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Khat, the Dangerous Hybrid Hits the U.S.

I want Khat. No, I want a CAT. I lied… I don’t want either. Khat, actually pronounced ‘cot’, can easily be mistaken if you’re from Boston. Get it? Dry humor I guess. This stimulant contains two primary ingredients, cathinone and cathine. Cathinone is a Schedule IV drug and cathine is a Schedule I: falling under the same category at cocaine. Its origin stems from parts of East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. These natives used the Khat recreationally and as a part of their religious culture. Physicians were using Khat to treat depression, obesity, and lack of energy. Besides the UK and US taking action to make this drug illegal, it is still legal in most parts of Europe, and its founding countries. During the celebration of Ramadan, Khat is used to relieve their fatigue from food deprivation.

Only a few years back, these Western Hemisphere countries were keeping it’s misuse on the down-low . Within the last year, this mischievous vegetable-looking wannabe has since arrived in the UK and North America. The largest shipment was found where the largest Eastern African immigrants populate: Toronto, Washington DC, and San Diego. 3,000 tons of Khat were reported passing through the UK’s airports per year, which led to the illegal stature. So why did action take so long to be served? You got me. There are so many things that I do not understand about life, or government, or the law. Please, that’s a whole different blog. Since I do not like to eat cats, khat actually is a great alternative! It can be taken orally as a tea, chewed into a paste, sprinkled on food (I was wrong, you can eat cats), or smoked. Similar to chewing tobacco, the leaves and twigs of the shrub can be chewed up and then stored in your cheek. Yummy. Okay, I want to know what happens to me if I consume this plant. I do have a vegetarian past, and I know that I always crave more protein. How could it hurt? Well, short-term effects include just a couple: irritability, insomnia, euphoria, physical exhaustion, constipation (yikes), elevated heart rate, increased motor activity and alertness, hallucinations, and breathing problems. Who needs to breathe or go to the bathroom? I DO. WE ALL DO. With a list like that, there can’t be any long-term, right?Anorexia, heart disease, mouth cancer, liver damage, gastric disorders, and depression. Oh… Khat may not be in demand or highly popular, but for drug-dependent people, nothing is beyond reach. No specific physical addiction has been linked to Khat, but there is a psychological dependence. Be alert, signs of withdrawal will be visual to your attentive eye: laziness, mild depression, nightmares, and tremors. Sounds like a teenager…I know I’m not funny, maybe slightly. A professional in the recovery field is here to help. No problem is ignored.

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