National Emergency Declared by President Bio to Combat Rising Drug Epidemic

President Dr. Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone
President Dr. Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

In a solemn address to the nation on April 4, 2024, President Dr. Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone declared a national emergency in response to the escalating crisis of drug and substance abuse, particularly the devastating synthetic drug known as Kush. The President emphasized the existential threat posed by this epidemic, which is tearing apart communities and robbing the nation of its future leaders.

President Bio expressed deep concern over the widespread impact of Kush, stating that it disregards societal boundaries of class, ethnicity, gender, or religion, affecting individuals indiscriminately. Despite the government’s efforts to stem the proliferation of drugs, the President acknowledged a surge in Kush consumption and fatalities among users.

In his address, President Bio outlined a comprehensive strategy to address the crisis. This strategy includes the establishment of a National Task Force on Drugs and Substance Abuse (NaTFDSA), comprised of key government ministries, law enforcement agencies, community organizations, NGOs, religious bodies, and individuals in recovery. The task force will implement a five-part plan focusing on prevention, care and treatment, social services support, law enforcement, and community engagement.

Furthermore, President Bio underscored the importance of education and rehabilitation in combating drug addiction. He highlighted initiatives to empower youth with knowledge and skills to resist drugs and invest in rehabilitation facilities for those struggling with addiction. Additionally, the President emphasized the need for job creation to deter idleness, a significant factor contributing to drug abuse.

The President issued a stern warning to those involved in drug production and trafficking, stating that there would be no leniency in enforcement efforts. He pledged to strengthen law enforcement and judicial mechanisms to prosecute offenders swiftly and decisively.

President Bio called for national unity in addressing the epidemic, urging citizens to support one another and reject the lure of drugs. He invoked the spirit of resilience demonstrated during past challenges, such as the Ebola and COVID-19 outbreaks, emphasizing the collective responsibility of every citizen and sector of society in overcoming the crisis.

In conclusion, President Bio extended condolences to families who have lost loved ones to drug abuse and invoked divine guidance in the nation’s efforts to combat the epidemic. He called upon all citizens to join hands in building a brighter, drug-free future for generations to come.

The President’s declaration of a national emergency signals a decisive step in Sierra Leone’s battle against the scourge of drug addiction, marking a united effort to safeguard the nation’s youth and preserve its future.











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