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In my country Sierra Leone [a West African nation by the Atlantic Ocean], a national fight had been declared in 2023 by the state’s government, to combat not just the use of but as well seal off all portals; clandestine sources, roots, or supply chain of the sedative drug vogue – Kush, which is a synthetic yet addictive narcotic. Kush – for a snippet bio – is one insidious yet lethal drug which has wreaked unprecedented mayhem on my country men especially the youths, hence it is now dubbed a national menace and a worthy scourge to totally erase in the annals of our country’s current disposition, as it possess a modicum of disgrace and international ridicule especially for our beloved Sierra Leoneans residing, studying, or doing business abroad.

Ever since an awareness had been raised due to the alarming increase in the death toll of my fellow Sierra Leoneans due to the intake of Kush – especially the youths, an imminent campaign was launched to get rid of this evil before it rid us all of our birthplace and sense of existence. To be candid enough, due to the help of social media and ICTs, attention has been drawn to the drug. We (as a nation) have observed and witnessed the series of details that have underwent public scrutiny regarding the composition, production, and propagation of the drug, which is not limited to the digging up of graves, the use of Formalin, and the redundant effect it has on it consumers. To say the least, Kush is a thorn in the flesh that has subjected many of our future leaders to a life of procrastination, loss of identity – as in self-esteem, and subsequently at the apex is death which climax the addicts journey with the voracious Kush.

For me to write this piece of literature, I had to brace up and lay emotions aside as I reminisce on a repulsive state of life I will never ever get back to; since I parted ways with my decade long smoking addiction on the 22nd December 2023, I have never smoked anything in order to not personify a dog that lick it vomit, or myopicly crucify myself again due to lack of discipline or a focus to bounce back. Yes, I also suffered Kush addiction and was only saved by the grace of God through medical intervention by detox during a two week long rehabilitation. I won’t refute the fact that it was a painful process on rehab; had to take about nine intravenous (I.V) fluids – commonly called drip, but I found strength in the thoughts of a new life after surviving a four year intermittent Kush odyssey with the last two years 2022&23 bearing the worst experiences ever faced with in my entire life so far.

Well, to save us time and get straight to the point, the essence of today’s publication is to shed light on the corridors of addiction while complementing government’s effort in the fight against the proliferation of Kush. Some three days ago – the 21st of March, poets around the world commemorated the art of poetry which penetrates deep beyond the fabrics of geographical lines, language or dialect biases, and class or social statuses. For this year’s World Poetry Day, the theme of commemoration is Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants. Whatever this means, whatever sense we could deduce out of it, as we collectively join in the fight and campaign against drug abuse – Kush and other substances alike, let’s not be hasty to judge the addicts for they too have not just a reason to live, but the motive preceding their fall in the abyss of addiction.

Following the end of this piece is a poem I’m sharing with you in light of my time during, and the struggle I endured with addiction. If I should put it this way, this is one of my ways of being vocal in raising an awareness against the abuse of drugs and other substances – especially Kush, so that together as one and united we stand we can win the fight against addiction. If you have a relative that is suffering addiction, hug them like the way an elder sis of mine, Blossom Wills, did to me one faithful evening with tears in her eyes after seeing me the first time in years and shocked to see me smoking cigarette while manning the gate of a wealthy diplomat’s estate in Cantonment Road, Red Pump.

The poem titled Addiction Taught Me was written on the 8th of February 2024, and I’m sharing it with a selfie – the only picture I ever posed for during my worst state of addiction – taken on the 22nd December 2023, with my uncle who paid for my rehab – an I.T professional having worked with the UN over 19yrs and is currently stationed in Pakistan, Alhaji Ahmed Kemokai. Enjoy your read, and make sure you show some love to an addict for no one knows tomorrow. Don’t forget to comment, and share. Have you ever suffered addiction? What did you learn from it? How would you help an addict come out of addiction? Share your thoughts as you reach out through comments. A blessed and fruitful week ahead. Loads of love from the Word Maestro. Shalom!


“`Addiction taught me
uncountable things
I cannot list in entirety;
things like,
not every fall is deliberate;
diamonds are always
the sons of the soil, thus,
residents of the mud.
Society will one day die
if man can't think twice
but in a haste to judge
just to reach a conclusion
rather than proffer
a sustainable solution.

Addiction taught me
that many men
who once ate with you
will spit at you
and even lie to you,
after which they will
say certain truths 'bout you
at your back;
things they should say
only to your face…

Addiction taught me
a great deal of plenty things,
like the price of loyalty
which should never
be mistaken for reverence;
for the latter adores titles,
intelligence, affluence, and
whatever society worships:
while loyalty is costly,
for it price could
either be material wealth
or your untainted
relationship status;
by being a disciplined,
devout, principled, or
no-nonsense person.

Addiction taught me
one important thing;
you should never eat your cake
and expect to have it back
irrespective of the time
you decide to feast on it,
but you can have another
cake or something better
than what you ever had;
it's left with your pocket,
an ingenious mind, or
your network of company:
so, choose your friends
and your thoughts will
calibrate you into
a lifetime of
diligence and honour…“`

  • Joseph Leema


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Salone Messenger is a Global Multimedia and Public Relation Firm based in Sierra Leone with the latest news and information, on top stories, business, politics, entertainment and more