CAT is the shortened name for the psychoactive stimulant drug Methcathinone. It is also better known as the “poor man’s coke.” This drug can be snorted or inhaled.
This highly addictive drug stimulates the brain into a euphoria and after a bender leaves the user at an extreme low or an extreme depression.
Methcathinone is derived from a naturally occurred stimulant drug Cathinone found in the plant “Khat” or Cathula Edulis. This plant is native to the Southern Arabian Peninsula and the horn of Africa.
READ ALSO: KHAT / Methcathinone https://www.mobieg.co.za/addiction/types-of-drugs/khat-methcathinone-dependency/
I spoke to some users and ex-users and they all said the same thing:
“After a bender your emotions are multiplied by 1000 times negatively. It takes so much strength to get the positive serotonin, the brain’s happy natural endorphin, back.
Without pills like Xanax or Alzam it can take you up to 14 days to recover. By that time, you have used again.
When you’re working and using at the same time it is HELL because you need proper sleep in order to cancel it all out.
For example: if you used the Wednesday, you would be on a bender and have stayed up until at least the Saturday or Sunday with NO sleep. This means that by Sunday or Monday you would need a night of SOLID DEAD sleep to be semi normal on the next day.
During the “recovery” you hate your life (the negativity mentioned before) and especially the people closest to you. You push those closest to away, you are irritated and you are brutal in the sense that you don’t care what you say to anyone.
You always regret it afterwards, but then it is too late.
There is no excuse for this as you are fully aware of what you are doing at all times. You take out your irritation and frustration on the ones closest to you because you know that we, the users, won’t cut them off.
If you get cut off by them, you just start using again and the drug becomes your constant.
CAT is easy to hide, because you just become hyper and can go on for days.
99% of users act the same way. There isn’t really a thing of it affects different people in different ways.”
READ ALSO: Two suspects arrested for possession of drugs worth millions https://thebulletin.co.za/2020/05/25/two-suspects-arrested-for-possession-of-drugs-worth-millions/
Dr Leon Pelser, MD, gave the following insights:
What are the affects anatomically?
“The brain, limbs, heart and the blood vessel system are affected. Users become paranoid and later extremely depressed and psychotic. The eyes and limbs shiver almost like they have Parkinson’s Disease. The user’s blood pressure and heart speed increases and that could lead to a stroke. The users do not feel hungry or thirsty and that could lead to dehydration.”
How does it affect the chemicals in the brain?
“The effect on the brain is elevated dopamine and ephedrine levels.”
How long does it stay in your system?
“The drug will last about 4 – 6 hours but can be picked up in the user’s urine after a week.”
How does the detox work?
“No home detox is recommended. It is recommended that the user goes to a rehabilitation facility.”
Why can some people stop and use now and again?
“Most users are on more than one drug. In other words, CAT plus pills for example. The amount of CAT that is used by the user will play a role in the rehabilitation of the user.”
Barbara Aucamp, Senior Social Worker at Tutela Family Care Secunda, added the following:
“Addiction to this drug lead to problems at work, including decreased productivity AND mainly job loss. It also creates a financial burden that may cause families to lose their home or have difficulty providing just to the basic needs such as food.
It also leads to destroying family relationships. Addiction to CAT can cause users to become paranoid about their relationships, like thinking that their family are turning against them. They may become aggressive and violent toward family members. For the above reasons CAT can destroy family relationships.
Living with a loved one who uses this drug has a huge impact on the whole family and they are emotionally affected in so many ways. That is why Tutela Family Care Secunda highlights especially the need for family support, develop best practises AND enable families to find support.
We as a welfare organisation know support for family members can reduce and mitigate these effects and improve wellbeing so families can get back a sense of control over their lives.”
The amount of information that I received was overwhelming regarding CAT.
It seems that a follow up article is a definite must. Keep an eye out as The Bulletin might just surprise you yet again!