Fire and Fury: The Stimulant Shrub of Khat

The term Khat can be defined as a flowering evergreen shrub that is abused for its stimulant-like effect, it has two active ingredients, cathine and cathinone. It is native to East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, where the use of it is an established cultural tradition for many social situations,  Common street names for Khat include: Abyssinian Tea, African Salad, Catha, Chat, Kat, and Oat, Khat is a flowering evergreen shrub. On the other hand, Khat that is sold and abused is usually just the leaves, twigs, and shoots of the Khat shrub. (Drugs of Abuse 2015)  

Prior to my writing of this article, I had been to some extent keen in having a say in the extensive costs of the Khat in the society and as part of that was enthusiastically attracted to the statement of the Somaliland president’s interview with the VOA, towards the explicit concerns the Khat brings about in the macroeconomic level,  in which he deliberately emphasized on the causal-effect relations by directly linking the huge amount of the money disbursed on the leaf shrub and the concurrent effects of the inflation it leaves behind without visible return. Moreover, I am also convinced that the correlation of the Khat abuse to the undeniably associated impacts on the individuals, families and communities is greatly enhanced by the mere absence of the social moral conciseness and the incapability of the government to come up with strategic programs to tackle down the great extent of the syndrome within the youth and the elites of the society in particular


Despite the different means used for and the benefits gained as it is supposedly claimed to make the users feel calm and happy, but there are other numerous consequences to the consumption of it. In this regard, it is generally known that the Khat is rapidly becoming a custom particularly in Somaliland, its consumption seems to be deceiving routine that impacts negatively on thousands of users whereby the associated consequences for the family has reached its epidemic proportions of the population. Its consumption has masses of financial burdens, family issues and negative psychological legacies which can be central basis to the negative accompanying effects on the families of the working middle class and low income level as a special case in focus.

In many ways, the use of Khat has a lot to do with the performance at work in negative manner as less productivity and loss of many working hours are usually reported, all these factors can generate problems to the users at the workplaces and might eventually lead to the loss of the jobs (Sometimes Unemployment Risks)


Consequently, as per the medical professional’s reports indicate that the Khat can cause confusion and insomnia, loss of appetite, sometimes anxiety, even depression and psychosis.

Conclusion & Recommendations: Taking into considerations of the above mentioned associated consequences in relative to the consumptions of the Khat, It might be more likely if the overall proposed recommendations adopted, will it be sooner or later serve a strategic solution for the suspension of the prevalent usage of the stimulant leaf of Kat

  • The government should persistently establish a designated commission of Anti-Drugs that is strategically labelled for the sensitisation, combat, the research and developments of the proper mechanisms in the fight against the all kinds of drugs (Khat in particular),
  • The government should be playing a vital role in raising the awareness of the harmful consequences of the Khat by formulating the necessary policies in order to challenge out the flow in of the commercialization of the khat (e.g. should levy a heavy tax on the khat imports in order to increase the sale in price values in the markets)
  • The Societal fire and fury for the consumption of the Khat will only be settled if collective understanding to wage the epidemic is realized despite the baseless claims of those involved


By: Abdifatah Hussein Dahir



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