The Symptoms of Cat Drug Overdose
What is the Cat Drug?
“Cat” as we know it in South Africa, takes the form of an off-white powder that is more commonly injested nasally. The active ingredient in cat is a synthetic compound that mimics the natural chemicals in the khat plant. Cat as we encounter it in South Africa is an amphetamine. This article rather deals with the plant, khat.
“Kat,”or “khat,” falls into the stimulant class of drugs. It is derived from the leaves of a shrub that grows wildly in parts of East Africa. The chewing of the plant is part of an East African tradition that dates back thousands of years. It is most commonly chewed as dry leaves but in other parts of the world, it is smoked in the same way that marijuana is smoked. It can also be snorted or in rare cases, injected. Khat is often mistaken for marijuana as it is similar in appearance. Khat leaves are green or greenish-brown and are often packed together in a bundle that’s wrapped in banana leaves. The leaves of the plant are sometimes used to make tea, although the effects of drinking khat-infused tea are less potent.
What Effect Does Khat Use Have on the Body?
Side effects of khat-use include elevated blood pressure, elevated heart rate, increased respiration and dilated pupils. This is because as a stimulant, the drug produces a sense of euphoria and hyper-awareness. Users may become more talkative, alert and confident. The drug has a profound effect on the central nervous system as well as the gastro-intestinal-, cardiovascular-, respiratory-, endocrine- and genito-urinary systems.
Khat Drug Overdose Symptoms:
Although it is possible to overdose on khat, it is not an occurrence that happens often, and currently, it is not a topic that is well understood in the medical community. Khat drug overdose symptoms – also known as Khat toxicity – includes delusions, appetite loss and respiratory problems. Some of the most common drug overdose symptoms are liver damage and heart problems because of the pressure that the use of stimulants place on the body and specifically, the central nervous system. Furthermore, evidence shows that people who are predisposed to mental health issues like depression and anxiety can be negatively affected by the abuse of this drug. In East Africa, chewing khat has been linked to the development of oral cancer as well as other related forms of cancer like lung cancer and stomach cancer. The majority of khat abusers report that lethargy, depression and nightmares are common side effects of withdrawal. There are also important mental and emotional side effects to consider as one of the overdose symptoms. Dependence on the drug is both physical and mental. Users may become increasingly withdrawn from the world around them and aggressive when they come down from the high that the plant produces. The long terms effects should not be underestimated.
If you or a loved one is in search of help for substance abuse, know that help is readily available. Contact us for a free consultation and we’ll support you in your journey.
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 VGRead 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 BRead 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 SRead 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 JRead more