State of Emergency Declared Over Drug Made from Human Bones

tatui suwat /
tatui suwat /

Here in the US, we’ve heard a lot about fentanyl use in the last few years, and it’s become extremely problematic. But in Sierra Leone, the big problem drug is called “kush” – and it’s made from human bones.

Before I get into the drug itself, let me describe to you just how problematic it has become in the country. Known as the “zombie drug,” the use of the psychoactive blend of highly addictive substances is becoming so widespread that the president has actually declared a state of emergency in the entire country over it.

As President Julius Maada Bio said in a video message on Friday, “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. It is my solemn duty as your president, acting on the powers conferred on me by the constitution, to declare a national emergency on drug and substance abuse.”

The drug, like any, has been a growing problem. When first discovered in 2020, Dr. Jusu Mattia of Sierra Leone Psychiatric Hospital said they only saw 47 kush addicts. Two years later, that number skyrocketed to 1,101 addicts.

Now, “We have already recorded nearly 2,000 cases of kush addicts.” And many more are dying in their homes and on the streets. It was also recorded that about 63 percent of all patients at the hospital are there because of kush consumption.

Of course, the drug doesn’t just pose psychiatric problems; there are also some rather severe physical ones too.

Naturally, this shouldn’t be a surprise.

After all, the drug is made out of varying combinations of marijuana, fentanyl, tramadol, and formaldehyde. Then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, gangs who make the concoctions use ground-up human bone to mix it all.

According to Dr. Mattia, human bones contain high amounts of sulfur, “and sulfur has the potential of giving you that feeling of high.” This is especially true when taken at high concentration levels and when inhaled.

Of course, getting all that human bone is highly illegal, not to mention heretical in and of itself. Basically, it means the graves of the dead are robbed of their bones. According to Newsweek, thousands of graves across the nation have now been defaced and dug up to make the harmful and addictive drug.

Suffice it to say, this is a nasty, nasty drug. And it is not so slowly bringing Sierra Leone to its knees.