Other names: Quat, Qat, Chat, Qaadka

Drug type: Stimulant (Stimulants speed up your mind and body).

Is Khat illegal in the UK?

Legal status: The Government has decided to make Khat an illegal Class C drug. This will come into effect on 24th June 2014.

Young people aged 17 or under are not eligible for a Khat Warning or Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND) for the possession of Khat, they must be considered for a youth caution, youth conditional caution or prosecution.

This means that if you are caught in possession of Khat you could go to prison for two years and get an unlimited fine.

If you are caught dealing or supplying you could get 14 years in jail.

It will also be an offence to bring Khat in and/or out of the country, so if you've been abroad you cannot bring it back to the UK with you.

What is Khat?

Khat (Catha edulis) is a leafy green plant containing two main stimulants. Khat is chewed and has effects similar to amphetamine. Khat is used mostly in Africa, but it is becoming more common in Europe.

How is Khat taken?

A small bunch of its leaves are 'balled up' and chewed over a number of hours.

The effects of Khat- How does khat make you feel?

How it can make you feel: Khat can make users feel more alert and talkative. It can also reduce hunger and if it's chewed over a few hours it can make you feel really calm.

However, it can lead to insomnia (which means you can't go to sleep) and make you confused. It can also make you feel anxious and aggressive.

What are the side effects of Khat?

Khat can make your mouth sore and can damage the teeth. There is concern in the long term that is may cause mouth cancers.

The key effects and risks of khat include:

  • People feel more alert, happy and talkative.
  • It suppresses the appetite.
  • It can cause insomnia and can make pre-existing mental health problems worse and can cause paranoid and psychotic reactions