Why is Cat so Addictive?
Khat or “Cat” as it is called in South Africa has two variants; traditionally the drug is derived from the leaves and stem of the Catha edulis plant. It is commonly chewed in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula for its psychoactive effects. The drug contains a narcotic compound called cathinone, which acts as a stimulant and produces effects similar to amphetamines or cocaine.
The form known as “cat” however; identifiable by its white/off-white powder form; is a synthetic version and is substantially more potent as it contains the narcotic compound Methcathinone. Worryingly it is also more toxic as when manufacturing this version of the drug, poisonous household cleaning chemicals are often used. Both the chemicals Cathinone and Methcathinone are harmful when used as they stimulate the functioning of the Central Nervous System far beyond the biological baseline and thresholds.
The dangers associated with Cat
One of the many dangers associated with Methcathinone is its highly addictive nature.
Symptoms of Cat can include:
- erratic mood swings
- depressive episodes with the risk of suicide ideology.
Additionally, chronic khat use has been linked to mental health issues such as psychosis and schizophrenia.
Another danger of khat use is its impact on physical health. The drug has been linked to a range of negative health effects, including cardiovascular problems, oral and oesophageal cancers, and gastrointestinal issues such as constipation and diarrhea. Khat use has also been associated with dental problems, including gum disease and tooth decay.
Common identifiable markers of someone using/abusing Cat include but are not limited to; dilation of pupils, increase in energy, confused or impaired thinking and decision making, profuse sweating, aggression or hostility, rapid speech patterns, and in some cases signs of stimulant-induced Psychosis which can manifest in Feelings disassociation; delusions, paranoia and hallucinating.
Treating Cat Addiction
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.
In conclusion, while the addictive nature of the drug, as well as its negative impacts on physical and mental health, make it a dangerous and highly addictive substance; treatment is available provided the correct treatment methods and therapies are utilised.
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