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Khat use among Somalis in four English cities - UK Home Office report

Khat use among Somalis in four English cities - UK Home Office report

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Published by James Barlow
Khat (also known or spelt as ‘qat’, ‘jaad’, ‘qaat’ or ‘chat’) is a plant most commonly grown in Eastern African or Middle Eastern countries. Its leaves are chewed for their stimulant effect mostly by people from these regions. Khat itself is legal in the UK, however the two main active ingredients (cathine and cathinone) are Class C controlled substances, under the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971).
The use of khat has a long-standing history within the Somali culture in particular. Before the civil war, khat chewing was a traditional social activity in Somalia and would bring people
together for relaxation and to stimulate conversation (Ismail and Home, 2005). Khat use would normally be restricted to particular times of the day and session length. Some people
also chewed khat in order to remain alert for studying or work reasons. Attitudes towards khat use vary but it is generally perceived as a legitimate activity, by substantial proportions of the communities who use it and not censured in the way that those communities censure alcohol
and illicit drug use.
Khat (also known or spelt as ‘qat’, ‘jaad’, ‘qaat’ or ‘chat’) is a plant most commonly grown in Eastern African or Middle Eastern countries. Its leaves are chewed for their stimulant effect mostly by people from these regions. Khat itself is legal in the UK, however the two main active ingredients (cathine and cathinone) are Class C controlled substances, under the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971).
The use of khat has a long-standing history within the Somali culture in particular. Before the civil war, khat chewing was a traditional social activity in Somalia and would bring people
together for relaxation and to stimulate conversation (Ismail and Home, 2005). Khat use would normally be restricted to particular times of the day and session length. Some people
also chewed khat in order to remain alert for studying or work reasons. Attitudes towards khat use vary but it is generally perceived as a legitimate activity, by substantial proportions of the communities who use it and not censured in the way that those communities censure alcohol
and illicit drug use.

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Published by: James Barlow on Apr 19, 2010
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01/22/2013

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Khat use among Somalis infour English cities
Home Office Online Report 47/05Shilpa L. PatelSam WrightAlex Gammampila
The views expressed in this report are those of the authors, not necessarily those of the Home Office(nor do they reflect Government policy).
 
 
Khat use among Somalis infour English cities
Shilpa L. PatelSam WrightAlex GammampilaPolicy and Practice Research Group, Middlesex UniversityNacro Research and EvaluationOnline Report 47/05
 
 ii
Acknowledgements
First and foremost the research team would like to express sincere thanks to the team ofPrivileged Access Interviewers (PAIs), without whom none of this research would have takenshape. Your perseverance and dedication is greatly appreciated by us all.In alphabetical order, the PAIs involved were:Gulaid AdanDhudi AidedMuna DahirRashid ElmiAmal EsseSoaad GhelehMohamed HujalehMohamed KoreEigal MadarAyan MohamedNuur MohamoudAbdillahi MusaMohammed OmerKaltum RiversBilan SaidIbrahim SaidZaynab SaidThe research team would also like to thank Rosemary Murray at the Home Office, DrugsAnalysis and Research (DAR) for her continuous support and advice on this project, and alsoacknowledge the valuable contributions from Hassan Isse from the Khat Project in Hounslow.Thanks also to the steering group members: Victoria Mayhew and Mark Mason at DAR, JulieClouder and Stuart Harwood (Home Office) and Mark Prunty (Department of Health).Finally, many thanks to Ubaid-ul Rehman, staff at Nacro (past and present) – particularlyPenny Barber and everyone in the Policy and Practice Research Group, MiddlesexUniversity.The research study was carried out by researchers from Nacro and from the Policy andPractice Research Group (PPRG), which is based at Middlesex University.

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