What is Khat and what are the street names for Khat?
Street terms for Khat: (pronounced Cot) Abyssinian tea, African salad, oat,
kat, chat, and catha. Also referred to as qat in Yemen, tschat in Ethiopia, and
miraa in Kenya.
What does Khat look like?
- Khat is a flowering evergreen shrub native to East Africa and the
- Khat that is sold and abused is usually
just the leaves, twigs, and shoots of the Khat shrub.
How is Khat used?
- Khat is typically chewed like tobacco.
- 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.
- Dried plant material can be made into tea or a chewable paste.
- Khat can also be smoked and
even sprinkled on food.
What are the health side effects of Khat use?
- Common side effects include
insomnia, and gastric disorders.
- Chronic Khat abuse can result in symptoms such as physical exhaustion, violence, and
- Widespread frequent use of Khat impacts productivity because it tends to
reduce worker motivation.
- Khat can induce manic behaviors,
hyperactivity, and hallucinations.
- There are reports of Khat-induced psychosis.
Who uses Khat?
- 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.
- Several million people may currently be using Khat
- The largest concentrations of users are in the regions surrounding
the Middle East.
How does Khat get to the United States?
- Khat, while illegal in the United
States, is legal in much of Europe, East Africa, and the Arabian Peninsula.
- Individuals of East African and Middle Eastern descent are mot often responsible
for the importation, distribution, possession, and use of Khat in the United
- Khat is usually shipped already packaged in bundles, and wrapped in plastic bags
or banana leaves to retain moisture and freshness.
- 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?
- Exactly prices are not known, but Khat is a
relatively costly drug.