Khat is a stimulant drug that is derived from a shrub that's called the Catha edulis and is used by millions of people around the world for its euphoric effects when a person chews the leaves of the plant. These effects are similar to what a person experiences when they abuse cocaine and amphetamines.
Khat users also experience feelings of restlessness, they can become hyper, their appetite can decrease and they can also lose weight.
Khat contains psychoactive ingredients that are known as cathine and cathinone and because of this khat is classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substance Act.
According to the American Heart Association if a person has heart disease and they chew khat their risk of death and stroke is increased. It's important that anyone with heart problems be aware of this.
People think sometimes if they're using a natural substance like khat to get high they're not in danger but this is far from the truth, chewing khat increases blood pressure and your heart rate also. These effects can last up to 24 hours sometimes and then the user can become depressed, feel irritable and also have problems sleeping.
If a person is a long term user of khat or they are heavy users they also can experience the following problems:
- Periodontal disease
- Stomach inflammation
- Upper gastrointestinal tumors
- Tooth decay
- Irregular heartbeat
- Reduced blood flow
- Myocardial infarction
In the United States most of the khat users are immigrants but like all substances that are abused eventually others may begin chewing khat for the euphoric effects and some people may not be aware of heart problems they may have, especially our younger generation. It's important that people become aware of the risks and dangers associated with the use of khat so we can avoid the serious consequences associated with the use of this substance.
Slang Terms and Street Name for Khat
Chat, Qat, Kat, Miraa, and Quaadka.
One of the risks associated with the use of Khat is psychological dependence (addiction). If a person is a chronic user their mental health can become impaired and they can experience changes in their behavior too.
Khat Use Can Lead To The Following
- Manic behavior
- Grandiose delusions
- Violent behavior
- Suicidal depression
- Paranoid delusions
Various Ways Khat is Used
- Chewing fresh shoots and leaves and then retaining the substance in the cheek area and swallowing the juices.
- Dried khat can be made into tea or a paste for chewing
- Smoking khat (rare)
- Adding to foods (rare)