CAT or KHAT is not the same drug and refers to two types of drugs – though the similar name is used for both .
CAT is highly addictive.
It is a manufactured drug that is easily accessible and relatively cheap, producing similar effects to Amphetamines, MDMA and Cocaine so is often used by people who favour stimulant drugs.
Synthetically made containing Methcathinone. It is sold in a powder form. It is compared to crystal meth or cocaine. It can be injected, snorted or inhaled and is highly addictive. CAT causes an intense psychological addiction.
It is manufactured by “cooking” it clandestinely in garages, houses etc. The precursor drug ephedrine & pseudoephedrine is the main ingredient with other highly toxic substances such as battery acid, paint thinners, it is popular within the rave scene & also used as an aphrodisiac.
The side effects are similar to those of cocaine: it causes euphoria, increased alertness, anxiety, loss of appetite, slurred speech, dilated pupils, strange erratic behaviour, body aches, stomach pains, nausea and fatigue.
The effects lasts 4-6 hours.
Long-term effects are disorientation, indifference, hallucinations, psychosis, seizures, convulsions, abscesses, dark black rings under eyes, quick aging, respiratory failure, stroke, heart failure and possibly death.
Withdrawal can include depression, lethargy, nightmares and tremors.
A recent survey has concluded that treatment needed for this type of addiction is the highest in Gauteng, but unfortunately, the drug is available in other parts of the country. Talking to people addicted to this drug, trying to kick this habit indicate that this cannot be done on your own and some form of professional help is needed.
The side effects of abusing CAT or KAT, in many cases, both physical and mental, torment the patient for many years after stopping the use of this drug.
Khat or qat is a flowering plant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Khat contains the alkaloid cathinone, a stimulant, which is said to cause excitement, loss of appetite, and euphoria. For centuries it has been used in Arabian countries in Central and East Africa. Leaves are chewed for the stimulant effect.
There is light at the end of the tunnel; Drug Rehabilitation Centres that know how to help the patient and assist on an ongoing basis to stay clean.
Based in Randburg, Houghton House is treatment centre destination for Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery and Rehabilitation in South Africa.