Khat use is a drug problem characteristic of the Eastern Mediterranean Region, which is a widespread culturally accepted practice in some countries and is becoming more prevalent in others. Although limited use may not be accompanied by serious consequences, prolonged exposure could lead to dependence, psychosis and other psychiatric disorders and physical conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular complications, sexual dysfunction, hepatoxicity and reduced birth weight of infants born to khat-chewing mothers. The widespread use and its burden on health and economy has raised concerns in the Region, although the extent of the problem is not well assessed. Additionally, most countries do not have a clear policy and plan with regard to khat use, and therefore there is hardly any structured prevention and treatment plan in place to respond to the problem. This review presents a picture of the extent of the problem, elaborates on related existing research initiatives and international treaties, policies and health service provisions, and outlines best policy and programme interventions in khat-use countries.
|Translated title of the contribution||Khat use and related addiction, mental health and physical disorders: The need to address a growing risk|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal|
|State||Published - 2017|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Michael Odenwald was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research grant number 01DG13020. Mustafa al'Absi and the Khat Research Program (KRP) were supported by the Fogarty International Center grant (R03TW007219) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse under award number R21 DA024626. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the US National Institutes of Health.