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Khat


Khat Overview
Khat is a flowering evergreen shrub which is abused for its stimulant-like effect. Khat that is sold and abused is usually just the leaves, twigs, and shoots of the Khat shrub.

Street Names: Abyssinian Tea, African Salad, Catha, Chat, Kat, Oat

Methods of Abuse

It is typically chewed like tobacco, then retained in the cheek and chewed intermittently to release the active drug, which produces a stimulant-like effect. Dried Khat leaves can be made into tea or a chewable paste, and Khat can also be smoked and even sprinkled on food.

Effect on the Mind
Khat can induce manic behavior with grandiose delusions, paranoia, nightmares, hallucinations and hyperactivity. Chronic Khat abuse can result in violence and suicidal depression.

Effect on the Body
Khat causes an immediate increase in blood pressure and heart rate. Khat can also cause a brown staining of the teeth, insomnia,and gastric disorders. Chronic abuse of Khat can cause physical exhaustion. The dose needed to constitute an overdose is not known, however it has historically been associated with those who have been long-term chewers of the leaves. Symptoms of toxicity include: delusions, loss of appetite, difficulty with breathing and increases in both blood pressure and heart rate. Additionally, there are reports of liver damage (chemical hepatitis). There have also been reports of cardiac complications, specifically myocardial infarctions, but again this occurs mostly in the long-term chewers of khat or those who have chewed too large a dose.

Content compiled above is intended for informational use only and it does not endorse or recommend services available in this site.

Information throughout this site is courtesy of:
www.drugabuse.gov
www.samhsa.gov
www.nimh.nih.gov
www.nida.nih.gov
www.cdc.gov
www.teens.drugabuse.gov
www.justice.gov

   
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