asleep while standing or walking in public spaces.

The recent death toll due to kush addiction has reached alarming levels, with over twelve individuals being buried today at the Kingtom Cemetery. The remains of these unfortunate victims were held at the Connaught Hospital for several days before their final resting place. The heart-wrenching scenes at the cemetery serve as a sobering reminder of the urgent need to address this crisis.

Caritas Freetown, a prominent social and humanitarian organization, is spearheading efforts to combat the kush epidemic. They are calling on the Sierra Leonean government to take immediate action by declaring kush addiction a health emergency. This declaration would enable the mobilization of resources and the implementation of comprehensive strategies to tackle the issue at its root.

The organization emphasizes the need for a multi-faceted approach that encompasses public awareness campaigns, prevention programs, and the establishment of rehabilitation centers. Caritas Freetown also stresses the importance of collaboration between government agencies, healthcare professionals, law enforcement, and community leaders to effectively address the crisis.

The devastating effects of kush addiction extend beyond the individual users themselves, impacting families, communities, and society as a whole. It is imperative that swift action is taken to prevent further loss of life and mitigate the long-term consequences of this growing problem.

As the call for urgent intervention gains momentum, it is hoped that the Sierra Leonean government will heed the plea and prioritize the health and well-being of its citizens. By declaring kush addiction a health emergency, the government can take the necessary steps to curb the spread of this dangerous substance and provide much-needed support to those affected.

Sierra Leone and its neighbouring countries face a critical juncture in combatting the kush epidemic. Only through concerted efforts, public awareness, and a comprehensive response can this escalating crisis be effectively addressed, ensuring a safer and healthier future for all.

Credit: Fr Peter A Konteh

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