alexa [Khat--a new drug of abuse in Norway].


Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy

Author(s): AlSamarraie M, Khiabani HZ, Opdal MS

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Abstract BACKGROUND: The stimulating drug, Khat, is a drug of abuse that has become known in Norway due to increased immigration from East-Africa, especially Somalia. METHOD: Review of recent literature. RESULTS: Khat is present in leaves from the tree Catha Edulis and is taken by chewing the leaves. The biologically active compounds are cathinone, cathine and norephedrine. Analysis of cathinone in urine can be performed at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. The effects of khat are similar to, but weaker than those of amphetamine. Khat stimulates the central nervous system causing increased alertness, euphoria and occasionally psychosis, and increases activity in the peripheral sympathetic nervous system leading to palpitations, increased blood pressure, large pupils and red eyes. Tannin in khat damages teeth and causes constipation. With increased use of khat in the society it is important for the clinician to have some knowledge of the effects of khat.
This article was published in Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy

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