Somalia’s (Only) Popular Drug

Somalia’s (Only) Popular Drug

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Written by hugo santos


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  1. I wish he would’ve shown what khat teeth look like. The staining of your teeth makes them dark red to dark brown while actively rotting them. It’s gross as hell in person.

    Source: I’ve been to Ethiopia, where khat is also legal.

  2. I’ve looked after severeal somalian men with near end stage liver cirrhosis due to khat leaf hepatotoxicity. Nasty business. Obviously occurs in a very small percentage, with case studies only published since 2016, but I suspect the prevalence of liver disease in this population is likely higher.

    While most people suspect khat is relatively harmless, it’s negative health effects are yet to be fully elucidated.

  3. Fun fact Khat is the basis for cathiones which are the family of drugs that pretty much every scary new designer drug is part of (like bath salts)

  4. Fun fact: forensic anthropologists can often trace anonymous bodies to particular regions of Africa based on the distinct wear-and-tear that khat leaves on users’ teeth.

  5. Up until 2013 Qat was still legal in my home country of the Netherlands, whereas in the rest of continental europe it was illegal. Before the ban, the village where I grew up (Uithoorn) was a large distributor for qat and there was a really shady street always crowded with Somalian men. It always struck me as odd why all those men were always so busy in that shady street, but I didn’t know about qat at the time. Wish I bought and tried some.


    Here’s a pretty amazing video with some of the merchants and neighbours complaining. Blatant racism though. [](

  6. as soon as i saw the thumbnail i was like “this is about khat”


    was not surprised. i knew a muslim dude who grew this shit in texas and would pack it like chewing tobacco.

  7. I had khat in South Africa as a powder that was snorted. It’s really weak, like drinking a coffee, wouldn’t recommend. It’s popular there because everything is so scarce/bad quality, and by everything I mean narcotics.

  8. another video springing from this should be the Research chemicals—specifically 3-*Methoxymethcathinone* or Methedrone / mephedrone. There was a massive influx of it in UK party scene, m-cat.

    Edit : after watching the video again, I disagree that Khat is only available in plant or pill form… And that it is “virtually impossible” to isolate or concentrate it is false. But whatever.

  9. The problem that isn’t really discussed in this Vice episode, for whatever reason, is that it’s led to food shortages – predominantly in Yemen. Fields that would have been used to grow a variety of vegetables and fruits are instead replaced with fields of Khat/Ghat because people will buy it. This has the natural and predictable effect of there being shortages of crops the society actually needs and depends on.

  10. I first learned that this was the drug of choice ( as described by the Author ) for Somali rebel’s fighting United Nations and US forces during the “Black Hawk Down” helicopter recovery incident.

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