Deadly Drug Mixture “Kush” Sweeps Sierra Leone, Contains Ground-Up Human Bones

A dangerous and addictive drug mixture called “kush” is spreading rapidly across Sierra Leone, causing widespread concern among authorities and health professionals. This potent blend of cannabis, fentanyl, tramadol, formaldehyde, and reportedly ground-up human bones is being smoked by young men, leading to a state of zombie-like trance.

Unlike the traditional “kush” strain from Afghanistan, this version is a constantly changing mix of drugs that can include harmful ingredients like opioids and human bones. The addition of crushed human bones is believed to contribute to the drug’s hypnotic high, which can last up to six hours.

The reports of grave-robbing to obtain human bones have added to the nation’s alarm, with security tightened in cemeteries to prevent addicts from digging up skeletons. Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio has declared an emergency, stating that the country is facing an “existential threat” due to the devastating impact of drugs and substance abuse.

The Sierra Leone Psychiatric Hospital has seen a staggering 4,000% increase in admissions for “kush” addicts between 2020 and 2023, with 1,865 cases reported. Dr. Abdul Jalloh, head of the hospital, has welcomed the President’s emergency declaration, saying it is a crucial step in addressing drug use.

However, options for locals are limited, with only one drug rehabilitation center in Freetown, which is reportedly more of a holding center than a rehab facility due to its lack of basic facilities.

The “kush” craze has also been reported in other West African countries, including Guinea and Liberia, making it easy to traffic the drug across borders. The drug’s affordability, at around five leones per joint, has contributed to its popularity, with up to 40 joints being consumed in a day.

The use of drug mixes is common in some African countries, where drugs are cut with cheaper substances to increase profits. Another drug mix, “white pipe”, is popular in South Africa, containing a mixture of methaqualone, cannabis, and tobacco.

As the situation continues to unfold, concerns about the long-term effects of “kush” and the potential for addiction are growing. The demonization of drugs may also play a role in the reality of how much “kush” actually contains human bones, but the reports of grave-robbing and the spread of the drug are undeniable.


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