Kush: the brand new artificial drug inflicting angst in West Africa | APAnews

After wreaking havoc amongst younger individuals in Sierra Leone, using kush is starting to unfold to different West African international locations. It’s worrying governments and oldsters in Guinea, Liberia and now Senegal, the place international traffickers have been arrested in current days.

The authorities’ concern is predicated on current discoveries concerning the composition of this new artificial drug. In response to some scientists, it comprises harmful chemical substances laced with human bone tissue.

It’s a chilling revelation that has since drawn public consideration to the dangerous results of kush on the psychological well being of its customers.

In Sierra Leone, one of many poorest international locations in West Africa, many idle youth flip to the drug to kill boredom. From the slums to the upmarket streets of the capital, Freetown, the place it first appeared about 5 years in the past, customers are recognized for his or her drowsiness and unsteady gait.

The latter are nicknamed “zombies,” or addicts who don’t disrupt the group, versus important instances whose remedy will be complicated on the nation’s solely psychiatric hospital: the College Psychiatric Hospital of Sierra Leone. Its mission is to wean drug addicts of the tendency after they’re introduced in by their households underneath tough situations.

However in March 2024, dozens of younger addicts in Sierra Leone have been killed by the drug, making its use an actual public well being downside, based on the Senegalese newspaper L’Observateur, which revealed an article on the topic final Wednesday.

The newspaper spoke to legislation enforcement officers who’re waging a fierce battle in opposition to people making an attempt to arrange a ‘kush’ trafficking community in Senegal. A few of these traffickers, principally from international locations within the sub-region, have been arrested in current days, the newspaper experiences.

Given the risk to different international locations within the Financial Group of West African States (ECOWAS), the West African Epidemiological Community on Drug Use (WENDU) just lately met in Abuja, Nigeria, to validate information and handle regional challenges within the space of drug abuse. The workshop, held from 23-25 April, reaffirmed the regional physique’s dedication to supporting Sierra Leone in its emergency programme to fight drug abuse linked to using ‘kush’.

“Whereas our focus in the present day is on strengthening the capability of our area as an entire to take care of drug-related issues, we’re significantly attentive to the intense issues going through Sierra Leone. We’re intently monitoring the state of affairs and are dedicated to mobilising focused help as a part of our regional technique,” burdened Sintiki Tarfa Ugbe, Director of Humanitarian and Social Affairs at ECOWAS, which goals to advertise an strategy to the struggle in opposition to medicine that may guarantee a “more healthy and safer” West African group.


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