A new drug which is turning many youngsters to zombies has emerged in Sierra Leone.
The drugs are reportedly made from human bone fragments.
It is technically illegal in Sierra Leone, but is bought and sold openly on the streets of Freetown.
The drug which is known as Kush is made from a mixture of herbs, toxic chemicals, and even human bones.
A 25-year-old addict, Abu Bakhar told Channel 4 News that he 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.
“Because of drugs I did not concentrate on studies. Because of drugs I did not concentrate on writing. Because of drugs I did not concentrate on anything,” he said
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.
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”.
Alhaji, another kush victim, says that he was addicted after being given just one joint of the mysterious new zombie drug.
He said: “I went to the ghetto to buy another one and smoke it. I said ‘This is so sweet, can I get more?‘ and that’s how I became an addict.”
He says he’s trying to quit it, and is praying for help.
A 21-year-old, Amara Kallon told the Daily Telegraph, “I used to smoke a couple of slings of marijuana a day but after I was introduced to kush by friends, I never turned back. I sold my clothes and books to satisfy my addiction. I started stealing household items, phones, pots and dishes to buy drugs.”
Estimates suggest more than 1million people from Sierra Leone and neighbouring Liberia and Guinea are now addicted to kush.