Khat Rehab Programmes
Khat is a drug derived from a shrub, and is bought as leafy green plant matter. It contains the active ingredients cathinone and cathine, which are class C drugs in the UK, but the plant itself is not illegal. Drug rehab centres will often not be necessary for khat addiction, but could be needed ` 1A`in some cases.
Khat is usually chewed in a similar way to chewing tobacco. The plant matter is balled up and chewed over an extended period of time. The active ingredients are released during the periods of chewing, and the remainder of the time are held inactive in the cheek. Some users make khat into a tea or use it to form a chewable paste, but the effects are strongest when fresh leaves are chewed. It is also possible to smoke the drug, but this is very rare.
The effects of khat are comparable to those of amphetamines. The drug makes the user feel more awake, suppresses the appetite and produces a general euphoria. Users will become more talkative, and after a few hours of intermittent chewing many report relaxation. Khat also makes it easier for users to concentrate, increases libido, improves imagination and boosts self esteem. Some users, however, experience anxiety, restlessness and irritability when they are chewing the drug.
After the user has stopped chewing, negative effects begin to take hold. Users will ordinarily experience depression, insomnia, difficulty concentrating and numbness. These negative feelings can often develop into aggression, irritability and anxiety. If khat is used regularly, these reactions are more likely to develop. Frequent use means that the insomnia and lack of appetite produced by the drug become more prominent, possibly resulting in persistent trouble sleeping and anorexia.
It isn’t clear whether khat is addictive, and this is an important point when considering drug rehab. The method of consuming khat imposes a limitation on the amount that can actually be consumed, which means that users can only increase the dosage in very small amounts. Tolerance to the drug – a major marker for addiction – is therefore not an issue. Despite this, khat users can still become psychologically dependent on the drug’s effects, which means counselling in a drug rehab facility may be necessary.
If somebody takes khat regularly and then stops, withdrawal symptoms will probably occur. The most likely ones are lethargy, minor trembling and nightmares, and these rarely require special care in drug rehab. Some more serious withdrawal effects can occur, including depression and low blood pressure, but these are unlikely and still not life-threatening.
The most dangerous possible reaction to khat is related to mental illness, and drug rehab centres usually offer counselling which can help. The drug can make pre-existing conditions worse and cause short-lived schizophrenic-type psychoses or long-term depression. These are rare reactions, but are generally thought to be a possible consequence of excessive khat use.
Drug rehab centres usually aren’t required for khat addiction. The psychological dependence it can produce may require counselling to overcome in extreme cases, but if the person decides their use is becoming a problem they can usually get clean with minimal help. If you or your loved one has tried and failed to get clean in the past then counselling may be beneficial. We offer free advice on the different drug rehab centres available and the different services offered by each. If you’re struggling to determine whether you need help, we can also assess your situation and suggest the best course of action. You don’t have to suffer alone; we are here to help.