A 16-year-old boy who confesses to smoking at least three wraps of Kush daily is pleading for medical help and a chance to return to school, mirroring the struggles of many caught in the Kush epidemic.

Abdul Conteh, dropped out of secondary school after losing his mother and their home, leaving him vulnerable on the streets. He admits to a daily struggle, spending a large chunk of his meager earnings on three wraps of kush. Now filled with regret, he seeks medical attention and the opportunity to reclaim his education.

In the heart of Sierra Leone, a shadow looms over the land as drug abuse, particularly kush, tightens its grip on vulnerable souls. Recent figures paint a chilling picture of a nation besieged by a 2000% surge in psychiatric admissions linked to kush—a staggering 70% of all cases landing on the doorstep of the psychiatric hospital in Kissy.

Sia Gbenbo, another victim, turned to commercial sex work due to her kush addiction, illustrating the dangerous and far-reaching consequences of drug abuse. Gbenbo, like Conteh and Macauley, now craves medical care and an opportunity to pursue legitimate means of livelihood.

Yet, amidst the darkness, a glimmer of hope emerges. The Ministry of Social Welfare’s plans to establish a rehabilitation center offer a ray of light to those seeking redemption from the clutches of addiction.

Gassimu Fofana, Head of Communications at Freetown Terminal, acknowledges the severity of the issue and highlights ongoing sensitization efforts in the Sea Side and Moa Wharf communities in Freetown. Fofana emphasizes that professionals, including counselors and therapists, are actively involved in the sensitization drive. He reveals plans for follow-ups with individuals expressing a strong desire to quit Kush.