What is the Khat drug made of and what does it do to your body

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What is the Khat drug made of and what does it do to your body

02 September, 2022Articles, News

Methcathinone or “Cat” as it is more commonly known in South Africa, is a stimulant that is a made from Methamphetamine and Cathinone. The Khat drug comes in two forms, namely Cathinone which originally comes from a leafy green plant called Catha Edulis. The leaves of the Catha Edulis either chewed or used in teas which have the active ingredient of Cathinone in it.

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What is the Cat (Khat) drug?

The artificial form of the cat drug is more potent however, and is known as Methcathinone. When made it is usually consists of readily available cleaning products found in one’s home, and is noticeable by its white/off-white powder form. Both chemicals Cathinone and Methcathinone are harmful and speed up the functioning of the Central Nervous System. Although methcathinone is more potent of cat but have similar symptoms and effects.               

The cat drug is most commonly snorted up the nasal passages, although it can be taken orally by mixing it with a beverage or diluted in water. It is rare but can also be injected intravenously. Methcathinone produces an amphetamine-like effect and has similar effects to Cocaine or Methamphetamine.

Some of the Symptoms of the Khat drug is that it is used in a crash binge pattern. Usually people who are addicted to the cat drug use a lot at a time, go into withdrawal then use more to stop the withdrawal symptoms. This can last up to four to six hours at a time.

Other symptoms of cat include:

  • Dilated (Enlarged) Pupils
  • Dehydration and Sweating caused by an increase in body temperature
  • Weight Loss
  • Insomnia (Problems Sleeping)
  • Rapid Heart Beat
  • Teeth grinding and jaw clenching often resulting in gum being chewed.
  • Twitching
  • Straws left in and around the persons environment burnt at one end
  • Euphoria – feelings of extreme happiness
  • Increased confidence – the user begins to talk more and feel good about themselves.
  • Sharpened senses – becoming more alert
  • Impaired Judgement and Concentration
  • Increased Energy
  • Rapid Speech
  • Aggression
  • Restlessness
  • Mood Swings
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations (seeing, hearing or feeling things that are not really there)
  • Psychosis: Feeling out of touch with reality; experiencing delusions, paranoia and hallucinating.
  • Panic Attacks and Anxiety due to fear.
  • Depression with the risk of suicide.

Methcathinone is a highly addictive drug, similar to crack cocaine. Like crack cocaine, the addiction is difficult to treat. Cat is psychologically highly addictive, individuals lose their ability to feel empathy or sympathy, and they lose self-worth and direction and often become distant and removed.

However, cat addiction can be treated through the correct methods and therapies, as with any addiction it is important to address it holistically and openly.

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