The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) together with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently issued information about Khat.
Khat (pronounced "cot") is a stimulant drug derived from a shrub (Catha edulis) that is native to East Africa and southern Arabia.
The khat plant itself is not scheduled under the Controlled Substances Act; however, because one of the mind-altering chemicals found in it, cathinone, is a Schedule I drug (a controlled substance with no recognized therapeutic use), the Federal Government considers Khat use illegal.
It is estimated that as many as 10 million people worldwide chew khat.
It is commonly found in the southwestern part of the Arabian Peninsula and in East Africa, where it has been used for centuries as part of an established cultural tradition.
Its current use among particular migrant communities in the United States and in Europe has caused concern among policymakers and health care professionals. No reliable estimates of prevalence in the United States exist.
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To learn more and to download additional information about Khat, please click here.