What is it about?

Heavy khat chewers often face difficulty in controlling their use and suffer from symptoms of withdrawal during periods of abstinence, which may be significant barriers to stopping/reducing khat use. This paper examined the subsequent development of withdrawal symptoms such as craving, negative affect, depression, nervousness, irritability, restlessness, and poor motivation over the first 2 weeks of a quit attempt

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Why is it important?

The findings demonstrated low rates of success during unaided quite attempts from khat chewing, suggesting the importance of withdrawal symptoms in the quitting process. Hence, interventions and providing support to individuals during the period of increased symptoms of unhappiness and uneasiness are vital to reduce the risk of relapse


The use of Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) method using electronic diary to study withdrawal symptoms in relation to khat use makes this study exclusive. The results were based on real time data obtained from the study participants about their chewing related behaviors in their natural environment. Despite few challenges faced, this study has yielded new insights about the natural course of khat withdrawal symptoms over time and identified the core physiological aspects of dependence (the withdrawal symptoms) as potential liability factors for the spread of khat chewing.

Samson Duresso
University of Tasmania

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Khat withdrawal symptoms among chronic khat users following a quit attempt: An ecological momentary assessment study., Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, May 2018, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/adb0000368.
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