At the Chat Market
Khat is a stimulant drug derived from a shrub named Catha edulis.
Khat (pronounced cot) is an evergreen shrub that grows in areas bordering the Red Sea, including countries in the horn of East Africa particularly Ethiopia. The Khat leaves are chewed by men, women, and children. Cathinone and cathine are chemicals similar to the effects of amphetamines and result in similar stimulant effects in the brain and body. Khat is the locally chewed social drug in places such as Ethiopia and has a long history as social routine dating back thousands of years.
Khat plant is widely cultivated and known by a variety of names in Yemen, the Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and many other places in and around Africa. Khat is grown in groves and three to four hours per day is devoted to striping the branches chewing the leaves releasing the drug. Other Names for Khat are Abyssinian Tea, Arabian-Tea, Chat, Jaad, Kat, Qaat and, Tohat. The khat chewer plucks the tender leaves from the branches and tucks the leaves into their cheeks, eventually forming a wad similar to chewing tobacco.
Khat is a stimulant that speeds up the heart and breathing and increases blood pressure. Khat makes a person feel alert and relieves stress, that makes it a popular simulate among students. In some countries, 15–20% of children under the age of 12 are also daily users of khat. Khat is a controlled substance in some countries, such as the United States, Canada, and Germany, while its production, sale, and consumption are legal in other nations, including Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and Yemen.