Khat users need social care response

Drug services are failing to reach users of khat, exposing the need
for a “social care” response, according to a Turning Point

A survey of 35 users for the report finds none has been in contact
with drug or mental health treatment services.

Khat, which is legal in the UK and has an amphetamine-like effect
when chewed, is most often used by people from Somalia, Ethiopia
and Yemen. High use can cause mental health problems, including

However, the study finds that social problems, such as
unemployment, family breakdown and social exclusion, tend to
exacerbate the problems of excessive use.

Lord Victor Adebowale, chief executive of Turning Point, said: “It
is not a drug treatment issue. It is a social care issue and
requires a social care response.”

The report suggests a one-stop-shop that tackled unemployment,
health and education as well as drug problems, would be more
successful in treating users than traditional services.

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