Khat


Street terms for Khat: (pronounced Cot):

Abyssinian tea, African salad, oat, kat, chat, and catha.i Also referred to as qat in Yemen, tschat in Ethiopia, and miraa in Kenya

What does Khat look like?

bullet Khat is a flowering evergreen shrub native to East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.
bullet Khat that is sold and abused is usually just the leaves, twigs, and shoots of the Khat shrub.

How is Khat used?

bullet Khat is typically chewed like tobacco.
bullet The fresh leaves, twigs, and shoots of the Khat shrub are chewed, and then retained in the cheek and chewed intermittently to release the active drug.
bullet Dried plant material can be made into tea or a chewable paste.
bullet Khat can also be smoked and even sprinkled on food.

What are some consequences of Khat use?

bullet Common side effects include anorexia, tachycardia, hypertension, insomnia, and gastric disorders.
bullet Chronic Khat abuse can result in symptoms such as physical exhaustion, violence, and suicidal depression.
bullet Widespread frequent use of Khat impacts productivity because it tends to reduce worker motivation.
bullet Khat can induce manic behaviors, hyperactivity, and hallucinations.
bullet There are reports of Khat-induced psychosis.

Who uses Khat?

bullet The use of Khat is an established cultural tradition for many social situations in the areas of primary cultivation: East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.
bullet Several million people may currently be using Khat worldwide.
bullet The largest concentrations of users are in the regions surrounding the Middle East.

How does Khat get to the United States?

bullet Khat, while illegal in the United States, is legal in much of Europe, East Africa, and the Arabian Peninsula.
bullet Individuals of East African and Middle Eastern descent are mot often responsible for the importation, distribution, possession, and use of Khat in the United States.
bullet Khat is usually shipped already packaged in bundles, and wrapped in plastic bags or banana leaves to retain moisture and freshness.
bullet Khat is generally smuggled in passenger luggage, overnight express mail, or shipped as air cargo and falsely labeled as "vegetables."

How much does Khat cost?

bullet Exactly prices are not known, but Khat is a relatively costly drug.

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