Khat in Yemen, between social norm and health risks

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Yemen is known for planting “Khat” in mountain areas since Yemeni population spend their day chewing the plant which is a steroid and works as an alarm. The juicier the leaves the more the effect they get and the Yemeni are used to the material since childhood due to the comfort they feel from it.

 

“Khat” is a widespread plant in Yemen and is considered an income to many Yemeni families and it’s sold for 10-20$ in crowded markets especially during the afternoon.

Khat consumption is a social custom in Yemen where it is taken during weddings and social celebrations. Men keep Khat leaves in their mouth giving a feeling of Euphoria and strength making the person talkative and imaginative after about an hour and a half from chewing. The plant is a steroid and is planted in various places in Yemen and South Africa.

Several studies and research conducted on the substance of khat to contain cathine and norephedrine and works as an amphetamine-like stimulant to humans. The World Health Organization has been included khat in 1973 on the list of narcotic substances after conducting laboratory research on the substance lasting six years, and the Arab Islamic Congress in 1969 approved in its fifth session that the khat is an anesthetic which harms health and has psychological and social and economic risks on the life of the addict.

 

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