What is a qat

Added: Tyanne Buxton - Date: 08.02.2022 02:38 - Views: 11355 - Clicks: 7505

What is qat? Catha edulis is a flowering plant traditionally used as a mild stimulant by the Ethiopian, Somali and Yemeni communities. Users chew its leaves and shootswhich have natural compounds, including cathine and cathinone, that give a similar high to amphetamines. Where is it grown? Qat is native to north-east Africa and the Arabian peninsula. The plant is sold in bunches in specialist healthfood shops or convenience stores but it loses much its potency days after being picked.

How much of it is used in the UK? What are its effects?

Cathinone, a phenethylamine substance which induces mild euphoria and excitement similar to, but less powerful than, amphetamines. Users says qat can increase alertness and energy; others report a feeling of calm if it is chewed over several hours.

Is it harmful? According to Talk To Frankthe national drug education service, qat users can develop insomnia and short-lived confusion, high blood pressure, anxiety and aggression, palpitations and cardiac problems with heavy use. It warns: "As qat can cause periods of increased libido, care may be needed to minimise the risk of unsafe sex and unwanted pregnancies.

Qat can inflame the mouth and damage the teeth, reduce appetite and cause constipation, and there is concern about a longer-term risk of development of mouth cancers. However an ACMD report in January said there was insufficient evidence that qat caused health problems sufficient to justify a ban. The council's chairman, What is a qat Les Iversen, said: "The review found insufficient evidence of either health or societal harms caused by the use of qat to justify its control in the UK. What is the legal status of qat around the world?

It is illegal in the US and Canada and has been outlawed in most European countries, most recently by the Netherlands. Is its supply chain linked to terrorism or organised crime?

Last year, British counter-terrorism officers, in conjunction with the US, arrested seven qat traders across the UK. The group was suspected of sending the proceeds of an alleged smuggling enterprise to al-Qaida-linked Islamists in Somalia.

Police raided homes in London, Cardiff and Coventry in what Scotland Yard described as "planned, intelligence-led operation into suspected fundraising for terrorism overseas. The council's vice-chairman, Dr Hew Mathewson, said he gave "no credence" to links between the qat trade and the funding of al-Shabaab, the Somali-based cell of al-Qaida.

The mild herbal stimulant is to be categorised as a class C drug amid fears Britain could become a hub for illegal trafficking. A qat farm in Meru, central Kenya. Users of the plant can develop insomnia, anxiety and aggression, UK drug experts warn. Alexandra Topping. Reuse this content.

What is a qat

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