The effects of the drug Cat

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The effects of the drug Cat

26 November, 2021Articles, News

Cat is one of the most commonly abused drugs in South Africa. Due to its highly addictive composition and its popularity as a drug used in tandem with downers, at Crossroads Recovery Centres we have a vast amount of experience with facilitating the detox process from this potent substance. This brief guide will familiarise you with what the drug cat is and how addicts are detoxed from it.

Methcathinone (also known as mephedrone) is an addictive psychoactive substance, and abuse of this drug is rapidly increasing in South Africa. A common street name for Methcathinone is ‘CAT’, and its use is mostly associated with the club and rave scenes. There is no medical or pharmaceutical use for this substance and it is mainly produced in illicit ‘Cat labs’, for recreational purposes. According to reports there has been an increase in the use of the drug cat since 2010.

It is often used as a substitute for other stimulants such as cocaine and ecstasy. Cat is not to be confused with the Khat plant, the leaves of which are chewed as a central nervous system stimulant.

The effects of Cat have been described as being very similar to that of cocaine. Unlike cocaine, the ‘high’ effect can last up to six hours, making this a very popular recreational drug. Overdose can occur with any quantity of drug used, and the user is always at risk. Overdose may cause seizures, an increase in body temperature, respiratory failure, coma, and/or death.

Common side-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 of Cat 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
  • Symptoms similar to those of Parkinson’s disease from injecting the drug
  • Greater risk of stroke, coma or death resulting from a blood pressure increase and an irregular cardiac rate

If you or a loved one needs assistance 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 Centre, 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, please contact us for a free assessment.

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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
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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."
    Angelique J
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The drug cat – what do you need to know.

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Home / Posts tagged "#Cat"

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).

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

074 89 51043 JHB

012 450 5033 PTA

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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  • 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
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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."
    Angelique J
    Read more
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Cat Drug Addiction : Be Careful When Crossing “Cat”

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Home / Posts tagged "#Cat"

Cat Drug Addiction : Be Careful When Crossing “Cat”

28 May, 2021Articles, News

Recovery is a tailor-made process designed to be most effective to the person in question looking for relief from their addiction. The core of the program of recovery, as far as 12 step facilitation treatment for addiction goes, remains the same. However, the major difference in most 12 step programs is their first step. Though the core of the program is not substance-specific- the way, an individual identifies with some of the concepts revolving around admitting powerlessness over their addiction is. For that reason, there are often specialized approaches that are applied to those who suffer from specific addictions. To clarify this, the example of treatment for “Cat” drug addiction will be discussed further in this article.

Clued Up about Cat

“Cat” is the term used to refer to a substance that is scientifically known as methcathinone; this is a psychostimulant drug with properties and effects on the mind and body consistent with that of both amphetamines and methamphetamines. In general terminology, this drug has similar effects to that of crystal meth, a common street drug- as well as Adderall, which is often prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The effects that someone on Cat experiences is euphoria, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, insomnia, agitation and many more. The physical effects of this drug are minimal when compared to the psychological effects. For that reason, the part of an individual’s being that is the most affected by this substance is their psyche.

Out of Your’ System

Those seeking treatment for “cat” drug addiction often display a wide variety of withdrawal symptoms, some of which seem almost paradoxical to the way they were whilst under the influence of the substance they are taking. They go from being hyperactive, erratic, aggressive and seemingly incapable of behaviour that can be considered as anything other than manic to lethargic, depressed, irritable and socially withdrawn in the initial stages of their treatment.

This is often the key indicator that the substance has begun to exit their bodies; most people withdrawing from “cat” are not given any detox medication unless deemed necessary as the physical withdrawal symptoms from it are very mild. Physical withdrawal from “Cat” often lasts approximately three days as the human body burns through this substance quite quickly.

The crux of cat. Having undergone the physical detoxification process of “cat” abuse, the primary aspect of the treatment process for this substance begins. Due to the excessive amounts of dopamine that “cat” releases into the brain, an individual who is being treated for it seems to think and behave erratically as they begin the psychological withdrawal process from this substance. Individuals in this stage may seem enthusiastic in attitude but also disorganized in thought as well as in the way they communicate. This deceptive charisma can be mistaken for progress if the individual’s behaviour is not thoroughly observed, as that is where the evidence to indicate a problem often lies.

This attitude often blindsides many recovering from “cat” drug addiction—the dangers associated with grandiose, excessiveness as well as a disregard for it. The dopamine in their brain renders them feeling all is right, even when doing wrong. In order to perpetuate an avoidance of negative feedback and emotional discomfort and distress, individuals on “cat” insist on maintaining a permanent state of euphoria, which can render them much more vulnerable to relapse or extreme avoidance to confrontation and challenging feedback. For this reason, getting individuals off “cat” is considerably easier than holding them to the process that will keep them off it. Treatment for any addiction is often long, tedious and challenging.

The Ultimate Come Down. Re-establishing balance is the primary aim of any drug addiction treatment process, and ongoing recovery is designed to help perpetuate this. Those in treatment for this substance often seem to be on the run from this sense of balance brought on by the healing process. They do so by indulging in excessiveness in various forms and in so doing engage in anything that encourages their bodies to continue to produce dopamine in amounts that are aimed at matching that derived from the use of “Cat”.

In order to properly help those receiving treatment for an addiction to “cat”, a specialized approach is required in which the tailoring of the treatment process is ongoing based on a desire to accommodate methods to counteract hyperstimulation. If performed over extended periods of time and with the help of experienced addiction counsellors, it becomes possible to help individuals receiving treatment for an addiction to this substance to recover. This approach places more emphasis on the counsellor’s ability to practice key counselling micro-skills in order to adequately facilitate treatment by counteracting a “cat” addicts inclination towards manic behaviour and actively addressing their psychological addiction to the substance.

If you or a loved one needs assistance with Cat drug addiction – 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 Centre 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, please contact us for a free assessment.

www.crossroadsrecovery.co.za

074 89 51043 JHB

012 450 5033 PTA

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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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Which cat is in the street? ….Is it Khat or Cat.

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Home / Posts tagged "#Cat"

Which cat is in the street? ….Is it Khat or Cat.

30 April, 2021Articles, News

Many people are confused about the difference between the two substances khat and cat. They may even produce similar effects on the people that are using them but are significantly different in composition or origin.

Let’s first deal with khat.

Khat is a plant and is used as a recreational drug by people in East Africa and the Arabian countries to elevate mood. The leaves and stem are chewed. It is both a recreational drug and sometime medicinal.
As a medicine, the khat leaf is used for  many common ailments such as diabetes, , depressionfatigueobesitystomach ulcers, headache, and male infertility. It is also used to lower the need for food,  sleep, decrease sexual desires, improve the ability to study, and increase aggression.

Khat seems to contain characteristics and stimulants similar to amphetamines.

Whether it has any impact on these ailments is still to be scientifically decided however The World Health Organization (WHO) lists khat as a drug that creates “dependence” in people, meaning it produces a continuing desire to keep using it. It is banned in many western countries.

Khat can cause many side effects including mood changes, increased alertness, excessive talkativeness, hyperactivity, excitement, aggressiveness, anxiety, elevated blood pressure, manic behaviour, paranoia, and psychosis. It may also lead to insomnia and an inability to concentrate.

And the other Cat?

Methcathinone is stimulant that is structurally a combination of methamphetamine and cathinone. It is clandestinely manufactured from readily available chemicals. It is a white or off-white crystalline powder, most commonly snorted, although it can be taken orally by mixing it with a beverage or diluted in water and it can be injected intravenously. Methcathinone produces amphetamine-like characteristics.

The effect of Cat/Kat can be described as being very similar to that of cocaine, however unlike cocaine the effects can last up to nine hours.

What are the Physical/Mental Effects of Cat?

  • Powerful feelings of euphoria
  • Increased energy & confidence
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased sociability & talkativeness
  • Because the drug is a stimulant its usage can go on for days and often results in week long binges.

It has been linked to the party and rave scene however it is used by professionals needing extra energy and work enthusiasm and by students needing to study and concentrate for long hours.

After Cat usage or a Cat binge the dreaded “come down” follows.

What can you expect after a binge or extensive Cat usage?

  • Anxiety
  • Muscle tension and pain
  • Insomnia
  • Delusions from lack of sleep and inability to eat
  • Severe psychological depression
  • Suicide ideation
  • Paranoia
  • Visual Hallucinations

What to do if you feel you need help with your Cat addiction ?

Cat is psychologically highly addictive, individuals lose their ability to feel emotion or empathy, they lose self-esteem and purpose in life often becoming distant and removed.

Cat addiction can be treated through a number of corrective approaches and therapeutic interventions. Crossroads Recovery Centres are situated in Pretoria and Johannesburg, South Africa. Our staff members are all qualified and experienced addiction counsellors backed by a team of other professionals. If necessary, we provide detoxification from a substance together with a holistic treatment plan based on a 12-step treatment programme. We provide the necessary skills needed to maintain a clean and sober life style long after the primary treatment process has been completed.

If you or a loved one needs rehabilitation from cat addiction – 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 Centre, 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, please contact us for a free assessment.

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Johannesburg Admissions: +27 74 895 1043
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Stories of Recovery

  • 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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