Sierra Leone Declares Drug Abuse ‘National Emergency’


Sierra Leone Declares Drug Abuse ‘National Emergency’


Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio said Thursday that drug abuse in the country was a “national emergency”, outlining plans to combat a synthetic drug popular with young people.

Kush, a mixture of chemical substances with similar effects to cannabis, has been prevalent in the country for several years.

“It is my solemn duty as president… to declare a national emergency on drug abuse,” Bio said in an address to the nation.

“Our country is currently facing an existential threat due to the devastating impact of drugs and drug addiction, in particular the devastating synthetic drug kush,” he added.

A task force including government agencies and NGOs would be responsible for prevention, treatment, social services support, law enforcement and community engagement.

Bio also said his government was working to take down drug trafficking networks.

Police seized two containers in the capital of Freetown that were filled with kush, police commissioner Joseph Lahai said Thursday.

Seven suspects were taken into custody, he said.