What is Khat

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Learn The Answer To What Is Khat

You may be wondering what is khat, since this substance is perhaps not as well-known as commonly abused drugs like heroin, marijuana, or cocaine.

While khat may not be as widely used as other drugs, it is an addictive substance that can cause serious negative consequences.

Khat has specific effects on the body, and learning about them can help you to understand the risks of khat abuse, as well as the signs that someone is under the influence of this drug.

Ultimately, khat abuse can lead to an addiction that requires treatment.

Answering What Is Khat Begins With An Explanation Of The Class This Drug Is In

Drugs typically belong to a certain class depending upon the effects they have on the body. According to experts, khat demonstrates qualities that are similar to those seen with stimulant drugs like amphetamines. Khat also contains a type of chemical called cathinone, which has stimulant effects just like amphetamines.

Based upon this fact, khat is generally classified as a stimulant drug, and its effects include euphoria, excitability, and excessive talkativeness. In large doses, the stimulating effects of khat can cause hyperactivity and manic behavior. If you want to know what is khat, a simple explanation is that it is a stimulant drug that creates an extremely positive mood and may lead to excitement and hyperactive behaviors in users.

Knowing The Answer To What Is Khat Requires An Understanding Of Its History

History shows that khat has been around for centuries; in fact, it is believed that the use of khat predates the consumption of coffee. Khat is a shrub, and people have used it for its natural stimulant properties for hundreds of years. It is most popular in the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa, but experts indicate that its use has spread across Europe and to North America more recently. Traditionally, people have used khat by chewing leaves of the khat plant.

What Is Khat And What Are Its Effects?

People may think that khat is harmless since it is a natural stimulant derived from a plant product, but the reality is that understanding what is khat requires an acknowledgment that this drug can have dangerous side effects. For example, research shows that khat can reduce appetite and lead to malnutrition. It is also linked to hyperthermia, high blood pressure and constipation. Other studies have shown that khat can create psychiatric problems, which is not surprising given that it has similar effects to amphetamines, which can cause psychotic behaviors.

Learning What Is Khat Involves A Discussion Of Cathinones

When describing what is khat, most experts turn to a discussion of cathinones. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, cathinone is a chemical found in khat, but there are man-made versions of this chemical, called synthetic cathinones. The synthetic version is similar to the cathinone found in khat, and it also has a stimulant effect. Unfortunately, synthetic cathinones, which are commonly referred to as bath salts, are stronger than khat, and they come with serious risks.

These drugs are available in smoke shops and convenience stores, disguised as actual bath salts. In some cases, they are labeled as plant food or cleaners. Makers market these products as a cheaper alternative to stimulant drugs like amphetamines or cocaine, and people can use them by swallowing, snorting, injecting, or smoking. These drugs are strong and extremely dangerous, and in some cases, they may be 10 times stronger than cocaine.

People who abuse this synthetic version of khat tend to become paranoid and suffer from hallucinations. They may also become violent and erratic and suffer from panic attacks or extreme agitation. Synthetic cathinones can also cause chest pain, elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, dehydration, muscle breakdown, and kidney failure, and sometimes, use of these drugs leads to death.

Is Khat Addictive?

One of the most important things to consider when talking about what is khat is whether this substance is addictive. According to Research with khat, this drug is highly addictive, much like stimulant drugs such as cocaine. Furthermore, there is a cross-tolerance between khat and amphetamines, meaning that if someone has a tolerance to amphetamines, they will also be tolerant to khat.

This cross-tolerance occurs primarily because of the stimulant effects of the cathinone found in khat. It is important to know that synthetic cathinones are also highly addictive, according to experts. Research shows that animals will repeatedly self-administer synthetic cathinones, and people who use these drugs state that they have a strong urge to use them repeatedly. Withdrawing from cathinones is also associated with unpleasant symptoms, such as depression, paranoia, anxiety, tremors, and sleep problems. All of these characteristics point to the fact that khat is an addictive drug.

Signs of Khat Addiction and Treatment Options

In summary, the answer to what is khat, is in simple terms, that it is an addictive stimulant drug. If you or a loved one has been abusing khat or its synthetic counterpart, you may be wondering what the signs of khat addiction look like. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the clinical term for an addiction is a substance use disorder. Some signs of a substance use disorder involving khat are as follows: strong cravings for the drug, using larger amounts of khat than intended, or continuing to abuse khat, even when it causes problems fulfilling responsibilities at work or home.

Someone with a khat addiction may also fail to cut back on khat use, spend a great deal of time using khat, or continue using khat, even when it causes a health problem or contributes to relationship conflict. If you are living with a khat addiction, treatment will likely be necessary to help you stop using this drug. An addiction or substance use disorder is a brain disease that leads to compulsive drug use, meaning it is difficult to stop using on your own without treatment. As the National Institute on Drug Abuse explains, behavioral treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy can help you to stop using khat.

Treatment for Khat Addiction in California

If you or a loved one is seeking California khat addiction treatment, Resurgence is located in Orange County, and we offer drug detox as well as outpatient and inpatient drug rehab.

We create an individualized treatment plan for every client who walks through our door, and we are qualified to treat both khat addiction and mental illness, because we are a dual diagnosis rehab.

This means that if you have mental health issues alongside your addiction, we can create a treatment plan that meets your unique needs.

If you choose us as your residential treatment provider, you will recover in a homelike setting with easy access to California amenities, such as swimming pools, waterfalls, piers, beaches, and outdoor shopping.

You may be worried about covering the costs of khat addiction treatment, but at Resurgence, we simplify the process with our free, confidential insurance verification program.

Simply visit our website or give us a call with your insurance information, and we will tell you what services your provider covers and how much you can expect to pay out of pocket for treatment at Resurgence California.

If you are without insurance, we accept private payments, and we will create a payment plan to make treatment affordable for you.

Reach out to us today to discuss your options.


1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2536214/pdf/bullwho00094-0012.pdf
2) https://www.drugabuse.gov/international/abstracts/differential-effect-khat-catha-edulis-celestraceae-its-potent-alkaloids-release-dopamine-using-in
3) https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/synthetic-cathinones-bath-salts
4) https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/media-guide/science-drug-use-addiction-basics

Addiction Treatment that
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Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.