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Although it is hardly a new drug to anyone outside of the United States, here we are beginning to see the oncoming tide of possible Khat addiction rearing its head within the communities of migrant workers and others that are looking for the newest way to get high. This plant is often chewed and held in the cheek in the same way as chewing tobacco. It is considered illegal because it contains cathinone, a chemical that is a controlled substance with little to no known medicinal properties.

Khat addiction

Khat addiction

Chewing the plant releases the chemicals within it, which are said to create feelings of euphoria and an increased alertness, which can last up to 24 hours, though they usually fade within a window of about 90 minutes to three hours. Perhaps as many as ten million people in the world use this drug on a regular basis. It has traditionally been found in the eastern parts of Africa as well as the southwest portion of the Arabian Peninsula, although it has steadily made its way to the United States in recent years, as people bring small portions of the plant into the country for their own use by growing it in gardens. Although the drug seems mild, it does have a number of side effects that occur with prolonged usage. These problems can include tooth decay and other forms of periodontal disease, digestive problems like constipation and gastritis, an irregular heartbeat and even heart attack.

With its popularity starting to grow, many doctors and other professionals in the health care field are worried about the effects that the plant may have. If you have been using this plant and feel that you are beginning to develop a khat addiction, then you should seek out the nearest drug detox facility to you. Although it remains unclear whether the drug can create a physical dependence in the people that use it, there have been reports of depression, tremors, and such from people that have used the drug on a long-term basis. There may also be a weak connection between the drug and people with mental disorders, increasing their effects. Therefore, it is best to receive the help that is needed before anything happens that could drastically affect your physical or mental health.