Can’t Quit Khat?
We’re here to help.
Here, we review the addictive potential of Khat, share the best practices in effective treatment, and give you some insider information about the process. In this article, you’ll learn what to expect during withdrawal and how to best go through detox. Then, we review the main stages of medical treatment for Khat issues. Finally, we invite your questions in the comments section at the end.
We love feedback from our readers! In fact, we try to respond to all legitimate questions with a personal and prompt reply.
Please let us know what you’re thinking.
You are not alone.
Need a Different Kind of Boost?
Quit Using Khat Once and For All.
Call 1-877-902-5376 For Help TODAY.
What is Khat the Drug?
Khat – Catha edulis – is a plant that grows naturally in East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula; mainly in Yemen, Kenya, and Ethiopia. In the United States, the use of Khat occurs most often in large cities with immigrant populations that come from Africa (particularly Somalia and Ethiopia) and the Middle East.
Many people believe that Khat is a herb that can be safely used to encourage concentration. Others believe that it is a stimulant drug, similar to amphetamine but slightly less potent. Also, a little known fact is that this plant is used to make the drug known as “bath salts”.
Is Khat addictive?
Yes. Continue reading for more on its dangers and addictive potential.
We Understand Drug Problems.
Call 1-877-902-5376 for medical treatment options.
We can help you quit for good!
The Dangers of Khat Abuse
Despite being viewed as a “safe” and “natural” substance, Khat can deliver very real physical and psychological dangers. The effects of Khat are similar to those of methamphetamine and cocaine. Key effects and risks of Khat include:
- appetite supression
- bodily shaking or tremors
- disrupted sleep and periods of insomnia
- nervous tendencies
- risk of significant liver toxicity from excessive use
- severe restlessness
- worsening of pre-existing mental health problems
In addition, long-term use of Khat can lead to malnutrition, depression, gastro-intestinal (GI) disorders, cardiovascular problems, hemorrhoids, paranoia, nightmares, hyperactivity, hallucinations, oral cancer, inflammation of the oral tissues (similar to “meth-mouth”), and impaired sexual function in males.
Is Khat Addictive?
Khat contains two alkaloids which act as stimulants: cathinone and cathine.
- Cathinone is believed to have the greater effect on Khat users and is classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Schedule I drug, meaning that it has an extremely high potential for abuse, physical dependence, and addiction, and it has no accepted medical value.
- Cathine, on the other hand, is categorized as a Schedule IV drug, meaning that it has a low potential for abuse, and is currently accepted for use in medical treatment.
Why does Khat Addiction Occur?
Khat addiction typically occurs when users take it chronically for a prolonged period of time by chewing the green Khat leaves (similarly to how tobacco is chewed), smoking the drug, making it into tea, or sprinkling it on food. Those who abuse Khat often take it:
- Recreationally, to produce a feeling of calm often described as being ‘blissed out’.
- To feel more happy and talkative.
- As a weight loss agent that suppresses the appetite.
- To stay awake and improve alertness.
- To improve academic performance (high school or college students).
The Khat “high” can linger anywhere from 3 and up to 24 hours, depending on the potency of the Khat and intensity of your addiction. However, once the high subsides, you experience a “crash” which results in feelings of anxiety, depression, extreme fatigue, suicidal thoughts and heart arrhythmia. These feelings only drive a person to take the drug again and again…leading to a vicious cycle of suffering from the effects of Khat and needing the drug to make the effects go away.
If you believe that your or a loved one’s “harmless” recreational use has turned into a dangerous and progressing habit, it may be time to consider finding a Khat recovery center. If you are looking for signs of Khat addiction, please note that these will be similar to those of meth and cocaine.
Need help for Khat abuse and addiction?
Call 1-877-902-5376 TODAY.
Toll-free and confidential Helpline is available 24/7.
What’s Khat Withdrawal Like?
Similar to other stimulant withdrawals, Khat withdrawal symptoms are like a prolonged “crash” experienced after the extreme high of the stimulant. People who develop physical dependence on Khat may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, such as:
- extremely vivid nightmares
- intense lack of energy
- irritation and psychosis
- loss of interest in any activity
- suicidal thoughts
- trembling and shaking
Fortunately, Khat withdrawal symptoms can be managed or even avoided by undergoing detox in a treatment facility. Treatment programs are designed to address withdrawal by sddressing symptoms as they occur. To learn more about why it’s important to safely withdraw from Khat, CALL 1-877-902-5376 and speak with our hotline staff today.
NOTE HERE: Left untreated, feelings associated with Khat withdrawal can lead to thoughts of suicide. In fact, suicide is the most common cause of death associated with excessive Khat use. This is why it’s so important to seek medical help during detox, withdrawal, and the acute period as you stop taking Khat.
How to Get Help?
Before you can set out on your journey of recovery you need to:
1) Break out of denial and accept that you have a problem with Khat that requires professional medical assistance to be resolved.
2) Find the right treatment program that offers detox, therapy, medications, and counseling.
Our hotline at 1-877-902-5376 is a free and confidential line where you talk to an addiction recovery specialist. S/He can help you determine the next step to living a drug-free life.
Safely Breaking Free From Khat
Q: How can you safely quit Khat?
A: Addiction treatment is most safe when you seek help from medical professionals.
Before you select a particular treatment center, experts can help you identify and diagnose your particular drug problem. You see, everyone’s needs are personal. So, before you decide on a rehab program, be sure to consider these key factors:
- The severity of your addiction.
- Co-occuring mental health conditions.
- The amount of recovery support from your family and community.
- Your individual preferences and goals.
- Your medical and mental health history.
In short, the best program for you is the one that feels comfortable, emotionally safe, and offers the amenities you need for optimal benefit while you are there. There is no one-size-fits-all method to addiction treatment, so care must be tailored to the specific needs of each person in treatment.
We can help you locate and enter an addiction rehab program that’s right for you. So why wait? Call NOW!
Break free from Khat addiction.
Your freedom is just one phone call away. 1-877-902-5376
What happens when you call our hotline?
When you CALL 1-877-902-5376, we’ll listen. We know that it can be hard to pick up the phone. So, our staff have been trained to understand addiction as a medical condition. Expect to talk with a caring and non-judgmental person. We’ll work to get you the help you need. Our 24/7 hotline is:
Hotline staffers who answer the phone know how to listen. They understand what you are going through and will offer strategies and information about treatment services that can best help you. You can talk openly with them about:
Khat or other drugs of choice.
How long you’ve been using.
How much and how often you use.
Whether or not you’re drinking or using other drugs.
Other mental health issues you’re battling.
Khat Treatment Options
Reputable and evidence-based treatment programs offer a wide variety of treatment settings, program duration, therapies and approaches. Here’s we’ll focus on the three (3) main treatment options that can get you started. Let’s review the basics:
TREATMENT OPTION 1 :SETTINGS
Addiction rehab clinics provide either inpatient or outpatient treatment.
Inpatient (or residential) rehab provides a safe, secure, drug and distraction-free environment with 24-7 supervision. During rehab, you can learn how to manage cravings and cope with life without getting high. During residential rehab, counselors combine treatment modalities with lifestyle interventions to address the underlying causes of your addiction, and to also give you a firm base of skills that will keep you sober when you graduate from the program.
Outpatient rehab is scheduled around work or school hours. This allows you to continue your everyday responsibilities while getting treatment for several hours, a few days per week. Although these programs may provide the level of flexibility that you need, their effectiveness can be limited, especially if you require medical and psychological recovery services. An additional strain is that living at home keeps you close to people who use Khat and situations where drugs are present.
TREATMENT OPTION 2: PROGRAM DURATION
Inpatient rehab programs can last for 30, 60, 90 days or more (when needed). Likewise, outpatient rehabs recommend treatment for 3 to 4 months or more. In fact, successful treatment can take a commitment of 1-2 years, with a combination of BOTH inpatient and outpatient rehab.
Although the required minimum duration of an inpatient rehab is 30 days…this is rarely enough time to address a Khat addiction problem. Higher success rates are seen with 60 and 90 day programs, which allow more time for physical and psychological stabilization, therapy, and education. After 60 to 90 days of Khat rehab, you can re-enter the world with a renewed sense of recovery and focus.
TREATMENT OPTION 3: THERAPY APPROACHES
Psychotherapy and Behavioral Therapy are commonly called ‘the meat and bones’ of addiction treatment programs. In fact, addiction programs usually offer a combination of therapies for the duration of your rehab stay. Therapy approaches aim to pinpoint and resolve the core reasons that led to drug abuse and subsequent addiction. During this stage of treatment, behavioral, emotional and psychological therapies help you work on behavioral conditioning and prepare you to live a sober life. They may include:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Holistic Therapy (yoga, meditation, acupuncture, massage therapy, art therapy, music therapy)
Support Group Facilitation
…plus, Dual Diagnosis Treatment. As part of therapy, treatment professionals will assess and diagnose any co-occurring mental health conditions that may be contributing to the addiction issue. Then simultaneous treatment for all co-occurring disorders, also called Dual Diagnosis Treatment, is provided.
What Are the Stages of Treatment?
Addiction treatment includes four (4) main stages of treatment.
Stage ONE: Intake Evaluation – When you enter rehab and get started, you will meet with a team of people who will be working with you. This can include a doctor, a psychologist, a case manager, and support staff. During intake, this team will take you through an interview, a physical exam, a medical history, and drug screening. They will thoroughly examine your case, including your medical history, your current health, and your past history of drug abuse. Rehab staff use this information to create your individual treatment plan.
Stage TWO: Medical Detoxification – Medical detox helps you work through the withdrawal symptoms associated with stopping use of Khat. At a detox clinic, doctors and nurses monitor you and offer their support and assistance to improve your comfort, minimize any risks, and improve future recovery prognosis. If needed, you may be prescribed medications to treat specific withdrawal symptoms, such as antidepressants to stabilize mood or sleep aids to combat insomnia.
Stage THREE: Therapy – In addition to providing a safe and drug-free environment in which to recover, Khat addiction treatment programs provide psychotherapy and behavioral therapies, which may be paired with pharmacological therapies. Therapy generally takes place on both an individual and group basis, addressing the core reasons that led to substance abuse and subsequent addiction.
Stage FOUR: Continued Care & Relapse Prevention – Addiction treatment programs usually continue their help using periodic group therapy sessions and scheduled individual sessions after you leave their facilities. Aftercare and relapse prevention are a crucial step of the recovery process and significantly increase your chances of long-term rehab success.
Financing Khat Addiction Treatment
Let’s be real. Addiction treatment is not free. We understand that you may feel like you cannot just put your life on hold and check into rehab when you have bills to pay. Addiction recovery takes time and money…but so does addiction. Just think about all of the effort, pain and suffering you are willing to go through to get and use Khat. So if you find yourself saying:
“I don’t have insurance to help me fund my Khat rehab program.”
“I don’t have money to pay for treatment.”
“I don’t have the financial support to pay for a costly rehab stay.”
We know how you feel! In fact, the lack of financial resources is the most commonly cited reason for avoiding rehab. But, we have a few ideas how you can make it into treatment!
GOT INSURANCE? Call 1-877-902-5376 to find out if your insurance provides coverage for addiction treatment.
NO HEALTH INSURANCE? Healthcare.gov offers a state insurance marketplace where you can shop for affordable health insurance and compare prices. In addition, MedicAid has expanded its coverage to at least 5 million adults who qualify for addiction treatment. MediCare also covers the cost of substance abuse treatment.
NO FINANCES? Look into a payment plan or sliding scale payment which allows you to pay for your treatment a little bit at a time. If you’re serious about getting better…invest in yourself. You can borrow from a savings account, 401(k), friends, or family. Health care credit cards allow you to finance health care costs at lower interest rates and make monthly payments.
What Types of Co-Occurring Disorders Exist With Khat?
When anyone struggling with a drug problem seeks help, rehabs should assess and diagnose any co-occurring mental health conditions that may be contributing to the addiction issue. People tend to abuse Khat in order to self-medicate and cope with underlying mental health issues. On the other hand, Khat addiction may cause or aggravate a number of psychiatric disorders. The most common mental health disorders diagnosed with Khat addiction include:
Whenaddiction is associated with a mental health problem , then it is a part of a dual diagnosis and an appropriate treatment program is required.
Call 1-877-902-5376 today to gain information and access to treatment, support, and Co-Occurring Disorders options.
How to Help a Loved one with Khat Addiction
It can be tricky to know when a loved one needs some form of medical treatment or intervention for Khat abuse. If they are acting out of the ordinary, engage in impulsive and risky behavior, or you just get that gut feeling that something may be worng…you are probably right.
So, what can you do then?
#1 Call a helpline. If you are seeking professional help, or want to assess and evaluate a loved one’s problem CALL US at 1-877-902-5376 NOW. Questions we typically ask include:
- Which substance/drug does the person abuse?
- What other drugs or alcohol do you think they’re using?
- How do they abuse Khat (orally, snorting, smoking)?
- How long do you suspect they have been using?
- How long they’ve been showing signs of addiction?
- How much can they afford to pay for treatment?
- Is insurance an option?
- Could you (and/or other close family members) help them out financially?
- Does the addicted individual suffer from any mental, behavioral, or co-occurring disorders?
#2 Stage an intervention. If a loved one is addicted to Khat, chances are they are dealing with a number of physical, emotional, and mental issues. If you are thinking of approaching a Khat addict, prepare yourself for ‘the talk’ and consider the possibility of staging an intervention with the help of a licensed interventionist, and ask for addiction professionals’ help.
#3 Use Community Reinforcement Approach and Family Training (CRAFT). CRAFT is designed to help family members intervene in such a way that they keep open communication and continue to care for their addicted loved one, while avoiding unhealthy behaviors like enabling and sacrificing their own self-care. The CRAFT approach can help motivate the individual to seek treatment. In fact, there is a multitude of empirical evidence that support the CRAFT-based strategy for staging a successful intervention as successful and effective for getting loved ones into treatment.
#4 Emphasize personal choice and control. Trying to convince someone to get help through persuasion won’t help…it almost never does. As an alternative, open up the possibility of getting help from a professional counselor, a therapist, or a peer. Some examples of what you can say include:
“No one else can make you go to rehab. It is up to you to make this change. “
“I’m concerned about your Khat abuse. Tell me what I can do to help you.”
“I’m willing to support you during treatment, but you’ll need to accept help first.”
“We can look for a solution in Khat treatment together.”
#5 Get support group help. You can encourage peer support by looking into 12 Step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) for a loved one, and Al-Anon for yourself. SMART Recovery and Rational Recovery are other options that have helped people find support for addiction, too.
Before formal treatment program for addiction finished, rehab staff should prepare a comprehensive aftercare plan. This plan can include continued visits with your rehab counselor. Or you’ll receive referrals to local support such as a therapist, sponsor or other members of the recovery community.
Aftercare services are often provided in the form of:
Counseling / Group Therapy – These include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), relaxation training, motivational interviewing, self-monitoring of consumption, goal setting, management of withdrawal and coping with anxiety.
Follow-up medical care – Supervised medical management is recommended for those with a history of Khat abuse due to various physical and psychological complications that may arise as a result of long term Khat use.
Sober living communities – Sober living facilities offer a prolonged stay for recovering individuals who have quit Khat and look forward to a drug free life, but are just not ready to step into possible triggering environments.
Find aftercare support and counseling options for you!
Call 1-877-902-5376 to speak with a treatment support advisor.
Professional hotline staff are here to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.