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Ethiop Med J. 1997 Apr;35(2):137-9.

Khat induced psychosis and its medico-legal implication: a case report.

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  • 1Amanuel Hospital, Addis Ababa.


It has been established that khat plant leaves (Catha edulis forsk) contain an active psychostimulant substance known as Cathinone that is similar in structure and pharmacological activity to amphetamine. There have been no previously reported cases of khat induced psychosis in Ethiopia despite heavy consumption of khat in most parts of the country. We report here a case of brief and episodic psychosis attributed to heavy khat chewing. We maintain that khat leaf is a substance of abuse and that Khat chewing has the potential to complicate psychiatric conditions and forensic events.

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