Khat

khat

Qat, or khat [kaht] is a flowering plant native to tropical East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Qat contains an alkaloid called cathinone, an amphetamine-like stimulant stimulates the release of dopamine and can cause excitement, loss of appetite and euphoria.

In 1980 the World Health Organization classified qat as a drug of abuse that can produce mild to moderate psychological dependence. It is a controlled or illegal substance in many countries, but has been grown for use as a stimulant for centuries in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. There, chewing qat predates the use of coffee and is used in a similar social context.

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