Two distinctly different drugs are known as Khat; both are to be found in a white or off white powder form which can be snorted or injected.
The first is Methcathinone. It is refined from a leaf which grows in mountainous regions and is not very common. It is an amphetamine and has similar effects to Cocaine and Tik.
Ketamine hydrochloride is the most common and most abused of the two. It is an anaesthetic drug used by veterinarians and therefore not intended for consumption by humans at all.
Unlike Methcathinone, this drug has hallucinogenic effects. Other effects include increased confidence, increased energy, rapid speech, aggression, impaired judgement and concentration, restlessness, anxiety, mood swings, alertness and euphoria.
Common symptoms are dilated pupils, grinding of teeth, insomnia, twitching, increased heart beat, dehydration, sweating and weight loss.
This drug develops rapidly in a similar way to Tik and Cocaine, daily use increases, the user feels unable to cope without Kat and the user begins to feel withdrawal symptoms unless they continue taking the drug.
The withdrawal symptoms are extremely unpleasant; these include anxiety, shaking, panic attacks, depression, irritability and fatigue. Normal activities like going to work or school become increasingly difficult and the Kat addict can only find relief by taking more of the drug.
Even before a Kat addict acknowledges or admits to their addiction, the effects of the drug itself and the withdrawal symptoms cause unusual or erratic behaviour which is noticeable in a family, peer group, workplace or school.
It is common for addicts to deny their addiction to themselves and those around them, which in turn can cause alienation or perceived alienation as a result of some of the Kat drugs’ effects and side effects such as anxiety, irritability and panic attacks. Because of the fact that the ego is boosted, the addict will perceive themselves as right while everyone else is wrong.
At this stage the Kat addict may lose friends, jobs or face expulsion from school. The addict begins to find themselves more comfortable in the company and environment of other users. The only way forward is treatment or rehabilitation.
Kat/Cat Addiction Is No Joke!
Kat is one of the common names of the drug Ketamine which is normally used for medicinal purposes to treat humans and animals. Other street names include K, Special K, Kit-Kat and vitamin K.
Kat or Cat as it is sometimes spelt is a drug that can be taken in two forms – as a leaf that is chewed or as a powder. Kat is a common South African drug that is easily accessible. Kat originates from the Middle East, North and East Africa where it has been used for centuries in Arab society.
The term Cat comes from the ingredient of Catherine which is found in the leaves of the plant. Catherine is a natural Amphetamine. The drug is taken to attain a state of euphoria by the user also known as a ‘high’. While this can simply be achieved by chewing the leaf, the more powder form creates a more potent affect on the user. Kat is similar to cocaine in that along with euphoria it increases hallucinations and a strong sense of anxiety.
The powder is white in colour and can either be snorted or taken as a capsule orally. It has even been added to drinks and smoked. Powdered ketamine is formed from pharmaceutical ketamine by removing the liquid by evaporation. Due to its high demand in medicine, pharmaceutical ketamine is produced in large quantities which have also led to it becoming easier to acquire for the illicit drug trade. Its illegal use started in the United States during the 1970’s.
Kat in South Africa is mostly associated with teenagers at parties and clubs having gained popularity with the rave scene during the 1990’s. Usually a dose of 100mg or more is taken to gain hallucinatory effects. It is considered extremely addictive compared to some other drugs. The treatment required for Kat outweighs many narcotics in that an addicted user cannot kick the habit on his or her own.
Professional intervention and help is a constant requirement. Perhaps the most disturbing fact concerning Kat abuse is the long term affects of use. It is known to cause considerable mental torment and psychological damage long after its use has been discontinued. Kat is known for causing hallucinations that can last for hours and can cause a radical change in mood for the user.
Fortunately Kat is well known to Drug Rehabilitation Clinics and drug counsellors as well as medical professionals are well educated on how to treat the addiction and cure the patient.