Chewing Khat, an Old Drug Habit That Is New in Europe.

Chewing khat, an old drug habit that is new in Europe.

Int J Risk Saf Med. 1992; 3(3): 143-56
Kalix P

Since ancient times, the khat bush has been grown in certain areas of East Africa and of the Arab Peninsula, and many people chew its leaves because of their stimulating effect. As khat use may be compulsive, the habit has been seen as a phenomenon of drug addiction, indeed, khat is known to induce a certain degree of psychic dependence and to contain an alkaloid with amphetamine effects. Due to the availability of air transport, this drug has now made its appearance in Western Europe and in the USA. This is worrying because khat consumption may induce toxic psychosis, several such cases have recently been observed in Great Britain. The present article therefore describes the habit and the effects of chewing khat, and it provides some background information together with a discussion of the advisability of prohibitive measures regarding this drug. HubMed – addiction



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