What is Khat
What is Khat. Khat, also known as qat, is a stimulant drug that is popular in certain parts of the world, particularly in East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The drug is derived from the leaves of the Catha edulis plant and is typically chewed or brewed into a tea for its stimulant effects. While khat is legal in some countries, it is illegal in others due to its potential for abuse and addiction.
History of Khat
Khat has been used for centuries in East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, where it is considered a cultural tradition and social activity. The practice of chewing khat leaves dates back to ancient times and is still widely practiced today in certain countries, particularly Yemen and Somalia.
How Khat Affects the Body
Khat contains two main active ingredients, cathinone and cathine, which are both stimulants. Some of the physical and psychological effects of khat use include:
Euphoria: Khat use can cause feelings of euphoria and well-being.
Increased energy: Khat can increase energy levels and reduce fatigue.
Appetite suppression: Khat use can suppress appetite.
Increased heart rate and blood pressure: Khat use can cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, which can be dangerous in some individuals.
Insomnia: Khat use can cause insomnia and difficulty sleeping.
Anxiety and paranoia: Khat use can cause anxiety and paranoia, particularly in high doses.
Risks of Khat Use
Khat use can have serious and potentially harmful consequences. Some of the potential risks associated with khat use include:
Addiction: Khat use can lead to physical and psychological dependence, and withdrawal symptoms can occur when use is discontinued.
Psychiatric problems: Khat use can cause or exacerbate psychiatric problems, including anxiety, depression, and psychosis.
Cardiovascular problems: Khat use can cause cardiovascular problems, including high blood pressure, heart palpitations, and heart attacks.
Dental problems: Khat use can cause dental problems, including tooth decay and gum disease.
Legal problems: Khat is illegal in some countries, and possession or sale of the drug can lead to criminal charges.
Interactions with other drugs: Khat use can interact with other drugs, including prescription medications and alcohol, and can increase the risk of adverse effects.
Khat is a stimulant drug that is popular in certain parts of the world, particularly in East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The drug is derived from the leaves of the Catha edulis plant and is typically chewed or brewed into a tea for its stimulant effects. While khat is legal in some countries, it is illegal in others due to its potential for abuse and addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or substance use problems, it is important to seek professional help and support.
(Quat, qat, qaadka, chat, Catha edul is) Khat is a green-leafed ‘stimulant’ shrub that has been chewed like tobacco for centuries by people who live in the Horn of Africa and Arabian peninsula. The fresh leaves, with red twigs, and shoots of the shrub are chewed, and then retained in the cheek and chewed intermittently to release the active drug. Once chewed, it produces an effect similar to (but usually less intense than) that of methamphetamine or cocaine. Dried plant material can be made into tea or a chewable paste, but dried khat is not as potent as the fresh plant product.
It can also be smoked and even sprinkled on food. Khat has recently turned up in Europe, including the UK, particularly among emigrants and refugees from countries such as an Somalia, Ethiopia and the Yemen. It contains a number of chemicals among which are two controlled substances, cathinone and cathine. As the leaves mature or dry, cathinone is converted to cathine, which significantly reduces its stimulatory properties.
There are a number of negative physical effects that have been associated with heavy or long-term use of it, including tooth decay and periodontal disease; gastrointestinal disorders such as constipation, ulcers, inflammation of the stomach, and increased risk of upper gastrointestinal tumours; and cardiovascular disorders such as irregular heartbeat, decreased blood flow, and myocardial infarction. Some of these effects in part may be linked to the chemical fertilisers used by the farmers and producers of Khat. There is also evidence between chronic khat use and mental disorders. Although there is no evidence that khat use causes mental illness, but rather exacerbates underlying psychiatric problems.
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