The drug cat – what do you need to know.

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The drug cat – what do you need to know.

13 August, 2021Articles, News

Methcathinone, otherwise known as the drug cat, is a commonly used and easily accessible, synthetic stimulant that is used recreationally in South Africa and other parts of the world (Sikk and Taba, 2015). It is a stimulant and as such, acts to elevate a persons energy levels as well as brain activity. Individuals under the influence of cat often appear to have erratic speech and behaviour (Dasgupta, 2016). It elevates an individual’s heart rate, blood pressure and increases the levels of certain chemicals in the brain (Sikk & Taba, 2015). This produces a sensation of euphoria, hyperactivity and pleasure in those under its influence (Sikk & Taba, 2015).

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This synthetic stimulant was initially produced using “over the counter cold remedies” which contain high levels of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. The final mixture often contains high levels of manganese. Although manganese is an essential trace element, exposure to high levels of it is neurotoxic and may possibly result in neurological disorders such as early onset Parkinson’s disease (Sikk and Taba, 2015).

The drug cat, suppresses an individuals’ appetite as well need for sleep and although it doesn’t remain in the human body for long, its effects can be quite damaging when taken over extended periods of time (Dasgupta, 2016). Apart from weight loss and symptoms associated with insomnia such as red eyes, chronic skin conditions and blemishes – there is evidence to suggest that the drug cat, may cause hypertension, cardiac complications, gastrointestinal disorders, kidney and liver damage as well as tooth decay (Dasgupta, 2016). Part of the reason why this drug is expelled from the body so quickly is because it is recognized as a toxin by the body’s immune system (Dasgupta, 2016). In order to maintain the high associated with cat, an individual will need to take greater doses to overcome their bodies tolerance to it (Sikk and Taba, 2015). Because cat is often sniffed or inhaled, it can cause damage to the respiratory system more specifically the nasal passages, lungs, trachea, esophagus, mouth and even the teeth (Dasgupta, 2016).

Cat is often mixed with other substances and is rarely found in its purest form and for this reason further complications other than those mentioned above are likely to occur (Dasgupta, 2016). Although the body works quickly to expel this toxin, the immune system can become overwhelmed when the body is saturated with cat. Individuals using cat often resort to using depressants in an effort to moderate the effects of cat on their minds and bodies (Dasgupta, 2016). When an individual enters this stage of the the addictive cycle, they become increasingly dependent on the substance as the withdrawals from it become excruciating and have in some cases proven to be fatal (Dasgupta, 2016). In a case in the United States, a young girl was rushed into hospital after having used cat as well as various other substances in an effort to regulate her body (Dasgupta, 2016). When attempting to stabilize her blood toxicity levels, they found her levels were too high to administer any sedatives and anti-toxins (Dasgupta, 2016). The woman died of heart failure due to prolonged cat-use which overtime had impaired her heart’s ability to function (Dasgupta, 2016).

Cat mainly acts on the brain and those who are detoxing from it, have irregular and sometimes extreme sleep cycles, appetites as well as joint pains and aches (Dasgupta, 2016). In extreme cases where individuals overdose on this drug they can slip into a coma. Sometimes overdose is fatal (Dasgupta, 2016).

Cat is a dangerous substance regardless of whether it is abused or used casually and can have long-term side-effects. If you or a loved one needs assistance with an addiction to cat – know that help is readily available. The road to recovery is not always an easy one, but getting yourself or your loved one the best possible care from the team at Crossroads Recovery Centres provides you with a map to sober, healthy living. No matter how bad things seem, there is hope, and it’s only a phone call away. If you or anyone close to you needs help with an addiction to sex, gambling, substances, alcohol or food, contact us for a free assessment.

www.crossroadsrecovery.co.za

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References:

Sikk, K., & Taba, P (2015). Methcathinone “Kitchen Chemistry” and Permanent Neurological Damage (Chapter 12, pp 257-271): International Review of Neurobiology. Academic Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.irn.2015.02.002.

Dasgupta, A. (2016). Challenges in Laboratory Detection of Unusual Substance Abuse (Chapter 5, pp 163-186): Issues with Magic Mushroom, Peyote Cactus, Khat, and Solvent Abuse. Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.acc.2016.07.004.

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Know the Facts About the drug Cat.

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Home / Posts tagged "cat drug"

Know the Facts About the drug Cat.

23 June, 2021Articles, News

Methcathinone or “cat”, as it is more commonly known, is a stimulant that is structurally similar to methamphetamine and cathinone. It is clandestinely manufactured from readily available chemicals and is fairly cheap and easy to manufacture in home kitchens. The drug is concocted from a “witches brew” of acids, thinners, and over-the-counter asthma medication (ephedrine). It is usually found as a white or off-white crystalline powder, which is most commonly snorted, although it can be taken orally by mixing it with a beverage or diluted in water. It may also be injected intravenously. Methcathinone produces amphetamine-like activity and is a highly addictive drug, similar to crack cocaine. Similar to other stimulants, methcathinone can amplify the action of the neurotransmitters, norepinephrine and dopamine. As is the case with crack cocaine, the addiction is difficult to treat.

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As of June 2014, cat became controlled as a Class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971). Possession incurs a possible sentence of two years imprisonment, a fine or both. Possession with intent to supply or production could each result in a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment, a fine or both.

Negative side-effects of the drug cat may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Convulsions
  • Delusions
  • Fever
  • Hallucinations
  • Tremors

Long-term effects may include :

  • Hallucinations
  • Anxiety followed by depression
  • Tremors and convulsions
  • Anorexia, malnutrition, and weight loss
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Death

Early withdrawal symptoms of anxiety and profuse sweating can precede convulsions, hallucinations, and severe depression. Withdrawal should be done with the assistance of a medical professional.

Cat is psychologically highly addictive, individuals may lose their ability to feel empathy. They may also lose their self-worth and direction and often become distant and removed. However an addiction to cat can be treated through the correct methods and therapies, as with any addiction it is important to address it holistically and openly.

If you or a loved one needs assistance with an addiction to cat – know that help is readily available. The road to recovery is not always an easy one, but getting yourself or your loved one the best possible care from the team at Crossroads Recovery Centres provides you with a map to sober, healthy living. No matter how bad things seem, there is hope, and it’s only a phone call away. If you or anyone close to you needs help with an addiction to sex, gambling, substances, alcohol or food, contact us for a free assessment.

www.crossroadsrecovery.co.za

074 89 51043 JHB

012 450 5033 PTA

Resources :

https://www.news24.com/health24/lifestyle/street-drugs/psychoactives/what-is-the-drug-called-cat-20141112

https://www.mobieg.co.za/addiction/types-of-drugs/cat-khat-dependency/

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    Oliver VG
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  • On the last day of my stint at Crossroads I could only express gratitude towards all who works there. A wise councillor once commented on my question when one is ready for rehab by explaining that when one is ready for rehab, rehab is ready for you.
    Johan B
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  • I was lost and my soul was broken until I ended up at Crossroads and was introduced to the Twelve Steps. With the help of their excellent staff and amazing support I have recently been clean for 18 months, I could not have done it without them!
    Carla S
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  • "Just for today I am more than three years in recovery. I have Cross Roads to thank for this wonderful gift. Cross Roads helped me to set a firm foundation in my recovery on which I can continue to build."
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Methcathinone or “The Cat Drug”

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Home / Posts tagged "cat drug"

Methcathinone or “The Cat Drug”

15 January, 2021Articles, News

Methcathinone, or the “cat drug” is a popular psychoactive drug in South Africa, commonly used as a cheaper alternative to cocaine. It is closely related to methamphetamine. It is most commonly snorted but can be ingested and injected. On the streets it is known as the “cat drug”. The most common form found, is a white or off-white powder. It can also be found in a white, rock-like form which can easily be crushed. A section of cat can be bought for as little as R 50 or between R200 – R 250 for a gram.

Effects of the “cat drug”:

  • Intense euphoria
  • Confidence
  • Rapid speech
  • Dilated pupils
  • Loss of appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Paranoia
  • Increased alertness
  • Delusions
  • Potential for drug induced psychosis

The main problem with withdrawal from “cat drug” is the psychological component, which is more intense compared to any physical symptoms when coming off cat. Withdrawal syptoms can include:

  • Intense cravings
  • Agitation
  • Aggression
  • Fatigue
  • Hyper- Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Persisting psychosis
  • Delusions
  • Suspicion/Paranoia

Crossroads Recovery centres regulary treat cat addiction. It is very rare that medical intervention is needed for someone who is coming off cat. Most of the physical symptoms can be treated by geting enough sleep, eating properly and abstinence. With treatment the mental obsession, depression and anxiety will lift over time. Treatment at Crossroads Recovery Centres is focused on change in behaviour and adopting new coping mechanisms.

The road to recovery from cat abuse is not always an easy one but getting yourself or your loved one the best care from the team at Crossroads Recovery Centre, provides you with a map to sober, healthy living. No matter how bad things seem, there is hope and it’s just a phone call away. If you or anyone close to you needs help with an addiction to sex, gambling, substances, alcohol or food, please contact us for a free assessment.

www.crossroadsrecovery.co.za

074 89 51043 JHB

012 450 5033 PTA

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    Oliver VG
    Read more
  • On the last day of my stint at Crossroads I could only express gratitude towards all who works there. A wise councillor once commented on my question when one is ready for rehab by explaining that when one is ready for rehab, rehab is ready for you.
    Johan B
    Read more
  • I was lost and my soul was broken until I ended up at Crossroads and was introduced to the Twelve Steps. With the help of their excellent staff and amazing support I have recently been clean for 18 months, I could not have done it without them!
    Carla S
    Read more
  • "Just for today I am more than three years in recovery. I have Cross Roads to thank for this wonderful gift. Cross Roads helped me to set a firm foundation in my recovery on which I can continue to build."
    Angelique J
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Home / Posts tagged "cat drug"

What is Cat?

24 April, 2020Articles, News

Methcathinone (also known as mephedrone) is classed as a stimulant. It was first synthesised in the USA in 1928, but only patented by Parke-Davis in 1957. During the 1930’s and 1940’s it was used as an antidepressant in the USSR. The original pharmaceutical function was as an antidepressant and weight-loss drug. It was banned in the USSR after World War II. A common street name for methcathinone is ‘Cat’. It is produced in illicit ‘cat labs’, for recreational purposes and part of its popularity is because it is fairly easy to produce and does not require sophisticated equipment to produce it. Cat is not to be confused with the Khat plant, the leaves of which are chewed as a central nervous system stimulant. It is often used as a substitute for other stimulants such as cocaine and ecstasy. Unlike cocaine, the ‘high’ effect can last up to six hours, making it a very popular recreational drug – in fact it is often referred to as “the poor mans’ coke” . It is generally snorted or inhaled but it can also be used intravenously. According to reports there has been an increase in usage within South Africa since 2010. Side-effects include increased blood pressure, an accelerated heart rate as well as a sudden increase in alertness due to the fact that it stimulates the stress hormone, norepinephrine. Other effects include :

Intense feelings of euphoria
Increased energy
Increased confidence
Loss of appetite
Dilated pupils
Feelings of love or empathy towards others
Sociability and talkativeness

Adverse effects may include:

Nausea
Damage to the nasal cavities
Nosebleeds
Involuntary teeth grinding
Hallucinations
Blurred vision
Loss of appetite
Mental confusion
Muddled speech
Liver, kidney, lung and cardiovascular damage with prolonged use
The loss of the ability to make rational decisions
Depression
Anxiety
Memory loss
Insomnia
Amphetamine psychosis
Paranoid delusions
Suspicion
Violent behaviour

Studies have linked the use of cat to higher risks of stroke and heart failure. It is particularly dangerous to those who suffer from existing heart problems. Overdose can occur with any quantity of drug used, and the user is always at risk.

Withdrawal symptoms are similar to those of cocaine, lasting from two to three weeks or longer depending on the extent of use. Symptoms include:
Fatigue
Depression
Anxiety
Irritability
Headaches
Agitation
Hypersomnia (excessive sleeping)
Increased appetite
Agitation and aggression

If you or a loved one is in search of help for addiction to cat, know that help is readily available. Contact us for a free consultation and we’ll support you in your journey.

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  • The encouragement, love and support from the team at Crossroads allowed me to eventually see that I was worth something - that my life could be turned around and that I could accomplish the things that had long been a forgotten dream.
    Oliver VG
    Read more
  • On the last day of my stint at Crossroads I could only express gratitude towards all who works there. A wise councillor once commented on my question when one is ready for rehab by explaining that when one is ready for rehab, rehab is ready for you.
    Johan B
    Read more
  • I was lost and my soul was broken until I ended up at Crossroads and was introduced to the Twelve Steps. With the help of their excellent staff and amazing support I have recently been clean for 18 months, I could not have done it without them!
    Carla S
    Read more
  • "Just for today I am more than three years in recovery. I have Cross Roads to thank for this wonderful gift. Cross Roads helped me to set a firm foundation in my recovery on which I can continue to build."
    Angelique J
    Read more
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