In a press conference attended by media practitioners and government officials, the Minister of Youth Affairs, Orman Bangura, commented on the pressing issue of the escalating Kush addiction among Sierra Leone's young population. The press conference held on Tuesday 15th August, Mr. Bangura maintained that he recognizes the rising cases of drug abuse, especially Cannabis indica.
He remarked that a significant first course of action should be community advocacy, directed at protecting young people within these communities.
He explained that there is an ongoing sensitization drive being carried out by government ministers themselves in multiple regions, on the ills of drug substances, with collaboration with the security sector to limit the distribution of the substance.
Youth Advocate Kadijatu Barrie, representing the civil society, addressed journalists during the conference, shedding light on the alarming rise in Kush consumption over the past two years. Barrie pointed out that the drug is now openly used in every community, signifying an immediate need for intervention.
Barrie shared her own findings, revealing that a staggering 60 percent of individuals admitted to the Sierra Leone Psychiatric Hospital are young addicts brought in by their families or friends.
Minister of Information and Civic Education, Chernor A. Bah, acknowledged the gravity of the situation, emphasizing that Kush addiction is a deeply concerning problem. The government, he noted, recognizes the need for immediate action to address the issue and protect the well-being of the nation's youth.
The Minister of Youth Affairs reaffirmed the government's commitment to addressing the issue and urged the public to actively participate in efforts to tackle the problem. It is crucial to create a supportive environment that encourages young individuals struggling with addiction to seek help, while also implementing preventive measures to curb the spread of Kush use among the youth.
As Sierra Leone confronts the growing challenge of Kush addiction, the government and civil society are working together to protect the well-being and future of the nation's young generation. Immediate action, combined with education and community involvement, is essential to address this pressing concern and provide a path to recovery for those affected by Kush addiction.