Catha Edulis: Personal and social consequences

Last modified: Thursday, 25. December 2008 - 9:42 am

Although immediate and severe medical problems are thought to be infrequent, khat use often leads to health problems. Reducing khat consumption, according to researchers, would relieve several million people, mostly men, of a costly and potentially addictive habit. It would also make available scarce arable land and irrigation water for other crops. Government figures show that khat consumes 75% of Yemen’s irrigation capabilities.

Khat chewers may cause harm to their families due to negligence, dissipation of the family income, and inappropriate behavior. In Yemen, even poor families admit to spending at least 50% of their income on khat.

Overall, women and children seem to be suffering most from khat consumption. Many men spend so much money on khat that their families go hungry and remain in poverty. Several countries concerned by the khat problem, such as Yemen, have taken steps to restrict its use.

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