Caritas Freetown Urges Government to Act on Rampant Use of Illicit “kush” Drug

Logo of Caritas Sierra Leone. Credit: Caritas Freetown

Caritas Freetown, the humanitarian and development arm of the Archdiocese of Freetown in Sierra Leone, is urging the government of the West African nation to “take immediate action” to end the use of a cheap and dangerous drug known as kush, Church entity says has become widespread among the youth.

In a statement shared with ACI Africa Thursday, October 26, officials of Caritas Freetown say, “The widespread use of this substance is resulting in severe mental and social problems, with a significant correlation to unemployment and economic challenges.”

“Caritas Freetown is issuing a heartfelt plea to the government to take immediate action by declaring a health emergency and allocating resources to combat this crisis, ultimately safeguarding the nation's youth,” Caritas Freetown officials say in their message dated October 23.

They add, “Caritas Freetown joins forces with other concerned stakeholders in calling for the government's unwavering commitment to treating this issue as a national priority.”

In light of the gravity of the situation, Caritas Freetown urges the government to “declare a health emergency, signifying its dedication to protecting the well-being and future of the nation's youth.”


“In addition to declaring a health emergency, it is paramount to invest in prevention and rehabilitation programs. This includes establishing accessible and affordable treatment facilities, launching comprehensive public awareness campaigns, and implementing educational initiatives aimed at enlightening young people about the dangers associated with kush consumption,” Caritas Freetown officials say.

By addressing the root causes of drug abuse, such as unemployment and economic challenges, Caritas Freetown officials say, “the government can foster an environment that discourages drug use while providing opportunities for healthier alternatives.”

They further say, “Regional and international collaboration is pivotal in addressing the transnational nature of drug trafficking and distribution. Collaborative efforts with neighboring countries and international organizations can strengthen law enforcement activities, enhance border control measures, and facilitate intelligence sharing to disrupt the supply chain of illicit substances.”

“Caritas Freetown stands ready to lend its unwavering support and collaborate with the government in its endeavors to combat this pressing issue,” they say, and add, “Together, we can create a society where the youth are nurtured, protected, and empowered to break free from the grip of addiction and poverty.”

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.