A person who gets addicted to khat should consider getting professional treatment. Even though this is a milder stimulant than others in this category, it can be a hard drug to stop on one’s own. When a person knows they are addicted to Khat, they should get professional help. Khat is a milder stimulant and people often think they can stop on their own. It can be nearly impossible to try and stop using any drug without professional help once a person is addicted. There is help for both the physical and psychological aspects of the addiction.
We want to educate people who use Khat regularly on the dangers of continuous use. The side effects that come along with regular Khat use can become serious.
No one should ever feel as though they have to face addiction alone. Rehab is an option for those who want to make a change, and it can make such a difference in a person’s life.
Our alcohol recovery program allows you to keep work and family commitments while focusing on your sobriety.
What is Khat?
Khat comes from a plant that is known as Catha Edulis shrub, which is found in East Africa. Khat is derived from the plant’s leaves. This plant contains a stimulant called cathinone, which affects the central nervous system. The other stimulant the plant contains is cathine, which acts as a psychoactive.
There are many ways a person can get Khat. They can purchase it on the dark web and some people find the drug from dealers on the streets. There are many street dealers who sell Khat and other drugs that are not quite as common in the U.S.
On the street, Khat can be sold under several street names:
- Abyssinian Tea
- African Salad
Khat is not legal in the United States. It has no known medical use in our country, and its two ingredients – cathinone and cathine – are listed as Schedule I and Schedule IV drugs.
According to the Controlled Substances Act, a Schedule I drug is defined as having a high potential for abuse and no medical use. A Schedule IV drug is defined as having a lower potential for abuse. Abusing either one can lead to physical and psychological dependence.
Khat is a drug that has been abused for a very long time. Historical evidence suggests that it existed in 13th century Ethiopia (Abyssinia). The drug was brought to Yemen in the early 15th century. It has been around longer than coffee.
In the Yemeni culture, Khat has been used for various social events, and it still is today. As many as 90% of adult males chew khat for as long as four hours every day. Females use the drug less often, but about half of them claim to have a habit of using it. As many as 20% of children under the age of 12 also consume the drug on a daily basis.
About 20 million people use Khat all over the world, and it is a drug that has cultural significance in many countries and cultures. People who abuse this drug often feel that it has been misrepresented in the media to be dangerous.
Many people view Khat as a type of food and not a drug, similar to the way they think of coffee. While it might be a mild stimulant, it does have some side effects that are concerning.
The World Health Organization has stated that khat produces a mild high that is similar to drinking a strong cup of coffee. They do not consider it to be a seriously addictive drug, but consuming it can have consequences; especially psychological ones.
Common Side Effects of Abusing Khat
Most experts consider khat to be a low-risk drug, but it is associated with a number of potentially harmful side effects. Some of the side effects of this drug include:
- Blurred vision
- Weight loss
Khat users put themselves at risk for experiencing complications. People who chew khat leaves are at risk for dental diseases. This drug has an impact on their teeth and gums. This could be due to the pesticides that are sprayed on the leaves. Some cultures believe that washing the leaves before use will reduce their potency from pesticides. That means that as they wash the leaves, they are still exposing themselves to those chemicals.
Mental health issues occur in those who use Khat regularly. The commonly reported issues include psychosis, depression, mood swings, and even violent behaviors.
Signs of Khat Abuse
People get concerned that someone they love might be abusing drugs like Khat. Several signs show that a person has started using this drug, and they include:
- Experiencing changes in their sleep habits.
- High blood pressure.
- Symptoms of depression.
- Decreased appetite.
- Weight loss.
- Irritability and anger.
- Hyperactivity and excitability.
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How do People Get Addicted to Khat?
Khat addiction is not as common as other types of stimulant addictions, but people do get addicted to this drug. It is possible to get addicted to this drug with continued use. This is how people get dependent on it physically and psychologically.
With continued use of Khat, people will feel an urge to keep using. If a person stops using this drug after they are addicted, they can experience cravings for it. An addiction has formed once a person finds themselves needing more of the drug to get the same effects.
There are some signs people can look for in their own lives or in others to determine if they are addicted to khat. The most common signs of addiction include:
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when the drug leaves their system.
- Continuing to use even though they are experiencing health issues as a result.
- Having trouble sleeping at night.
- Changes in appearance, such as becoming more haggard and disheveled.
- Denial that they have a problem with addiction.
- Leaving behind activities they once enjoyed in favor of spending that time using instead.
- Using in secrecy.
- Consuming unsafe amounts of the drug at times.
- Using the drug as a way to cope with their personal problems.
- Taking dangerous risks in order to obtain the drug or use it.
Getting Treatment for Khat Addiction: Is it Always Necessary?
Khat is considered to be a mild stimulant. It therefore may not be necessary for everyone to get the same type of treatment to recover. But once an addiction has formed, people may not be able to get off this drug.
It can be hard to stop using a drug like Khat without some type of help. Experts recommend for people to get assistance from a group of their peers, as well as in a professional rehab setting to be successful in recovery.
Khat does have some addictive properties. If someone stops using, it can lead to withdrawal symptoms. Some of the symptoms of Khat withdrawal include:
- Intense cravings for the drug.
- Slight tremors in the hands, tongue, or even the entire body.
- Depressed mood.
- An increase in body temperature or just feeling hotter than normal.
- An increased appetite.
- Feeling fatigued and sleeping too much.
- Painful headaches.
These withdrawal symptoms can make it much more difficult for people to recover. Commonly, people would rather relapse than experience their discomfort.
A period of drug detox may not be necessary for people who are addicted to Khat. Withdrawal symptoms may be well-managed using more holistic methods of treatment in rehab. If a person is also using other drugs besides Khat, a detox period might be recommended. After the person has detoxed, rehab would be the next step on the road to sober living.
We recommend for anyone who is addicted to Khat to go through drug rehab for recovery. This can help by reducing the chance that they will relapse. It will allow them to focus on their goal of getting clean in a safe environment.
The goal of drug rehabilitation is to address the reasons behind a person’s addiction. This is an important process that should never be ignored. In rehab, clients participate in various types of therapies. This will help with their underlying issues. Both individual and group therapy are a critical part of the recovery process.
In the United States, people who use Khat often start because of the novelty of using an unknown drug. They may be interested in its stimulant effects. They are not getting enough from coffee or over-the-counter stimulants. But eventually, that curiosity can turn into dependence and addiction. Some people will use Khat because they have an undiagnosed mental health issue. This is called having a co-occurring disorder.
50% of people with addictions have co-occurring disorders. A person who is addicted to Khat could be using this drug as a way to self-medicate. They are trying to solve their mental health problems. Mental health issues can be addressed at the same time as addiction. This is known as dual diagnosis treatment.
Springboard Recovery Offers Treatment for Khat Addiction
At Springboard Recovery, we understand how easy it is to get addicted to drugs like khat. Substances like this one appear to be benign because they are used by so many different cultures. People may view it as more of a supplement and not as a drug. But that does not mean they cannot form addictions to it.
For clients who come to us for treatment, we always assess them to determine what they need on a personal basis. Every addiction is different. We want to make sure our clients receive personalized and targeted services. If drug detox is necessary, we can offer a detox referral. If not, the client can start rehab right away.
Springboard Recovery offers one of the best outpatient drug rehab programs in Arizona. We specialize in intensive outpatient treatment. Our IOP offers a high level of support, which is needed for recovery to be successful. This program is flexible, and it can fit into most people’s schedules easily. It meets during the evening hours and because we meet at this time, it leaves the daytime free for other daily responsibilities.
Some of the people we work with have home situations that are not the best for recovery. They may live in an abusive home situation that uses Khat or other drugs and alcohol. In cases like these, we recommend our sober living services.
Sober living homes provide a safe, healthy environment. This type of living environment allows people to receive help where they feel safe. Residents come to us from local communities in Arizona. But we also have residents who want to travel here for rehab. They are more than welcome to stay in our sober living home while they get the treatment they need.
Our alcohol recovery program allows you to keep work and family commitments while focusing on your sobriety.
Learn More About Khat Addiction and Drug Rehab for Recovery
Khat is not the most dangerous drug on the market, but it is one that people should be concerned about. This is especially true if people are taking it with other drugs, alcohol, or even coffee. Addicts need to understand there is help available to them to start working towards a sober life.
At Springboard Recovery, we offer people the opportunity to get professional help. Our caring and dedicated staff are here to provide the necessary support. Springboard Recovery can help explain how rehab could work for you.
If you think you need help because you are addicted to Khat we can help you. Contact us today to get more information.
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