Qat is a stimulant from the buds or leaves of Catha edulis that is chewed or drunk as tea. It is from the family of Celastraceae (moonseed). Other common names for Qat include: khat , qut , chaat , chat , kaht , tchat , qaad , jaad , miraa , Kus es Salahin , Tchaad , Tschut , Tohat , Tohai , Gat.

Uses:

When Qat leaves are chewed they create stimulant and euphoriant effects. Some users may experience dysphoria and sedation. Qat is used to treat obesity and prevent hunger in areas with meager food supplies. Qat is prohibited in the US, France, Switzerland, and Sweden.

Throughout history in East Africa, Qat has played an dominant role in celebrations, meetings, marriages, and other gatherings, because of its social acceptability and euphoriant effects. Somali military often issued Qat to soldiers in their daily rations with the intention of inhibiting their need for food and sleep, as well as increasing their aggression.

Qat leaves have also been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of depression, fatigue, hunger, obesity, and gastric ulcers.

Signs and Symptoms:

Signs of Qat use include:

  • Euphoria
  • Talkativeness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Artificially heightened mood
  • Sense of well-being

Heavy, frequent use of Qat can result in the following symptoms:

  • Mania
  • Aggression
  • Short psychotic episodes
  • Dependency
  • Withdrawal Syndrome and Cravings

Withdrawal Symptoms of Qat include but are not limited to:

  • Emotional ups and downs
  • Inability to sleep
  • Inability to focus
  • Tension
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety

Treatment:

Treatment for Qat addiction often requires the individual to enter into an inpatient or outpatient abstinence based treatment program. More than likely, a person who is addicted to Qat that stops abruptly will experience depression, nightmares, shakiness, and brief hallucinations. This is why many Doctors find it important to start patients off through a medial detox program to monitor symptoms of withdrawal and allow the patient to be cleansed of its chemicals and toxins more comfortably. The patient will also go through various counseling and therapy sessions to help them get to the cause of their addiction, fully understand Qat addiction and develop the skills needed to maintain their sobriety in their daily lives.