State of Emergency Declared Over Drug Made from Human Bones

State of Emergency Declared Over Drug Made from Human Bones

Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio declared a state of emergency in the country on Friday over the rampant use of kush — known as the “zombie drug” — a psychoactive blend of highly addictive substances that has lately been mixed using ground up human bones.

“We are making concerted efforts to combat this menace, but unfortunately we are experiencing a surge in kush consumption and escalated fatalities among its users,” President Bio said in a video message. “It is my solemn duty as your president, acting on the powers conferred on my by the constitution to declare a national emergency on drug and substance abuse.”

Gangs who produce the kush have been digging up graves of the dead and stealing their bones to grind them up and use them to create the addictive drug, which is a mixture of marijuana, fentanyl, tramadol and formaldehyde, according to Newsweek.

Sierra Leone’s Channel 4 News noted in a documentary that local communities in the capital city Freetown have created groups called “Friends of the Dead” to stop grave robbers and prevent them from stealing bones from the deceased.

David Deen, a “Friends of the Dead” member, told Channel 4 that thousands of graves have been robbed of bones for the creation of kush.

However, bones have more recently been added to the mixture for a reason one might not expect.

Dr. Jusu Mattia of Sierra Leone Psychiatric Hospital explained that “human bones contain a lot of sulfur, and sulfur has the potential of giving you that feeling of high, especially when taken at high in at concentration and when inhaled because it goes directly to the brain.”

Kush has caused psychiatric damage to scores of its users since it first appeared in Sierra Leone several years ago.

In an interview with the U.K. Telegraph in January, Dr. Mattia said that in 2020, there were just 47 people who they identified as kush addicts.

Two years later, in 2022, that number increased to 1,101 kush addicts.

“We have already recorded nearly 2,000 cases of kush addicts in 2023 at the hospital,” Dr. Mattia said. “Many are dying in homes and on the streets.”

According to the BBC, it is a common sight in Sierra Leone to see groups of mostly young men sitting on street corners with limbs swollen by kush abuse.

In fact, it is reported that 63 percent of Sierra Leone Psychiatric Hospital’s current patients were admitted with kush-related problems.

Aside from the psychiatric effects, kush also has devastating physical effects on those who take it.

WARNING: The following videos contains graphic images that some readers may find disturbing. 

As with most users, however, the root of why most kush users seem to gravitate towards the cheap, addictive drug is to find an escape from their suffering.

“It makes you forget,” Salifu Kamara, 21, who is a kush user in Sierra Leone, told NPR. “We’re under such strain. There’s no work. There’s nothing here.”


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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