A new drug is wreaking havoc across Sierra Leone, turning many of its youngsters into “zombies” and some of these drugs are made from human bone fragments.
“Kush” is made from a mixture of herbs, toxic chemicals, and even human bones. The drug, which costs just 20p a joint, is proving hugely popular for young people in Sierra Leone.
Addicts say it ”takes you to another world, one where you don’t know yourself”.
It’s technically illegal in Sierra Leone but is bought and sold openly on the streets of Freetown.
The exact ingredients of kush are a mystery and vary from batch to batch. Opioids such as fentanyl are frequently found in joints, as well as a mixture of herbs and ground-up human bone.
The bones, according to one medical expert, contain traces of sulphur which can enhance the drug’s effect. Dealers have broken into “thousands” of graves to steal skeletons to use as an ingredient, locals say.
One victim, 25-year-old Abu Bakhar, abandoned his hopes of a career in music because Kush reduced him to a virtual zombie.
“Because of drugs I did not concentrate on music,” he told Channel 4 News. “Because of drugs, I did not concentrate on my studies. Because of drugs, I did not concentrate on writing. Because of drugs I did not concentrate on anything.”
Like many kush addicts, he’s lost his home and now lives on a landfill site on the outskirts of Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown. Over a thousand other people reportedly live on the rubbish dump, combing it for anything of value that they can sell to buy more kush.