KHAT – MIRAA/MUGUKA (PART TWO)

KHAT Uses & Effectiveness

What are the effects of khat?
Khat is a stimulant and chewing it can:

  • Make people more alert and talkative
  • Produce feelings of elation
  • Suppress the appetite
  • Produce a feeling of calm if it’s chewed over a few hours, with some describing it as being ‘blissed out’
  • Lead to periods of insomnia

What are the risks of khat?
Because khat is a plant, some people think that it is safe to use. But using any drug involves risk. Here’s what it could do to you:

  • You may develop insomnia and short-lived states of confusion.
  • You can get high blood pressure, heart palpitations and heart problems with heavy use.
  • As khat can cause periods of increased libido, care may be needed to minimize the risk of unsafe sex and unwanted pregnancies.
  • Khat can inflame the mouth and damage the teeth. It can also reduce appetite and cause constipation, and there is concern about a longer-term risk of development of mouth cancers.
  • It can give you feelings of anxiety and aggression.
  • It can make pre-existing mental health problems worse and can cause paranoid and psychotic reactions (which may be associated with irritability, anxiety and losing touch with reality).
  • There is a small risk of significant liver disease, which has the potential to be life threatening.
  • Impurities
    Because khat comes in recognizable leaf form, it can’t easily be cut with anything.

Can you get addicted to khat?
Khat can make a user psychologically dependent (with craving and a desire to keep using in spite of potential harm). When some users stop using they can feel lethargic or mildly depressed and may have a withdrawal period with fine tremors and nightmares.

The effects of khat include:

  • Euphoria
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased energy
  • Increased sociability
  • Increased alertness
  • Cheerfulness
  • Sense of well-being
  • Reduction of boredom

Some people can develop a hyperactive mania after continuous use, or manifest aggression or even a short-lived psychotic episode. It is difficult for most people to consume enough of the drug to develop these more severe symptoms.

A couple of hours after use, a person can begin to experience:

  • Tension
  • Depression
  • Sluggishness
  • Emotional instability
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Lack of concentration
  • Restlessness

Withdrawal Effects of Khat

When a person stops using the drug, he can experience with following withdrawal effects:

  • Nightmares
  • Depression
  • Sedation
  • Low blood pressure
  • Lassitude
  • Trembling
  • Brief hallucinations that occur as a person is going to sleep or waking up

Similar Synthetic Drugs

The two intoxicants in the plant are cathinone and cathine. They are similar to but milder than amphetamine. In the last several years, synthetic forms of this drug have become popular and dangerous. Synthetic cathinones are very often the types of drugs found in “bath salts.” They are far stronger in their synthetic forms. Mephedrone, methylone, methcathinone and MDPV (3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone) are all illicit synthetic drugs in this class.

TO BE CONTINUED……………

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